Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 39th Annual International Eelpout Festival

Join over 10,000 people for a weekend of ice fishing, good-hearted competition and family fun Feb. 23–25


Published:


Courtesy of the Annual International Eelpout Festival
 

Is there anything more truly Minnesotan than ice fishing? With our “Land of 10,000 Lakes” namesake and furiously cold winters that like to overstay their welcome, the sport of ice fishing just makes sense here. And it’s taken seriously, too! No cold fronts are going to stop these fishermen for enjoying their favorite sport.

As the daughter of an ice fisher, I remember the cold, sunny days spent in a makeshift ice fishing tent, listening to my dad’s sports radio and sitting on upside down on 5-gallon buckets as I (somewhat) patiently waited for a fish to bite on whatever treat my hook had to offer. It was always a special outing to go ice fishing with my dad. My siblings and I didn’t care about the cold. Twenty degrees? No problem! As a kid, I never cared what kind of fish I caught, either—I just wanted to catch something. Sunnies, walleye, perch ... whatever fish wanted to bite, I’d take it! This weekend though, in the small town of Walker, Minn., the focus is on a specific type of fish—the eelpout, one of the ugliest bottom dwelling fish one could hope to fish for.

A welcome respite to the mid-winter months with plenty of activities for avid ice fishers, families, and friends, Walker invites old and new visitors alike to its 39th Annual International Eelpout Festival this weekend, Feb. 22–Feb. 25, on Leech Lake.

Opening ceremonies will kick-off the event at Chase on the Lake tomorrow night from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. with a pre-party starting at the same time. A perk? $3 pints of beer for early arrivals!

Other festival events besides ice fishing include two eelpout fish fries, eelpout curling, an annual beer pong tournament, eelpout rugby, official weigh-in times, and an official fishing contest awards ceremony on the last day of the festival.

Although the event is inherently fishing-related, non-fishing events will be happening, too. Dog sled rides, helicopter rides, an annual jalapeño eating contest, a polar pout plunge (benefiting the Walker Area Community Center) will all be happening on Saturday, Feb. 24. And then there is the “Kiss the Pout” booth—not for the faint of heart, but legend says it will provide good luck for the entire year, so maybe it’s worth a try? 

Whether you’re an avid ice fisher with tons of experience or simply an outdoor-loving Minnesotan through and through, the 39th Annual International Eelpout Festival is an experience you won’t want to miss.

For more information about the event visit eelpoutfestival.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

6 Places That Give MN Hipster Cred

Crocodiles and third-wave coffee and decomposing plushies—these are a few of our favorite (and most "hipster-y") things across the state

Sara Groves: Hymns in a Tiny Sanctuary

The singer recorded her latest album in the small church building that she transformed into a community center for creativity

Minnesota Businesses Adapt to Warmer Winters

As Minnesota winters get warmer, some businesses struggle, while others adapt the state's snowy identity

Go Deep: MN's Most Unique Tourist Spots

Destinations for those looking for the weirder, lesser-known side of the Twin Cities

So Much to Celebrate at the Best of Minnesota Party

Nearly 700 guests enjoyed Minnesota Monthly’s inaugural Best of Minnesota Party, on November 30, at Lumber Exchange Event Center, presented by The Saint Paul Hotel.

Not Your Typical Date Night Ideas

Scrap dinner and movie and try one of these unique date ideas instead.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: December

Sue Z.'s ideas for giving back this holiday season include donating food while taking in the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train—and perusing food trucks

Join the Fun at the Best of Minnesota Party 2017

Celebrate the best of Minnesota with food, drinks, live music, and games downtown Minneapolis November 30.

"So Bright the Star": Singing in the St. Thomas Christmas Concert

The University of St. Thomas sings at Orchestra Hall this Sunday

Alternatives to Black Friday Shopping During Thanksgiving Weekend

Skip the Black Friday crowds this year and celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with one of these family-friendly events.

Minnesota Love in 3 New Books

The Boundary Waters, First Avenue, and fun facts about Minnesota—all highlighted in these recent publications

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities Around the Twin Cities

While counting your blessings on Thanksgiving, think ahead to helping others in December by volunteering your time at one of these locations around the Twin Cities metro.

What Else To Do on Black Friday: Alternative Plans across the State

Things to do on Black Friday in Minnesota—other than shop

Where to Run a Turkey Trot in Minnesota This Thanksgiving

Burning off those Thanksgiving Day calories is a great way to start the day before giving thanks for what you have. Join one of these fun (and local) turkey trot races on Thanksgiving morning.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags