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The Big Freeze Ice Fishing Derby


The Walleye Capital of the World is hosting one of the most exciting ice fishing derbies of the year. Cut a hole, wet your line and start reeling them in — the bigger the fish, the bigger the prizes! 

The Big Freeze Ice Fishing Derby Details

Here’s what you need to know about The Big Freeze Ice Fishing Derby before finding your lucky spot on the hard water. 

DATE: Feb. 20, 2022

TIMES: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET)

LOCATION: Gladstone Beach House

1224 Lake Shore Drive
Little Bay de Noc

, dinner and awards take place here.

QR code for The Big Freeze registration

REGISTRATION: FishDonkey app

Use the QR code, or go to and download the app from Google Play (Android phones) or the Apple Store (iPhones). Register your name and password, then click the Fish in a Tournament  button and choose The Big Freeze. You will use this app during the contest to upload your measured fish photos. The bigger the fish, the bigger your chance to win a whole mess of prizes.    

ENTRY FEE: $50 per person

Pay your fee on the FishDonkey app. When you check in on Feb. 20, you will get: 

       - Missing persons
       - Ice rescue
       - Swiftwater rescues
       - High-angle rope rescue
       - Wilderness medical evacuations
       - Assistance to EMS agencies
       - Assistance to marine patrol for marine emergencies

THE BIG FREEZE ICE FISHING DERBY RULESMan holding up his freshly caught walleye on the icy lake.

Please read the complete rules and regulations, and review the boundary map on the FishDonkey app BEFORE arriving for check-in. Here is a quick recap:

No Michigan Fishing License Required!

February 19 & 20 is a FREE fishing weekend throughout Michigan. The state will waive fishing license fees on both days for Michigan and non-Michigan residents! So, encourage your family and friends to join in The Big Freeze fun, too!

Qualifying Fish

Northern pike, walleye and yellow perch. All state fishing regulations will apply during the derby.

Northern Pike: Minimum Size - 24”; Possession Limit - 2
Walleye: Minimum Size - 15”; Possession Limit: 5
Yellow Perch: Minimum Size - No size limit; Possession Limit - 25

What to Bring to Check-In

How to qualify for and claim prizes

Jordan ice fishing


There are lots of ways to compete and lots of prizes to win! We hope to see you and your fish on the leaderboard! 

       - Wild Card Northern Pike PRIZE: White Camo Eagle Claw Heavy Duty Sled ($70 value)
       - Wild Card Walleye PRIZE: Beavers Lures Gift Basket ($100 value)
       - Wild Card Yellow Perch PRIZE: Bayshore Resort Bait & Tackle Gift Certificate ($25 value)

       - The Mantuary Gift Certificate ($25 value)
       - Bayshore Resort Bait & Tackle Gift Certificate ($25 value)
       - Bay View Bait & Tackle Gift Certificate ($30 value)


  • Practice the FishDonkey app ahead of time. Watch the one-minute tutorial “How to Enter a Fish” and the app video “How to Measure a Fish.” 
  • Test the app before going out on the Bay.
       - Open the app.
       - Join “Practice Entering a Fish.”
  • Covid-19 Pandemic Guidelines.
       - Stay home if you have Covid-19 symptoms or symptoms of the coronavirus variants. We will look forward to seeing you at the next The Big Freeze Ice Fishing Derby.
       - Wash your hands frequently.
       - Wear a mask. 
       - Social distance at least 6 feet from other contestants. As an ice fishing angler, you know that’s easy to do! 


Please email your questions about The Big Freeze to Tournament Director Morgan Eagloski, the event manager at the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau:


While you are in the Bays de Noc area, please support the following area businesses. 

Logos for the sponsors of The Big Freeze Ice Fishing Derby

See you at the The Big Freeze Ice Fishing Derby on Feb. 20! 

Let’s get your BIG fish on the leaderboard!

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