2023 Open Water Angling Competitions
The open water season is now underway and for those anglers looking to participate in some competitive fishing, there are a number of tournaments on Mille Lacs Lake to choose from. The following open water tournaments are registered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as of this blog’s date of publication:
Saturday, May 20th & Sunday, May 21st – The Minnesota Tournament Trail (MTT) returns to Mille Lacs for the inaugural 2023 open water tournaments on the big pond and for the second MTT stop for the season. Saturday and Sunday are each run as individual one day tournaments, where teams of two pay a $220 entry fee and strive to “weigh in” up to 5 walleyes. For each team registered, it appears that ~85% of $180 from each registration is paid out in prize money. Assuming 100 entrants, the top 15 finishers take between $150 and $5,000 home and an additional $1,000 is awarded for the biggest fish. The MTT events are hosted at Nitti’s Hunter’s Point Resort, which is located at 5436 479th St, Isle, MN 56342 on the East side of the lake. Learn more about the Minnesota Tournament Trail (MTT) and register here.
Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 4th – MTT is back with two more back-to-back one day fishing tournaments. The cost, format, payouts and location all mirror those of MTT’s May tournaments (see details above).
Saturday, June 10th – Nitti’s Hunter’s Point Resort is hosting the Hunters Point Walleye Shootout. Fishing will be from 7am to 3pm on Saturday and will be followed by an awards ceremony. Registration and payment of the $250 tournament entry fee can be found here. A maximum of 100 boats can enter the competition and the tournament utilizes a catch, photo, release format. Nitti’s Hunter’s Point is located at 5436 479th St, Isle, MN 56342 on the East side of the Mille Lacs Lake.
Sunday, June 11th – Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM) is hosting the Warrior Boats Open Lake Mille Lacs tournament. The event is the 2nd of 5 scheduled Minnesota AIM tournaments. All 100 registration slots for this event are already taken, likely due to the high payouts. Registration is $350 per team and payouts range from $300 for 15th place to $9,000 for 1st. The Mille Lacs AIM event is hosted our of Mac’s Twin Bay, which is located at 43469 Vista Rd, Isle, MN 56342. More information about the Minnesota AIM series can be found here.
Friday, June 23rd and Saturday, June 24th – The Minnesota Tournament Trail (MTT) is back for the third and final time on Mille Lacs for the season. This time the event is a two day walleye tournament and to be eligible to participate a team must have entered into at lease one, one-day event. The entry fee is $260 per team. Learn more and register here.
Sunday, June 25th – Nitti’s Hunter’s Point Resort is hosting their 23rd Annual Hunters Point Couples Tournament. With a $250 registration fee, a male and female, an adult and child 16 or younger, or an adult and senior citizen over the age of 70 can compete to catch, photograph and release walleyes. The largest 5 fish count toward the total weight for the day. The tournament can accommodate up to 100 teams / boats. Registration and payment of the entry fee can be found here.
Saturday, July 22nd and Sunday, July 23rd – The Midwest Best Bass Tour will be on Mille Lacs Lake for the only currently scheduled July fishing tournament. The tour has a unique format where participants can only weigh-in one fish during each hour. Hourly weigh-ins are from between 8am and 9am, to between 2pm and 3pm. The top 10 anglers of each hour win money and a grand prize is set aside for the angler who catches the biggest bass throughout the entire tournament. The event is taking place at Eddy’s 41334 Shakopee Lake Rd, Onamia, MN 56359. To register and learn more please visit the Midwest Best Bass Tour’s website.
Sunday, August 6th – Student Angler Tournament Trail (SATT) is hosting the organization’s 5th and final bass tournament prior to SATT’s tournament of champions. The stakes could be high for these high school anglers compete. Registration for the event opens at 6pm on Thursday, June 22nd. Fishing on August 6th starts at 7am and ends at 2pm. The rules meeting on the 5th and the awards ceremony on Sunday will be held at Izaty’s (40005 85th Ave, Onamia, MN). The student anglers can launch anywhere on Mille Lacs. SATT is a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to increasing fishing opportunities and environmental awareness for students, youth and schools through competition, scholarships, education, and mentoring opportunities, creating an outdoor passion for life for the students and their families. More information on SATT can be found here.