Seven ice fishing tournaments and events to check out this winter
Salt Lake City — If you want to add an extra challenge to your ice fishing this winter, a tournament may be just the thing. Plus, you can help many of our fisheries and often win prizes!
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks will be sponsoring or hosting several ice fishing tournaments from January to March around the state. A valid Utah fishing license is required for anyone over 12 years old to fish in any of the events. Anyone participating should be familiar with the ice safety recommendations on the Utah State Parks website.
Participants must adhere to COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, including maintaining 6 feet from other participants not in their group and should wear a mask if social distancing can't be maintained.
Here are a few tournaments to check out:
Hosted by the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the DWR and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Burbot Bash will be held Jan. 29–31 at Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This annual ice fishing tournament helps to control the burbot population, a cod-like fish that rapidly reproduces and preys on other sportfish species in the reservoir. Prizes will be awarded to anglers who catch the most burbot, the largest and smallest burbot, and a tagged burbot.
Due to COVID-19, a few changes have been made to this year's tournament, including requiring online registration prior to the tournament. The awards ceremony will also be held virtually. Three check-in stations will be administered in an effort to avoid crowding, and all participants will be required to wear masks when checking in fish at the stations.
For more contest details or to register, visit the Burbot Bash website.
East Canyon State Park Ice Fishing Challenge
This will be the 8th annual fishing challenge hosted by East Canyon State Park. It will be held on Jan. 9, 2021. For more details, visit the East Canyon State Park website.
East Canyon Ice Fishing Derby with Fins & Fur
Fins and Fur Guide Service is partnering with East Canyon State Park for this ice fishing contest. Cash prizes will be paid out to the top four fish, with additional hourly prizes for biggest fish and a raffle. Information on registration and prizes can be found on the Fins & Fur website.
Fish Lake Perch Tournament
Due to COVID-19, the annual Fish Lake Perch Tournament — hosted by the DWR and several partnering organizations — will be spread over several months rather than being held on a specific day. It begins Jan. 1 and runs until Sept. 6. As its name suggests, participants will be targeting perch and can win prizes if they catch a tagged one. Two drawings for prizes will be held, one on April 1 and a second on Labor Day weekend. Details are available in this Facebook post: https://bit.ly/3aceHvQ
Millsite On Ice Fishing Tournament
The 5th Annual Millsite on Ice Fishing Tournament will be held Jan. 8–9, 2021 at Millsite State Park. This event is sponsored by Emery County. To register and for more information, visit the Millsite on Ice website.
Monster Cisco Disco
While this is not technically "ice fishing," this annual winter fishing event is worth attending. The Cisco Disco is part of the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest and will be held Jan. 23, 2021 at Bear Lake State Park. Participants will have the chance to dip net for Bonneville cisco, a fish species only found at Bear Lake.
Unless you have a current Utah State Park Annual Pass, you'll need to pay the entrance fee to enter Cisco Beach (https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/bear-lake/park-fees/). Prizes for the biggest cisco will be awarded. A large raffle will be held too.
For more details, visit the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest website.
Starvation Ice Derby
This popular event will be held at Starvation Reservoir at Fred Hayes State Park on Feb. 6, 2021. Participants will be targeting trout and walleye for the contest, and prizes will be awarded based on fish length. Registration is $15 to fish for just one of the species or $20 to fish for both species. Registration will be capped at 200 anglers. Park entry fees apply and the Utah State Parks annual pass will be accepted. For more details about the contest, visit the Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation website.