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Get ready to hit the ice for Hooked on Itasca fishing tournament

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ITASCA COUNTY — United Way of 1000 Lakes announces the return of Hooked on Itasca, the organization’s annual virtual ice fishing tournament. The catch/photo tournament takes place on Itasca County lakes. Running January 28 through February 6, entries are measured, photographed, and submitted using an app called FishDonkey.

The contest is open to anglers of all ages and abilities, with Adult (17 and up) and Kids (16 and under) divisions. To learn more and register, visit www.uwlakes.org/hookedon itasca or download the FishDonkey app and select 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 the largest walleye (measured by length) in each division. More than $1,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded based on length as determined through the mobile app and verified by tournament judges.

The virtual format has some unique benefits to anglers: tournament participants can fish on any lake of their choice as long as it is located within the boundaries of Itasca County, and they can spend as much time on the ice as they want during the tournament’s 10-day duration. Photographs of catches are saved in a “digital livewell,” enabling competitors to save tournament entries caught on remote bodies of water where the internet may not be accessible.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit United Way’s Helping Here campaign, supporting the education, health, financial stability, and basic needs of children and adults throughout the Itasca area.

For more information, contact United Way at 218-999-7570 or email kimberly@uwlakes.org. Visit www.uwlakes.org/ hooked-on-itasca for tournament rules, registration, and FishDonkey app instructions.

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