Tom Towle drills a hole in the ice a half-mile out from the eastern shore of Mille Lacs Lake.

Tom Towle when he was in his first year working for Fisherman’s Wharf Resort.

Upcoming festivities feature plenty of activities for ice-anglers and spectators alike.  

Mille Lacs lake tourneys

Feb. 8: KJ’s 13th Annual Ice Jam at Izaty’s on Mille Lacs. There will be an Ice Jam Kickoff Party on Feb. 7 at BayView Bar and Grill with live music. The action starts Saturday at 10 a.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Tickets can be purchased in advanced at KJ’s. Fish anywhere on Mille Lacs and be in line to check in fish by 4 p.m. Each legal fish registered gets another entry for the grand prize drawing. Fish must be alive at check-in. The first five legal-sized walleyes win $100 cash (must be caught during contest hours).

Feb. 8: The 6th Annual United Way/UPS Tournament (2020 Justin Morneau Ice Fishing Classic presented by UPS) will be held at Nitti’s Hunters Point Resort from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fish houses and portables are welcome. You choose where to fish. All proceeds of the event will go directly to 501c3 non-profit, United Heroes League to empower military families to stay healthy and active by battling the financial burden associated with sports. Top five fishing prizes will be awarded for categories: walleye, northern pike and perch. Food and beverages available in heated tent for additional fee. The event is hosted by United Heroes League and Nitti’s Hunters Point Resort. For more information, call Jay Lorek, UPS, at 612-718-7523 or visit

Feb. 15: Fishing for Ducks will be held in Garrison Bay from 12-3 p.m. hosted by the Garrison Wildlife Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Gates open at 9 a.m. Tickets are available at or local outlets for $30 until 11:59 p.m. Feb. 9, and $40 after that. There is over $100,000 in prizes. First place is $20,000. The event is the largest attended Ducks Unlimited event in the world! Visit or call Greg Erickson at 218-820-0776 for more information.

Feb. 15: Perch and Pout Contest will be held at Nitti’s Hunters Point Resort starting 7 a.m.-2 p.m. The button entry fee is $15. Cash Prizes awarded to the first, second and third place for both Perch & Eelpout. Grand Prize: To be announced. Tons of great door prizes: augers, Marcum’s, electronics, tablets, TV’s, kids’ prizes and more. Contact 320-676-3227 for more information.

Feb. 22: 2020 Perch Extravaganza will be held at Nitti’s Hunters Point Resort starting at 8 a.m. Weigh-in is at 2 p.m. sharp at the resort. You choose where to fish. The button fee of $20 includes fishing contest entry and lake access through the resort Saturday. Perch must be alive to enter. The top 10 perch by weight are paid out, with the first place big fish awarded $500. The first place fish will become property of contest. Prizes are based on number of entrants and must be present to win. Door prizes include flat screen TVs, fishing electronics, underwater cameras, drones and more. Drawings start at 3 p.m. Free prizes to children under 12 years old. Over 150 shirts will be given away with the T-shirt shooter. Call 320-676-3811 to order a shirt. Mad Hatter Contest winner will be chosen by the crowd at 2:30 p.m. Activities include Bean Bag Toss Tourney, food and beverage booths.

Minnewawa tournament


Due to lake conditions and unable to plow an area on the lake, there are some changes to the fishing contest this Saturday on 2/8/2020.

For those that still want to fish, you are welcome to on your own. You will have to drill you own holes. Fish caught can be brought into Bann's Bar to get registered for the contest.

There will not be a wild game feed this year.

The raffle drawing and other activities will all take place at Bann's Bar instead of on the ice.

Hill City Lions ice fishing contest

The Hill City Lions Club will hold its annual ice fishing tournament on Saturday, Feb. 8 from noon-3 p.m. at Hill Lake, Hill City.

As always, the Hill City American Legion Color Guard will kick off the event. The estimated number of entrants is 300. For more information, contact Duane Niesen at 218-697-8104 or email

Rabbit Lake ice fishing contest

Hosted by the Woodtick Inn, the annual Rabbit Lake Ice Fishing Contest will be held Feb. 22 from noon-3 p.m. Sign up at the Woodtick Inn, 24916 Minnesota Ave., Deerwood. The entry fee is $10.

There will also be a raffle with a grand prize fishing package and cash prizes (must be present to win).

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