. It’s with a heavy heart we announce the cancelation of the International Eelpout Festival for this season. Simply get in line at a heated shack on the ice, swipe your debit or credit card, and take flight with a friend above beautiful Leech Lake, and behold the crowd from the sky. Seen by some (sadly) as trash fish, the eelpout is probably the most underrated fish in the sport of ice fishing. If you’re on the fence about whether you should attend it this year with a group of friends, perhaps I can lend a bit of insight that will help you decide. February 9, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. WALKER, Minn. — Eelpout Festival organizers believe there will be no vehicle restrictions during this year’s festival. If you can find the baked beans, eat them. It may not be romantic, but it’s something special. Dog Sled Rides (Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.) – Experience a K-9 led tour of the grounds. In a state where it is common to embrace the quirky and find great fun in the most unlikely circumstances and weather conditions, this festival is pure Minnesota fun. WALKER, Minn.—"Who loves America?" an announcer yelled to a growing crowd that had gathered around a rectangular hole in the ice on Leech Lake. About Larissa Donovan Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. More than 270 eelpout were caught throughout the two-day tournament held on Leech Lake. However, every February for the last 38 years, roughly 10,000 people get their happy faces on and head to Walker, Minnesota, for the annual International Eelpout Festival. Pout nuggets are absolutely delicious. Each year, the massive ice fishing party brings about 10,000 people to Leech Lake in Walker, a town with a population of just over 1,000 people. Following a short meeting, a group ride through Chippewa National Forest to Huddle's Resort for lunch, and Adopt-A … Not only are there bars on the ice, there are bars made of ice. 1,069) gather on Minnesota’s third largest lake (112,000-acres), Leech Lake, for a festival named for one of the ugliest bottom-dwelling fish, the eelpout. If the collegiate games are more your style, sign up for the Beer Pong tourney and try to keep yourself upright. The Official International Eelpout Festival Page Published: 10:54 PM CST February 2, 2018 Updated: 11:00 AM CST February 4, 2018 WALKER, Minn. - The 39th Annual international Eelpout Festival is descending on Walker, Minnesota this weekend. Minneapolis Police funding is key as council nears budget vote, First nor'easter of the season rocks New England, WEATHER: Flakes fly this evening along with increasing clouds for Sunday, Minnesota beats Sporting KC 3-0, advances to Western final, MSHSL approves plan to start winter sports as early as Dec. 21. “In light of recent media reports and social media commentary referencing the location/dates of the 2018 International… Posted by International Eelpout Festival on … More than 270 eelpout were caught throughout the two-day tournament held on Leech Lake. I hope to see you all there . Ed Holtz, from Apple Valley, Minn., holds up an eelpout for a photo on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the 39th annual International Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake. About every third group you pass brings a smile to your face. BEMIDJI -- After being held for nearly four decades in Walker, the International Eelpout Festival may be moving to Lake Bemidji in 2018. The Annual International Eelpout Festival officially begins at 5pm Thursday, February 21st and concludes at 10am on Sunday, February 24th, 2019. A festival … Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club Post-Eelpout Festival Update February 26, 2018 Save The Date: May 5th - Spring Meeting & Pancake Breakfast Come for the pancake breakfast, stay for the club updates, 2018 club ride schedule, and lots of new men's and women's clothing. The opening ceremony will commence on February 22 at 6:00pm, and the event will conclude on February 25. Whether you’re an avid sweeper or haven’t seen a sheet of curling ice in your life, catching a few ends of pout curling (below) will blow your mind. The last weekend in February was the annual Eelpout Festival. The Leech Lake and Walker Area is the host to many exciting events that occur year-round. Every participant gets a prize, and cash awards are given to some lucky young anglers. The last weekend in February was the annual Eelpout Festival. More than 270 eelpout were caught throughout the two-day tournament held on Leech Lake. Further details will be officially announced in … Doubtful, but nothing’s impossible. Each year with more attendees, equals – more traffic, more trash and more safety concerns. Bass Pro Shops Offers Severance Packages to Employees at Cabela’s Headquarters in Sidney, Video: Dallas Mayor Asks NRA to Move Annual Convention Out of the City, UFC Fighter Valentina Shevchenko Poses in Photo Shoot for Sure Shots Magazine, Video: These Winter Olympic Skeleton Athletes Have Animals on Their Helmet for a Cool Reason, Video: The Crab Challenge is a Great Way to Lose Your Nipples, Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Wants to Work with Democrats on Gun Control, Video: Snowmobile with Full Gas Tank Doesn’t Mix Well with Fire. Every precaution is taken, and emergency staff is on-hand. BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Just days before the Bemidji City Council was slated to vote on formally opposing the International Eelpout Festival possible move to Lake Bemidji, organizers said Friday the event will stay on Leech Lake in Walker. A welcome respite to the mid-winter months with plenty of activities for avid ice fishers, families, and friends, Walker invites old and new visitors alike to its 39 th Annual International Eelpout Festival this weekend, Feb. 22–Feb. Opening Ceremonies started at 6 p.m. Thursday. Small villages with names like “Camp Y” are there yearly. Well, the attendees at the Polar Pout Plunge have an even harder decision if they want to keep up with the plungers that have gone in before them. Lena Clark's friends have headed to the festival for nearly 30 years. These programs highlighted the festival legend that kissing an eelpout brings good luck for the coming year. The party seen in the main camp during the 39th Annual International Eelpout Festival, at Leech Lake in Walker, Minnesota, February 23, 2018. Never been to it, but what I foresee happening is a large group shows up and has an unofficial Eelpout Festival/party on the ice. You cannot attend the Eelpout Festival without seeing an eelpout. Crowds that are more than 10 times the population of tiny Walker, Minn. (pop. With the temperature hovering in the teens, it’s a relatively balmy February morning for upstate Minnesota, and the 2018 International Eelpout Festival is gearing up for its second, and rowdiest… Here is a summary of the leaderboard. 04 . While Leech Lake is known for its fabulous walleye fishing, it is also known for its Eelpout. Registration at noon): Thanks to a chainsaw crew that cuts through 18” of ice to prepare a “soft landing," countless costumed revelers are cheered on by a massive crowd as they plunge into the frozen depths of Leech Lake. piles and piles of snow. Eelpout are fish that love deep, dark water, and are rarely seen in the summer months. WALKER, Minn. - The 39th Annual international Eelpout Festival is descending on Walker, Minnesota this weekend. What is an eelpout? The frigid water is hardly holding above freezing. All of the 2018 International Eelpout Festival Tournament Results can also be found on the Eelpout Festival website. The last weekend in February was the annual Eelpout Festival. Mar 8, 2018 Original: Oct 16, 2017. Mar 8, 2018 Original: Nov 6, 2017. In a state where it is common to embrace the quirky and find great fun in the most unlikely circumstances and weather conditions, this festival is pure Minnesota fun. When the light is on, visitors are welcome. Enter the ring and try riding the bull. The tongue-in-cheek festival was started in 1979 as a way to boost tourism. 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For tips on catching an eelpout, check out this article I wrote for OutdoorHub. The Eelpout Festival was almost held in Bemidji in 2018, but Beltrami County officials were concerned about the impacts of the festival on Lake Bemidji. That’s right, helicopter rides. Every year I see something new and impressive. “The City Council opposes the request to host the International Eelpout Festival in 2018 and opposes the effort to relocate the festival to the ice of Lake Bemidji.” But that tradition could be coming to an end, with the organizers considering a new location. The future of the festival, which attracts 12,000 ice fishermen and women to … How many people can say, “I rode a mechanical bull on the ice last weekend?”. Approximately 12,000 participants and visitors crowd into the small town of Walker for the fun every year. Lena Clark's friends have headed to the festival for nearly 30 years. . and remember to wear some funky headgear! Check out all of the events, rules, schedules and buy your buttons at www.eelpoutfestival.com. Throwback Thursday Must-See Video: Big Marlin . Published: 10:54 PM CST February 2, 2018 Updated: 11:00 AM CST February 4, 2018 WALKER, Minn. - The 39th Annual international Eelpout Festival is descending on Walker, Minnesota this weekend. They even have shot troughs made of ice. Title: EelPout_Map_2018 Created Date: 2/13/2018 … Hot tubs are also readily accessible and using them is encouraged. For the past 37 years, and for three days every February, crowds that are more than 10 times the population of tiny Walker, Minn. (pop. It’s a long fish with a single barbell on its chin and a dorsal fin that runs back to its tail. . In 2018, public television cooking show host Lidia Bastianich filmed a program segment at the festival, sharing the tip that eelpout, for all their ugliness, are tasty fish. Every year I see at least one picnic table behind an ATV, and at least three couches with skis being pulled behind old beater trucks or quads. Register any eelpout, and you’re name goes into a box and tons of prizes are given out near the end of the event with a random draw. I’ve been in or around Pout Fest for over half of my life, and I’ve seen some very cool and innovative “vehicles” or things pulled behind vehicles. And I almost forgot: If you attend the Festival, be prepared to kiss a pout! Mar 8, 2018 Original: Nov 6, 2017. 495 were here. No matter the location, the 2018 International Eelpout Festival will take place in February however the exact dates cannot be confirmed at this time. Eelpout, also called burbot, are equal parts fat and muscle, and look a lot like a spotted salamander that bred with an exotic eel. In 2018, public television cooking show host Lidia Bastianich filmed a program segment at the festival, sharing the tip that eelpout, for all their ugliness, are tasty fish. You haven’t seen an ice festival until you’ve seen in from the air. “The City Council opposes the request to host the International Eelpout Festival in 2018 and opposes the effort to relocate the festival to the ice of Lake Bemidji.” A lose lose situation for lots of parties involved. Over the years, attendance has multiplied substantially. While Lota lota is known locally as eelpout, eelpoutalso may refe… Ostensibly, the festival centers on an eelpout fishing contest, but attendees could sample eelpout nuggets, take a ride on a dog sled, try their hand at "eelpout rugby," or try to beat the heat in a jalapeno-eating contest. Helicopter Rides (Saturday Noon-5 p.m.) - Located by City Park. 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