Hooked on Itasca Virtual Ice Fishing Tournament: January 29 – February 7

Photo by Jack Muhar.

United Way of 1000 Lakes’ inaugural ice fishing tournament, Hooked on Itasca, will be taking place from January 29th through February 7th, 2021. Anglers can fish on any lake in Itasca County for the chance to win prizes, with more than $2,000 in cash and other prizes being awarded to top finishers.

The tournament will be hosted on the FishDonkey app, where competitors will photograph and submit their catches.“The virtual format allows for safe physical distancing, as well as greater flexibility,” says United Way Executive Director Kimberly Brink Smith. “Participants can fish on their own time, on lakes of their choice – and can continue submitting entries throughout the length of the tournament to advance on the leaderboard.” Catches can be saved on the app without Internet access, allowing for usage on remote bodies of water.

The contest is open to anglers of all ages and abilities, with Adult (17+) and Kids (16 and under) divisions. Participants can learn more and register at uwlakes.org/hooked-on-itasca, or by downloading the FishDonkey app and selecting the “Hooked on Itasca” tournament. Entrance fees are $25 for adults and $15 for kids.

Categories include a “Grand Slam” (the total length of three different species of fish – one walleye, one northern pike, and one crappie) as well as Largest Walleye (measured by length) in each division. Awards are presented on the basis of length as determined through the mobile app and verified by tournament judges.

Proceeds will benefit United Way’s Stronger United campaign, through which the organization supports local nonprofits working to meet the education, health, financial, and basic needs of people across the greater Itasca area. 

Hooked on Itasca is generously supported by sponsors including L&M Fleet Supply (Platinum), Essentia Health (Platinum), and Woodland Bank (Gold).

For more information, contact United Way at 218-999-7570 or email info@uwlakes.org. Tournament rules, registration, and instructions for using the FishDonkey app can be found at uwlakes.org/hooked-on-itasca.

Hooked on Itasca: January 29th – February 7th

Virtual Ice Fishing Tournament

Benefiting United Way of 1000 Lakes


**Grand Slam

Largest Walleye

ADULT (17+): $25 

**AWARDS: First-$1,000, Second-$500, Third-$250

KIDS (16 AND UNDER): $15

**AWARDS: First-$300, Second-$150, Third-$75 

*Entries subject to FishDonkey service fee


All fish entered in the tournament will be photographed, measured, recorded with the FishDonkey app. To join: 

  1. Download the FishDonkey app through the App Store on your mobile phone or device.
  2. Search “Hooked on Itasca”
  3. Join the Tournament and begin submitting entries starting January 29th. Final entries must be submitted by 3 PM on February 7th.

About United Way of 1000 Lakes

United Way of 1000 Lakes is a leader in mobilizing the resources of individuals, companies, and government and local organizations to ignite community collaboration in support of the building blocks for a good quality of life: success in school; financial stability; access to care; and healthy lifestyle choices. United Way invites everyone to join the movement. Learn more at uwlakes.org.