The seventh annual Ice Castle Classic tournament took place on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Lac qui Parle Lake.
According to Chad Hiepler of Ice Castle, over 2,000 people participated in the competition. “The weather was great. We dodged a bullet on Saturday, and fishing was the best year we've had since we started the tournament,” said Hiepler. “There were close to a hundred fish caught just in the first hour, and well over 200 caught that day.”

The seventh annual Ice Castle Classic tournament took place on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Lac qui Parle Lake.

According to Chad Hiepler of Ice Castle, over 2,000 people participated in the competition. “The weather was great. We dodged a bullet on Saturday, and fishing was the best year we’ve had since we started the tournament,” said Hiepler. “There were close to a hundred fish caught just in the first hour, and well over 200 caught that day.”

The tournament went off without a hitch, and everyone in attendance had a great time. “This was definitely one of the better years overall, it was smooth all the way through. Everyone was pretty much off the lake by about 3:30 or 3:45, and everything went really well.”First place winner was Matt Pipp of Bemidji, who won the $10,000 cash prize with a 5.5 lb. northern pike. Second place was Derek Kaelke of New London who also caught a northern, third place was Nick Engstrom of Granite Falls with a crappie and fourth place was Kyle Borth of Sleepy Eye with a crappie.

“This year was really good. We had a good group of volunteers who always make sure the lake is left cleaner than when we show up,” said Hiepler.

This year’s volunteers for the tournament who drilled the fishing holes included the Montevideo Legion Riders, WayWest ABATE, the Montevideo Fire Department, the Milan Fire Department, the Clarkfield Fire Department, the Marietta Fire Department, and the Lakeview Trap Team.

Several organizations also volunteered to help the day of, which included the Legion Riders, the Clarkfield Fire Department, the Lakeview Trap Team, the Montevideo Boy Scouts, the Lac qui Parle Lake Association, CCM Health, Jesse Tintes from Tintes Outdoors, the Montevideo Ambulance, the Chippewa County Sheriff, and the Lac qui Parle Sheriff.

Hiepler is grateful to all that helped make this year such a success. “I’d also like to give a huge shout out to our family and friends. They have become such a huge part of organizing and putting the tournament together,” said Hiepler.

The list of winners and more photos from the event can be found on the Ice Castle Classic Facebook page.