Zippel Bay Pike Tournament… Results
It was a great weekend for the 20th annual Zippel Bay Pike Tournament this past Saturday and Sunday at Zippel Bay Resort. 69 teams took to the cold waters of Zippel Bay to test their luck. And luck they did have with 421 pike weighed in and many more caught in the slot (30-40 inches) that were not weighed in but immediately released. The pike were spawned out so the pike were a bit skinnier than you will see them throughout the year but in most cases were still nice sized.
Garret Bitzer and Brennan Olson of Bagley, MN took this year’s honors by bringing limits of nice pike each day of the two day tournament. For their efforts, they received $1,725 plus a weekend in one of Zippel Bay’s famous Log Cabins next year. Second place was Chris Pieper of Baudette and Greg Berg of Brainerd for a respectable $1,035. Third place went to Luke and Nick Hemmesh of Richmond, MN. For their efforts, they earned $690.
Most fish and many of the larger fish were caught with dead bait on the bottom or just off of the bottom. Some anglers did have success casting lures to the weed edges or even trolling the shallows of Zippel Bay.
Lake of the Woods is known as a world class pike fishery. Each year, pike take part in their annual spawning activities and Zippel Bay as well as other bays and backwater areas around the lake and Rainy River are loaded with big pike.
The pike season on Lake of the Woods never closes. The limit of pike is 3 fish per day with a protected slot limit of 30 – 40 inches. Anglers are allowed to keep only one pike per day over 40 inches.
There is still some great pike fishing available and in many cases the fish will actually become more active. There are a lot of options to target pike. Bring your own boat, hire a guide or rent a resort boat. For information on resorts, guides and boat rentals, check out the Lake of the Woods Tourism website.