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Looking for stocking stuffer? Fishing derby tickets are available

"I think I'll throw him back to grow," said Kathy Maki of Bemidji after catching her first fish of the day at the 2017 Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Derby. Tickets for the 2018 event are available. (Enterprise file photo)

Tickets are on sale for the 20th annual Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Contest.

The event will be held Saturday, Feb. 3 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Fish Hook Lake.

The ice fishing derby attracts hundreds of anglers and offers over $150,000 in prizes.

A $40 ticket grants access to the derby contest, plus a chance to win raffle prizes.

"For one ticket, you get two chances to win," said event organizer Jerry Benham. "Tickets are out there, so the ice and Christmas is coming. Derby tickets are a great stocking stuffer."

For a second year in a row, a limited number of $10 tickets for an extra hole and the raffle drawing will be sold.

"It went over great last year," Benham said.

Grand prize for the 20th largest fish is an Ice Castle RV fish house from Smokey Hills Outdoor Store.

Cash prizes can be won in five divisions: bluegill, sunfish and crappie; northern, walleye and largemouth bass; perch; rock bass and white fish. Winnings range from $100 to $500, plus four division winners earn a Polaris ATV.

This year's raffle grand prize is a 2017 Ford truck from Park Rapids Ford. More than 70 other raffle prizes will be awarded, such as $1,000 in cash, fishing gear, gift certificates, game cameras and more. The top raffle prize seller wins $2,000. Raffle prizes will be announced at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 3 on the ice.

Ticket sales will be limited to 4,500 this year. If any tickets remain, they will be available on the ice on the day of the event until 1:30 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the Park Rapids American Legion and at participating locations throughout the area. A list of ticket vendors can be found at For information, call 732-3360.

The festivities begin Friday, Feb. 32 with an "Welcome Dance," live music provided by "Billy D & The Crystals" at the legion from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Sons of the American Legion host a breakfast Saturday, Feb. 3 from 7 to 11 a.m.

A Legion Post 212 fundraiser lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Park Rapids Legion.

Awards will be presented at 5 p.m. Saturday, followed by the Fisherman's Ball at 8 p.m.