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2.99-pound Northern wins Poles ‘N Holes

Louie Roggenkamp of Detroit Lakes proudly holds up a 2.99-pound northern he caught with about 20 minutes left in the fishing derby. He won the top prize of $10,000. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham1 / 3
Spectators watch the released fish, including a hefty northern during the tournament. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham2 / 3
John Larson of Fargo jigs his fishing pole during the 2014 Poles N Holes Ice Fishing Derby in Detroit Lakes. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham3 / 3

With more than 800 people competing and no unusually hazardous winter weather conditions to contend with, this Saturday’s Poles ’N Holes Fishing Derby on Little Detroit Lake was a resounding success.

“We had a great derby!” exclaimed event organizer Brent Gerber, of the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary Club. “Over 100 fish were caught, though the fish that were caught were a bit smaller than last year.”

The fourth annual event saw 30 different prizes being awarded to those catching the biggest fish of the day, with Louie Roggenkamp taking the $10,000 grand prize for his 2.99-pound Northern.

In addition, a raffle was held where Larry Sorenson won the grand prize, a 2014 Polaris Sportsman ATV.  In all, over $35,000 in prizes were awarded.

Proceeds from the event help to fund the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary Club and their support of youth and community projects in the Detroit Lakes Area and beyond.

“We are very pleased with the results of this year’s derby,” said Andy Van Dam, one of the committee chairs for the event. “Each year, this derby grows and we constantly hear comments about how well-run this event is. That’s a tribute to our hard-working club members, loyal and courteous participants, and tremendous support from our sponsors.”

The derby helped kick off this year’s Polar Fest celebration, which continues through this Sunday, Feb. 16 in Detroit Lakes.

  • Friday, Feb. 14: The annual Ice Tee Golf Tournament gets underway at 1 p.m. on the ice of Little Detroit Lake across from Zorbaz, which will host a pre-tournament lunch for the participants at noon. That evening, the Historic Holmes Theatre will host a special “He Said, She Said” Valentine’s Day comedy special, starting at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 15: Polar Fest’s biggest day will feature a wide variety of events, from the Knights of Columbus breakfast at the Pavilion starting at 7 a.m., to the Polaritaville Dance at Zorbaz starting at 9 p.m.

About halfway in between the two will be the celebration’s signature event, the 18th annual Polar Fest Plunge, starting at 1 p.m.

There will also be a vintage snowmobile rally and swap meet on the city beach, hosted by the ULTRA Snowmobile Club, starting at 8 a.m.; the Freeze Your Buns 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m.; a youth fishing derby hosted by the Minnesota Darkhouse Association at 11 a.m.; and the Plunge Party at the Pavilion, also starting at 11 a.m.

New this year will be a series of “snow games” on the ice, hosted by the Detroit Mountain Recreation Area; DMRA President Jeff Staley said that the festivities would include a three-legged snowshoe race, tube luging, and snowball catapulting.

The Plunge Party, hosted by the Boys & Girls Club, will include a lunch featuring chili, brats, hot dogs and beverages, as well as a live feed of the Polar Plunge inside the Pavilion, and a bean bag tournament following the Plunge at 2:30 p.m.

That evening’s “closing ceremonies” will include a tailgate party on the lake in front of Zorbaz at 6 p.m., followed by a Frozen Fireworks Display on the city beach, starting at 7 p.m.

  • Sunday, Feb. 16: The final day of Polar Fest will feature “Skating with Polar Pete” at the People’s Park outdoor rink, starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Holy Rosary Church will host a Concordia College Choir Concert at 3 p.m., to be followed by a romantic “That’s Amore” Italian wine dinner event at the Lodge on Lake Detroit, starting at 5:30 p.m. The dinner will be followed by a free music concert in the Lodge’s lounge at 7 p.m., featuring music by the David Ferreira Trio.

A complete schedule of Polar Fest events is available at the website,

Next year’s Poles ’N Holes Fishing Derby is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 7, 2015.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454