2018 Zippel Bay Ice Out Pike Tournament

The Annual Zippel Bay Ice Out Pike Tournament will take place May 5-6. A little later start this year on account of all the ice we had this year.

Pike season on Lake of the Woods never ends because we are border water with Canada so our pike season goes all year long.  This gives anglers a fantastic opportunity in April and early May to take advantage of monster pike who are somewhere along in their spawning ritual.  And in Lake of the Woods, there are a lot of big pike!

Pike anglers pull nice pike out of Zippel Bay all spring.  Sometimes mother nature can throw some cold curve balls in the spring month but that’s what makes Zippel Bay so special.  Zippel Bay is quite secluded from the main lake, making it easier to hide from cold winds, and anglers will not require the larger boats like on the main lake.  The tournament still has spots available and all are welcome.

cayla 40 inch pike zipple bay

Some anglers have had success with dead bait on the bottom or just off of the bottom with a quick strike rig.  There will be others in the tournament who prefer trolling shallow diving crankbaits or casting spoons.  Whatever your flavor, the pike will be ready.

Zippel Bay Resort is typically filled up as far as the lodging goes, but there are many resorts available in the vicinity less than 10 miles away.  Click Here for a list of Lake of the Woods Resorts.

MN DNR info from a 2013 fisheries lake survey verifies the presence of a healthy trophy pike fishery.   Lake of the Woods is managed for a high-quality northern pike population, with a significant component of “trophy” northern pike over 40 inches long. To monitor the size structure of the northern pike population, it is sampled every 5 years using trap nets at known spawning sites. The northern pike population continues to be one of high quality, with 19% of the adult population at least 35 inches long, and 5% of the adults 40 inches long, or longer.

During the spawning season, pike head to shallow bays, ditches and streams to find the right conditions to lay and fertilize eggs.  There are many areas around the lake and on the Rainy River pike spawn, and one of them is Zippel Bay.

Zippel Bay Resort has an annual pike tournament the last weekend of April.  This year’s tournament will take place April 29th and April 30th.  The tourney is made up of two person teams and is a two day tournament based on weight.

Last years Zippel Bay Pike Tournament was again a success.

Most teams troll and cast crankbaits.  Others use dead bait under a bobber in 1 – 8 feet of water.  Last year 421 pike were weighed in and many more caught in the slot (30-40 inches) that were not weighed in but immediately released.

The northern pike regs on Lake of the Woods is as follows:

Lake Of The Woods and Rainy River to dam at international Falls
Northern Pike Continuous 3, all northern pike from 30-40″ must be immediatley released. Only 1 northern pike over 40″

Anglers are already getting their boats ready for this year’s tournament.  If you want to have a blast, check out the pike tournament at Zippel Bay Resort or just go fish pike on your own.  You truly have an opportunity to catch a pike of a lifetime.


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