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Ice anglers hope to nab big prizes

The 10th annual Ice Fishing Challenge - Minnesota's second largest ice fishing tournament - will take place this Saturday, February 13 on Lake L'Homme Dieu near Krueger's Creek public access from noon to 3 p.m.

Tickets for the Ice Fishing Challenge, hosted by the Alexandria Sertoma Club and Viking Sportsmen, are on sale now for $45. Tickets are available at Christopherson's Bait in Alexandria and at the gate the day of the tournament.

Organizers of the event are looking for volunteers to come and help drill holes this Friday, February 12.

People interested in helping are asked to be at Krueger's Creek public access on Lake L'Homme Dieu around noon.

There will be a free lunch and drawings for an ice auger and free passes to the tournament for those who volunteer to help drilling holes.

Anglers participating in the Ice Fishing Challenge are encouraged to bring an ice chisel with them the day of the tournament to chip out any ice that has formed on holes.

This year's contest features more than $100,000 worth of prizes, including a new Ford F-150 4x4 as the grand prize.

One of the best things about the contest is that you don't need to have a large fish to be a winner; many of last year's winners had fish that weighed less than one pound.

In fact, the way the prize system works, even the participant in last place can walk away with a valuable prize - a diamond circle pendant.

Tournament prizewinners are determined by the largest weight and the time registered. In the event of a tie, the first fish registered takes priority. Any species and size of fish is eligible to win a prize.

Special to this year's event will be the Northland Tackle "prize patrol," which means that anyone using a Northland rig will get a prize and be entered into a special drawing.

In addition, any kids who visit the Ice Team booth and talk with the fishing pros will get a prize.

The tournament will be broadcast this year through a PA system operating on FM radio. Anglers are encouraged to bring a radio with them to the tournament.

For more information about the contest, including rules, sponsors, prize list and frequently asked questions, visit the Ice Fishing Challenge website

Rules of the


All the rules and regulations of the tournament are posted on the Ice Fishing Challenge website,, but here's a look at some of them:

•No access is allowed into the fishing area prior to 8 a.m. the day of the tournament.

•Each contestant will be allowed to fish one hole per ticket with a two-hole maximum. Contestants can register as many fish as they like, but only the heaviest fish per contestant will qualify.

•There is no age requirement on tournament participation.

•All fish must be registered by the person who caught it; you may not give a fish to another contestant to register.

•Dead or frozen fish are not eligible. All fish caught will immediately be released back into the lake after registration - no exceptions.

•No shelters of any kind will be allowed.