Devils Lake ice fishing tourney and raffle draws more than 3,100 anglers, organizer says
The ice fishing tournament, held on Six-Mile Bay of Devils Lake, is the largest event of its kind in North Dakota.
DEVILS LAKE — The weather was a bit on the blustery side, but the fish cooperated and good times were in abundance Saturday, Jan. 29, during the 38th annual Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Tournament.
The fire department’s primary fundraiser, the ice fishing tournament, held on Six-Mile Bay of Devils Lake, is the largest event of its kind in North Dakota. This year's event included more than $325,000 in fishing and raffle prizes.
Prizes were awarded for the top five perch, walleyes and northern pike, with some interesting twists: A side-by-side utility vehicle for the second-largest perch, a Jeep Wrangler Sport for the third-largest walleye and a hard-shell fish house for the fourth-largest northern pike.
According to Cory Meyer of the Fire Department's tournament committee, an estimated 3,150 anglers fished in the tournament, weighing in 92 walleyes, 14 perch and eight northern pike.
Winners in the three fish categories were as follows:
- First: Matt Hillman, Bismarck, 1.04 pounds, $2,000.
- Second: Blake Lalonde, Fargo, 1.02 pounds, side-by-side ATV.
- Third: Rachel Efta, Grand Forks, 1.0 pounds, $1,000.
- Fourth: Shawn Martinson, Devils Lake, .9 pounds, $750.
- Fifth: Emil Belen, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, .82 pounds, $500.
- First: Charlie Beck, Watertown, South Dakota, 3.22 pounds, $2,000.
- Second: Scott Iverson, Williston, North Dakota, 2.84 pounds, $1,500.
- Third: Shaun Hermes, Westhope, North Dakota, 1.92 pounds, Jeep Wrangler Sport.
- Fourth: Brad Breyer, Antigo, Wisconsin, 1.86 pounds, $750.
- Fifth: Blake Little, Page, North Dakota, 1.76 pounds, $500.
- First: Craig Fisk, Lakota, North Dakota, 3.38 pounds, $2,000.
- Second: Garrett Schilling, Bismarck, 3.14 pounds, $1,500.
- Third: Heather Troy, Devils Lake, 3.08 pounds, $1,000.
- Fourth: Kevin Dockter, West Fargo, 2.98 pounds, hard-shell fish house.
- Fifth: Tim Berg, Wahpeton, North Dakota, 2.18 pounds, $500.
The afternoon ice fishing contest was followed by an evening raffle and dance in the Devils Lake Memorial Building, where 165 raffle prizes were awarded by drawing. The fire department sold 24,000 tickets for this year’s ice fishing tournament and raffle, and tickets sold out several weeks before the event. Ticket holders did not have to be present to win for the raffle drawings.
Winning the grand prize of a Chevy Silverado crew cab pickup was Travis Jochim of Bismarck. Gail Bakken of Pengilly, Minnesota, won a Ford Escape for the 165th and final ticket to be drawn in the raffle. Other raffle prizes of note included a trip to Hawaii won by Tucker Paulson of Webster, North Dakota, and a $5,000 prepaid gift card won by Trudi Jaeger of Devils Lake.
A complete listing of prize winners is available at dlvfdicefishingtourney.com.
Organizers canceled last year’s ice fishing tournament because of unsafe ice and offered the fish prizes by virtual drawing. Last year’s raffle drawing was also held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in-person activities were back for this year’s event.