Devils Lake Ice Fishing Tournament scheduled for Saturday on Six Mile Bay – Grand Forks Herald

Devils Lake Ice Fishing Tournament scheduled for Saturday on Six Mile Bay – Grand Forks Herald

DEVILS LAKE – All systems are in place for the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department’s 40th Annual Ice Fishing Tournament, scheduled for 1-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27, on Six-Mile Bay.

There have been some concerns about enough ice after the late start of winter and unseasonably warm temperatures before the recent cold snap. But organizers who checked the ice on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 20, found enough ice — 21 1/2 inches — to safely hold the event, said Corey Meyer, assistant fire chief and member of the tournament organizing committee.

It’s not unusual to have more than 4,000 people on the ice trying their luck for fishing prizes, which this year includes a 2024 Chevy Colorado pickup for the second-largest walleye and $2,000 cash prizes for the largest walleye, perch and northern pike. .

“At the end of the day, we’re in the business of safety,” Mayer said. “We’re not going to put anyone in harm’s way.”

As in previous years, the fishing tournament is just a small part of the weekend’s festivities, and a full slate of activities is available at the Devils Lake Memorial Building, 508 Fifth Ave. NE.

The tournament and raffle is the department’s primary fundraiser. This year’s tournament includes prizes worth more than $325,000, including the grand prize of a 2024 F-150 pickup in the drawing. In celebration of the tournament’s 40th anniversary, the prize for the 40th raffle is an ice castle-shaped wheeled fish house.

Mayer said that all 24,000 tickets for this famous event were completely sold out.

Events begin on Thursday, January 25, with tournament registration running from 5 to 11 p.m. in the Memorial Building. There is a soup and chili meal starting at 6 p.m., deejay entertainment from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and recording continues from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, January 26, also in the Memorial Building, with another soup and chili meal at 6 Evening and fishermen’s dance from 8:30 pm to 12:30 midnight

Saturday’s events begin with tournament registration from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Memorial Building, followed by a fishing tournament from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Six Mile Bay. There will be a dinner starting at 4pm in the Memorial Building, followed by the grand raffle at 7pm, and another hunter’s dance from 8:30pm to 12:30am.

As of early this week, at least, the extended weather forecast for Devils Lake looks favorable for tournament ice fishing. According to the National Weather Service, Saturday’s forecast for Devils Lake calls for mostly sunny skies, a high near 30 degrees and west winds 9 to 11 mph.

“We hope to see a bunch of people out here and have a good time and promote Devils Lake and the fishing here,” Meyer said. “Ultimately, our goal is to bring people into town and have a good time.”

Organizers have had to cancel the fishing portion of the event only once in the tournament’s 40-year history. In 2021, the ice fishing tournament was canceled due to unseasonably warm weather, resulting in icy conditions deemed unsafe by organizers. Additionally, the drawing was held virtually in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Brad Dukin

Brad Duquesne joined the Herald in November 1985 as copy editor of Agweek magazine and has been outside editor of the Grand Forks Herald since 1998.

In addition to his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwestern Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage of these topics.

You can reach him at, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on X (formerly Twitter) at @gfhoutdoor.

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