For 12-year-old Brody Bowers of Detroit Lakes, catching the winning fish in the Poles ‘N Holes Fishing Derby was the easy part. The contest started at noon on Saturday, and he caught the winning fish in the first five minutes of the derby, using a sucker minnow.

The hard part was the long wait until the derby ended at 3 p.m. and he finally knew the 4.66 pound northern he caught was the winning fish.

“He was a pretty nervous kid for almost three hours,” said his dad, Nick Bowers, who fished in the derby with Brody. Also at the derby with Brody was Nick’s dad and Brody’s grandfather, Terry Bowers.

It was a nice day for ice fishing, not much wind, and it was fun to be out there, Bowers said. It was a crowded derby on Little Detroit Lake, and the Bowers weren’t too thrilled with the position of their fishing holes -- right in the middle of everything.

But it turns out Brody’s fishing hole wasn’t in such a bad place after all. He took first place for the heaviest fish, and won a brand new Pro Series III Ice Castle fish house. It retails for $15,900, Bowers said.

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The family hasn’t decided whether to keep the big fish house or sell it, but that kind of money could go a long way towards a healthy college fund for Brody, “just for catching a northern,” his father said.

Nick and Brody Bowers at home in Detroit Lakes. (Nathan Bowe / Tribune)
Nick and Brody Bowers at home in Detroit Lakes. (Nathan Bowe / Tribune)

If they do decide to sell it, Brody will still get a new set of golf clubs out of the deal, his dad said. The boy likes to golf as well as fish and snowmobile, he said.

Brody does a lot of his ice fishing with his grandfather who lives in the Lake Park area. And Grandpa “was probably more proud than anybody,” Bowers said.

Brody lives in Detroit Lakes with his dad, Nick, his mom, Alicia, and sisters Maddy, 17, and Ella, 15.

With more than $35,000 in total prizes given out this year, the annual Polar Fest Poles ‘N Holes Fishing Derby is sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary Club.

Poles 'N Holes 2020 winners

  1. Brody Bowers, Detroit Lakes, 4.66 lbs., Northern

  2. Robin Albright, Lake Park, 1.84 lbs., Northern

  3. Ron Crawford, Detroit Lakes, 1.8 lbs., Northern

  4. Todd Jenson, Fargo, 1.65 lbs., Northern

  5. Dustin Ohm, Blufton, 1.58 lbs., Northern

  6. Lynn Lanoue, Barnesville, 1.57 lbs., Northern

  7. Tyler Kramer, Fargo, 1.48 lbs., Northern

  8. Terry Feldt, Vergas, 1.43 lbs., Northern

  9. Kelly Hinrichs, Elk River, 1.41 lbs., Northern

  10. Justin Schramm, Moorhead, 1.41 lbs., Northern

  11. Jeff Rusness, Detroit Lakes, 1.4 lbs., Northern

  12. Greg Geerdes, Frazee, 1.36 lbs., Northern

  13. Doug Piekarski, Frazee, 1.31 lbs., Northern

  14. Christina Nelson, Frazee, 1.29 lbs., Bass

  15. Jeff Gerdes, Audubon, 1.29 lbs., Northern

  16. Jared Paur, Walker, 1.28 lbs., Northern

  17. Mike Gunderson, Detroit Lakes, 1.24 lbs., Bass

  18. David Kamrowski, Fargo, 1.21 lbs., Northern

  19. Jaciinta Garza, Moorhead, 1.17 lbs., Northern

  20. Mike Dretsch, Frazee, 1.1 lbs., Northern

  21. Alyson Jenson, Detroit Lakes, 1.03 lbs., Crappie

  22. Josh Carlson, Ulen, 1.01 lbs., Northern

  23. Darrell Olds, Detroit Lakes, 0.97 lbs., Northern

  24. Marcus Jasken, Detroit Lakes, 0.93 lbs., Bass

  25. Troy Sperry, Detroit Lakes, 0.93 lbs., Bass

  26. Shaun McPherson, Hawley, 0.93 lbs., Northern

  27. Jim Launinger, Detroit Lakes, 0.92 lbs., Northern

  28. Chad Launinger, Detroit Lakes, 0.91 lbs., Bass

  29. Tiffani Aune, Frazee, 0.9 lbs., Bullhead

  30. Robert McDonald, Detroit Lakes, 0.85 lbs., Crappie