"Catch the Cousin" Virtual Ice Fishing Contest & Ice Clean-Up: A Conservation Project

                 Ice Clean-Up Photos



“Catch the Cousin” VIRTUAL Northern Pike

Ice Fishing Contest & Ice Clean-Up

A Conservation Project hosted by the North Metro Chapter of Muskie’s Inc.

*Logo Created by Ted Mitshulis

January 9 – February 28, 2021

(Every Saturday & Sunday ONLY)


Welcome to the 2021 First Annual “Catch the Cousin” conservation contest, brought to you by the North Metro Chapter of Muskie’s Inc. (Chapter 21)! To keep the party going all year long, we are hosting this contest to highlight a muskie relative – the Northern Pike – and also to emphasize the importance of fisheries conservation. Let’s get it on!



Even though these relatives look similar and are of the toothy Esox variety, catching Minnesota’s Northern Pikes during the ice fishing season is a whole new ball game. In addition, it is just as important to help preserve and protect our fisheries in the winter as it is during open water season. This is an “on your honor” tournament, so please report your fishing results accurately. We encourage all participants to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols, but we hope you can make this a family affair! Bring your kids, dogs, and grills and enjoy some fresh air out on the ice.



This virtual tournament is 100% FREE to all NMMI members, including youth participants. You’ve got nothing to lose and every reason to join!



This contest will be a weekend-only tournament (Saturdays and Sundays ONLY) from January 9 – February 28, 2021. All fish must be reported by 11:59 PM on February 28, 2021. You can fish in any lake, river, pond, or stream in Minnesota or Wisconsin. However, if you plan to harvest fish for the Hammer Handle Harvest Bonus (see below), we hope that you’ll choose a Minnesota muskie lake.



While this contest is all about finding ways to catch Northern Pike, there is also an equal emphasis on finding ways to preserve and protect our beautiful Minnesota fisheries. If you are spearing, we highly encourage you NOT to spear any trophy pike. Please take a photo of your fish and/or harvest and/or ice clean-up and submit photos.




Northern Pike

25” – 29”

3 Points

30” – 34”

5 Points

35” – 39”

10 Points


15 Points

Hammer-Handle Harvest Bonus

*ONLY North-Central Pike Zone

2 Points per fish

Ice Clean-Up Conservation Bonus

1 Point


Hammer-Handle Limit Harvest Bonus

The Minnesota DNR recently rolled out the state’s Northern Pike Zones, and the largest North Central Zone is plagued with too many small pike. This overabundance of small pike is problematic, so we are giving bonus points to anyone who catches and harvests hammer-handle pike in this zone (fish eligible for harvest bonus must be under 22”). Please make sure to take pictures of your harvest to get the points! In addition, please feel free to share how you like to cook and eat your delicious little hammer-handles. [How to Fillet Northern Pike]


Ice Clean-Up Conservation Bonus

We all know that there are irresponsible anglers who leave plenty of trash behind on the ice. However, if you stop to grab some of this trash and do your part to conserve our beautiful lakes, you will be awarded bonus points. Please make sure to take pictures of your haul to get the points!

  • *Extra Credit: If you want to get really creative with your conservation efforts, consider magnet fishing and see what you can pull up.



To record your points and get on the board, please report your photos and measurements to NMMI Board Member Nikki Bentley and feel free to share your photos on the Facebook NMMI League Night page. [Text: 701-261-2894/ Email: thenikkibentley@gmail.com] Please report all points from each weekend by the following Thursday. Weekly results will be tabulated and shared via social media and our NMMI membership newsletters.



Prize packages will be awarded for the following categories and include such items as iFishPros, lures, tackle, NMMI merchandise, and much more!

  • First Place
  • Second Place
  • Third Place
  • Hammer-Handle Champ
  • Ice Clean-Up Champ


Contact Us Today!

North Metro Chapter of Muskies, Inc.


Please click HERE to learn more about out Annual Banquet and to purchase tickets!


Please note that the Tuesday's 7 pm Dec 21st Members Meeting will feature 2022 Officer Election Results, Our Holiday Lure Exchange, League Nights Award & Prize Drawing, Announcement of the MOC Contest Winners and a Speaker TBD. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

CONGRATS! Charlie Weiss & Erik Panyan Team for defending their 2020 State Title by repeating as 2021 Champions of the Minnesota State High School Tournament.  


Our meetings are open to the general public and there is no cost to attend. We encourage anyone interested to attend.

Please join us at our general meetings the 3rd Tuesday of each month, Oct. through May. Each month we have a speaker come in and the topics vary from local metro area tactics to the basics of reel cleaning. We also have a rod and reel raffle and lure raffle. You DO NOT need to be a member to attend our general meetings.


3rd Tuesday of the month 7pm – 9pm


Coon Rapids VFW - 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd NW


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