1st Annual Ice Castle Classic is here! *UPDATED

Fishermen park at the Watson Hunting Camp before taking the shuttle to the lake.
Fishermen park at the Watson Hunting Camp before taking the shuttle to the lake.

Update:  Scroll down for new photos.  Here is our winner with his 16+lb buffalo:

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Thousands of people have taken to the ice on legendary lake in western Minnesota.  Mostly known for it’s goose hunting, Lac qui Parle is quickly becoming a destination in the winter.  Cars, trucks and suvs traveled from all parts of the state and arrived at the Watson Hunting Camp for the inaugural ice fishing tournament with the Ice Castle Fish Houses company, “The Ice Castle Classic“.

$10,000 is up for grabs for 1st place, while 3 Ice Castle units are scattered among 50 total prizes valued at over $75,000.  Any fish is eligible, with the largest taking the grand prize.  That could mean carp, catfish, sheephead or the usual suspects like walleye, crappie and northern.   Lac qui Parle is part of the Minnesota River system, so you’ll find a wide variety of species under the ice.

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And ice there is.  Over 3 feet of it in spots, offering a little assurance to event organizers who hoped for optimal weather, good participation and safe ice!  I just feel bad for all those volunteers who drilled over 4,000 holes last night-through 3 foot thick ice.

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The tournament runs from 11am – 2pm, so in a couple hours someone will be $10,000 richer!  I hope I’m related.

We’ll be posting pictures and updates throughout the day here.

More pictures:

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