"Who wouldn't want to win $10,000?" asked Chad Hiepler, Office Manager at Ice Castle Fish Houses.

This weekend marks the 7th Annual Ice Castle Classic, where over 2,000 people are expected to attend at Lac qui Parle Lake in Watson, MN. Luckily for our icy anglers, this year's ice conditions and weather forecast are ideal for this heavily anticipated event being held on Saturday, February 8th, 2020.

"The weather is favorable and there is a lot of excitement. We have great ice conditions this year. No need for concern, we’re in great shape compared to some of the others in the area," said Chad.

Even though ice conditions are ideal for houses on the ice, attendees can also choose to park at the hunting camp and ride the shuttle to the tournament site. The event planning team at Ice Castle Fish Houses have also made sure the event is handicap accessible and accommodations can be made for elderly attendees.

"The bus will run through the end of the tournament. If you come late or leave early you can still get a ride. It will go until everyone is cleared off the ice, so you won’t get stuck. It will take some coordination but the shuttles will pick you up and make sure that you go where you need to go," said Hiepler.

Buses start running between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., right before the gates open at 8:00 a.m. Contestants are discouraged from entering the fishing area before 8:00 a.m. The kids Ice Fishing Clinic, hosted by Tintes Outdoors, will be in the warming tent from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Children must have a tournament ticket to attend, and each child will leave with some ice fishing gear.

The tournament begins at noon and goes until 3:00 p.m. The top 50 prizes are determined by the largest weight and time registered. Each person can fish one hole per ticket, two tickets maximum. Holes must be reserved after 8:00 a.m. on the day of the tournament. A complete set of rules and a list of all the prizes can be found on the event's website, www.icecastleclassic.com.

This annual event is an important part of our regional economy. Not only does it bring travelers from as far away as International Falls and Florida that spend money at local restaurants and lodging, but Ice Castle Fish Houses keeps none of the proceeds; those are all distributed to regional non-profits. Henslin Auctions will also be auctioning off five fish houses after the Ice Castle Classic at the Watson Hunting Camp. The proceeds from one house will be 100% donated to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital. You can go online to www.henslinauctions.com to bid ahead of time or be ready at the live auction following the tournament.