"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.

*NMMI Members-Only*

*Logo Created by Ted Mitshulis

December 9, 2022 – February 26, 2023


Welcome to the 2022 Third 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 to emphasize the importance of fisheries conservation. Let’s go!


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 a members-only tournament and is 100% FREE to all NMMI members, including youth participants. You’ve got nothing to lose and every reason to join in the fun!



This contest will run from December 9, 2022 – February 26, 2023. All fish must be reported by 11:59 PM on February 26, 2023. You can fish in any lake, river, pond, stream, or ditch in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. 



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 ice clean-up and submit photos. No points will be awarded without photo evidence.



Northern Pike

Less than 22”

1 Point

22” – 26”

2 Points

27” – 39”

3 Points


5 Points

Ice Clean-Up Conservation

*Tournament Director has the discretion to issue more entries based on volume of trash collected.

1 Entry into the Raffle Drawing for the Conservation Raffle Prize


Ice Clean-Up Conservation Category

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 waters, you will be awarded entries into the Ice Clean-Up Conservation Bonus Raffle. Only one entry per trash haul for the raffle, but the Tournament Director does have the discretion to issue more entries based on the volume of trash collected. Please make sure to take pictures of your haul to earn entries!


Hammer-Handle Harvest Encouraged!

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]



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 NMMI Facebook pagePhotos are required as you simply can’t say, “I caught a pike and picked up some trash.”

  • Facebook Messenger to Nikki Bentley
  • Text: 701-261-2894
  • Email: thenikkibentley@gmail.com


Results will be continuously tabulated and shared periodically via social media and our NMMI membership newsletters.



While fishing and protecting our fisheries may be in your DNA, we are also offering some external motivation and competition to the members who fish hard and are trash-picking machines: 

  • Northern Pike Champion - Thorne Bros. Gift Card
  • Ice Clean-Up Conservation Champion - Thorne Bros. Gift Card
2023 NMMI Third Annual "Catch the Cousin" Conservation Contest Rules
2023 Catch the Cousin Virtual Ice Fishin[...]
Microsoft Word document [2.2 MB]


All are welcome!

NMMI meetings are free and open to the everyone! Please join us and learn more about our chapter and membership benefits.

Please join us at our general meetings the 3rd Tuesday of each month (October through May). We provide guest speakers at every meeting to speak on various topics, from local metro area tactics to the basics of reel cleaning to updates from the MN DNR. You DO NOT need to be a member to attend our general meetings as we welcome everyone to attend.


3rd Tuesday of the month 7pm – 9pm


Coon Rapids VFW - 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd NW

Print | Sitemap
© North Metro Chapter of Muskies, Inc.