Weather Forecast


Fishing derby raffle tickets on sale

Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Contest organizers are hoping for colder weather to form a good layer of ice by February. Last year's contest was a bit slushy. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)1 / 2
The annual medallion treasure hunt will begin Jan. 4 with a treasure chest of prizes worth more than $1,000. The medallion, at left, will be hidden in Park Rapids.2 / 2

Looking for a last minute stocking stuffer? Tickets are available for the 14th annual Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Contest.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4 on Fish Hook Lake. More than $110,000 in prizes will be given away.

"A good layer of ice has already formed and it's continuing to grow," said fishing derby event organizer Bob Safratowich.

Safratowich said in order to get a good layer of ice it needs to be colder without a lot of snow.

It's hard to tell what the ice conditions will be this early, Safratowich said.

The fishing derby is always the first Saturday in February and brings tons of people to the area. Typically, there are between 3,000 and 4,000 people on the ice that day, he said. The economy has affected the derby some in the past few years but it is still a big draw for the area each February.

Tickets are $40 each. Besides the opportunity to fish is the chance of winning a raffle prize. The grand prize this year is a 2012 Ford XLT truck from Park Rapids Ford. The vehicle is parked at the American Legion.

The 10th largest fish caught in any category will win an Ice Castle fish house, with $2,000 awarded to the seller of the winning fish house ticket and $2,000 awarded to the seller of the winning truck ticket. The fish house is also parked in front of the American Legion.

Also, $2,000 is awarded to the seller of the most tickets.

Tickets are available at businesses throughout the Park Rapids area and at the American Legion.

Sixty raffle prizes are available. Additional prizes could be won in four fishing categories: Division I: bluegill and crappie; division II: northern, walleye and largemouth bass; perch division; and rock bass division.

Prizes range from cash to a microwave to an ice auger, with many gift certificates.

The annual medallion treasure hunt commences Jan. 4, with a treasure chest of prizes worth more than $1,000. Clues will be posted at the American Legion and also appear in the Enterprise.

The fishing derby weekend kicks off with a Post 212 dinner from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, followed by a welcome dance from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. with entertainment by "Billy D and the Crystals."

Breakfast will be served from 7-10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Legion and a fundraiser lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Legion.

The fishing contest is from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Fish Hook Lake that afternoon with an awards presentation at 5 p.m. at the American Legion. That evening is the fisherman's ball from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Legion. The entertainment will be "Billy D and the Crystals."

A Boy Scouts breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5 to wrap up the weekend.

Tickets are available at the American Legion or by calling 732-3360. For more information, contact the Legion at 732-9657 or Safratowich at 732-9014. Information can also be found at

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561