10 ice fishing tournaments and events happening in Utah this winter
Salt Lake City — If you want to add an extra challenge to your ice fishing this winter, a tournament may be just the thing. Plus, you can help many of Utah's fisheries and often win prizes! There are also a handful of ice fishing seminars you can attend if you want to get started in the sport.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks will be sponsoring or hosting several ice fishing tournaments from January to March around the state. A valid Utah fishing license is required for anyone over 12 years old to fish in any of the events. The entrance fee will apply for any tournaments or events held within a state park. Anyone participating should be familiar with the ice safety recommendations on the Utah State Parks website and should take all the necessary safety precautions.
Here are a few tournaments and fishing seminars to check out across the state:
Hosted by the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the DWR, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Forest Service, the Burbot Bash will be held Jan. 27–29, 2023 at Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This annual ice fishing tournament helps to control the reservoir's population of burbot, a cod-like fish that rapidly reproduces and preys on other sportfish species in the reservoir. Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded to anglers who catch the most burbot, the largest and smallest burbot, and tagged burbot.
Registration opens Jan. 1. For more contest details or to register, visit the Burbot Bash website.
Disabled Outdoorsmen Utah Ice Fishing event
Hosted by Disabled Outdoorsmen Utah and partnering with the DWR and Steinaker State Park, this fourth annual ice fishing event will be held at Steinaker Reservoir on Jan. 14, 2023 from 8 a.m. to noon. This event is designed to allow any participant with or without disabilities the opportunity to try ice fishing for the first time, as well as the opportunity to learn from fishing experts. Some fishing equipment will be available for use throughout the event. While the event is free, the state park entrance fee will still be in effect. Reserve your spot on the Disabled Outdoorsmen Utah website.
DWR Ice Fishing Basics seminar
Have you wanted to learn how to ice fish but didn't know where to start? The DWR and Sportsman's Warehouse are co-hosting a beginner ice fishing seminar that will provide some of the basic tips and information you need. The event will be held on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023 from 6–7 p.m. at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Vernal (located at 2015 U.S. 40). The seminar will also include some specific information for ice fishing at waterbodies in northeastern Utah. While the event is free, reserve your spot on Eventbrite in advance.
East Canyon Ice Fishing Derby with Fins & Fur
Fins & Fur Guide Service is partnering with East Canyon State Park to host this ice fishing contest on Jan. 14, 2023. Cash prizes will be paid out to those who catch the top four fish, with additional hourly prizes awarded for the biggest fish caught that hour. Registration is $50 per participant. You can find information about registration and prizes on the Fins & Fur website.
Ice Addiction Tournament at Steinaker and Echo state parks
Hosted by Tightline Outdoors and Utah State Parks, this ice fishing tournament will take place at Echo State Park on Jan. 21, 2023 at 8 a.m. and at Steinaker Reservoir on Feb. 4, 2023 at 8 a.m. Registration opened Nov. 15, and all participants must register online by Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. Details about the tournament rules and registration are available at the Tightline Outdoors website.
Mac Attack Fishing Derby
Hosted by Buckboard Marina at Flaming Gorge and sponsored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, this third annual fishing contest is geared toward helping control the population of small lake trout — under 25 inches — at Flaming Gorge. This contest will be held on Jan. 14, 2023, and registration is $50. Anglers who catch a tagged lake trout and turn in the tag automatically win a cash prize. Other drawings for prizes are also available for registered participants, including the heaviest team weight for lake trout under 25 inches, the heaviest weight for an individual lake trout under 19 inches and for catching the biggest burbot.
Learn the rules of the contest and register online at the Buckboard Marina website.
Millsite On Ice Fishing Tournament
The seventh annual Millsite on Ice Fishing Tournament will be hosted Jan. 13–14, 2023 at Millsite State Park. This event is sponsored by Emery County. The first day of the tournament (Jan. 13) will be a two-person team tournament. The second day (Jan. 14) will be a single-person event. The registration fee is $50 for one day or $85 for both days. Up to $2,000 in cash as well as other prizes will be available for winners. Learn more and register on the Millsite on Ice website.
Monster Cisco Disco & Tournament
While this is not technically "ice fishing" because Bear Lake doesn't typically freeze over, this annual winter fishing event is worth attending. The Monster Cisco Disco tournament is part of the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest and will be hosted Jan. 28, 2023 from 6 a.m. to noon at Bear Lake State Park. Participants will have the chance to dip net for Bonneville cisco, a fish species only found at Bear Lake. Prizes for the biggest cisco will be awarded. While the event is free, the state parks entrance fee will still be in effect. For more details and tournament rules, visit the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest website.
Utah State Parks is holding an ice fishing tournament that spans four different state parks: Echo, Lost Creek, Rockport and East Canyon. You can enter one tournament or all four tournaments. The registration fee is $50 per tournament or $150 for all four tournaments. The tournaments will happen on the following days:
- Jan. 14: Echo State Park
- Jan. 28: Lost Creek State Park
- Feb. 4: Rockport State Park
- Feb. 11: East Canyon State Park
Learn more and register on the Parks Pass Utah website.
Youth Ice Fishing Bowl
Steinaker State Park and the DWR are partnering to host an ice fishing tournament specifically for youth. The event will be held Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Steinaker State Park. Prizes will be awarded for the heaviest fish overall, the heaviest fish for each age bracket, the smallest fish for each age bracket and the first fish turned in. The event is free and Uintah County Tourism will be paying the state parks entrance fee for one vehicle per participant. All participants must register on Eventbrite by Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 11:59 p.m.
Most fishing tournaments require organizers to obtain a Certificate of Registration from the DWR. Find more information about how to apply and what is required on the DWR website.