Walleye Weekend

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Mark your calendars for Walleye Weekend 2021!


Save the date for the 39th Annual

Iowa Great Lakes Walleye Weekend

May 1-2, 2021!

Each year the Iowa Great Lakes Area kicks off walleye season with the Iowa Great Lakes Area Walleye Weekend tournament. Ten walleye are tagged and released in to the chain of Iowa Great Lakes. Starting at midnight on Saturday, May 1st you can cast your chance at catching one of these 10 tagged walleye worth $39,000! There are many other chances to win prizes all weekend long - from the largest fish categories to the raffle prizes at the awards luncheon.
The weekend's tournament ends at 11:59am on Sunday, May 2nd. Make sure to sign up for the extended contest giving you a chance to catch one of the remaining tagged walleye from 12:00pm Sunday, May 2nd to 11:59pm on Tuesday, August 31st. The first 3 tagged walleye caught during the extended contest are paid out a percentage of the registration fees all summer long! 

Walleye Weekend Apparel

Now Available for Pre-Order!

Walleye Weekend Apparel

Walleye Weekend apparel is now available for pre-order! Orders can be picked up at the IGLA Chamber Office in Arnolds Park.

T-shirts will soon be available at the following locations: Stan's Bait Shop, Kabele's Trading Post, Fisherman's Factory Outlet, The Hook Up/Oak Hill Outdoor, and the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

This year's apparel is printed on a Military Green cotton fabric and range in sizes from S-3XL.

Book Your Stay! Special Room Rate Now Available!

Okoboji Inn & Suites

Okoboji Inn & Suites has a special room rate for Walleye Weekend! Mention Walleye Weekend during your reservation for a $79 per night room rental rate!

2021 Iowa Great Lakes Walleye Weekend Sponsors 

Want to get involved?

Sponsorship Opportunities are now available!


Tagged Walleye Caught!

The Prize Remains

May 20, 2020


The first tagged walleye was caught! Tim from Sioux City turned in the walleye at Stan's Bait & Tackle this morning and the tag was confirmed. Unfortunately he wasn't registered for the Extended Contest, so the $2,200 prize for the first tagged walleye is still available!

And then there were 8

June 1, 2020


Gene Weitsma, who lives on Big Spirit Lake, caught a tagged walleye at 9:30pm on Sunday night. Gene caught the walleye on Big Spirit Lake, cleaned it in the dark and brought the tag to Kabele's Trading Post this morning. He was not entered in the extended contest, which means the prize money is still up for grabs!

Another One!

June 27, 2020

AND ANOTHER ONE! Scott Kuhnert from Brandon, South Dakota caught a tagged walleye on the north end of Big Spirit Lake today and reported the catch to Kabele's Trading Post & Lodge! The walleye was caught using a slow death hook and crawlers.

Scott and his family have a cabin on Big Spirit and this is the first year in 15 YEARS that Scott did not register for Walleye Weekend (due to it being canceled). Scott was also not registered for the Extended Contest, and because he's such a nice guy, he released the walleye back into the lake so a registered angler can still have the opportunity.

So, that means there are STILL 8 tagged walleye out there folks along with the prize money! Go get 'em!


Walleye Weekend 2019 - That's a Wrap!

From the fantastic weather to the turnout of over 2,100 anglers, the 37th Annual Walleye Weekend was an awesome kick-off to Walleye Season in the Iowa Great Lakes Area. Individuals of varying ages and 17 different states got to experience the beautiful Lakes area. This year we had anglers from Delaware to Florida and even California participating in the annual fishing tournament. We would like to congratulate and thank everyone who was involved in the efforts that went into the weekend.

Thank you to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Dickinson County Cattlemen, Fareway, Hy-Vee, Great Lakes Marine, CC Screen Printing, John Grosvenor, and the Dickinson County Fairgrounds for contributing to another successful year as well as KUOO, KICD, MC22, Dickinson County News, Lakes News Shopper, and Okoboji Tourism for their promotions of the event.

Thank you to all registration points, bait shops and weigh-in stations that we are fortunate enough to work with including Fisherman’s Factory Outlet, Great Lakes Marine, Kabele’s Trading Post, Oh Shuck’s Bait and Tackle, and Stan’s Bait and Tackle.

Thank you to the Chamber members who sponsored this year’s t-shirts and posters. These businesses include: Barefoot Bar, Fisherman’s Factory Outlet, Great Lakes Marine, GrapeTree Medical Staffing, Kuhlman Lake Service & Welding, Mediacom, Northwest Bank, Okoboji Motorsports, Pure Fishing, Stan’s Bait Shop, Stauss Realty, Tri-State Litho, Walker Insurance, and Walmart.

Thank you to Pure Fishing for generously donating over $3,500 in prizes for our 1st, 2nd, and 3rdplace winners in the heaviest fish categories. Thank you as well to the Chamber members who donated a variety of items to the prize packages given out at the Awards Luncheon.

Thank you to the dedicated Iowa Navy Commodores and all other volunteers for their time spent registering participants late into the night on Friday and additional help at the Awards Luncheon on Sunday.

View the full album of images HERE!

Heaviest Fish Winners:


Heaviest Stringer of Walleye:
1st Place - Steve Nevens of Rushmore, MN (4.90lbs)
2nd Place - Cody Christians of Spirit Lake, IA (4.89lbs)
3rd Place - Will Mulder of Worthington, MN (4.80)


Heaviest Stringer of Bullhead:
1st Place - Berklee Carpenter of Sioux City, IA (13.03lbs)
2nd Place - Bob Lampe of Spirit Lake, IA (12.03lbs)
3rd Place - Dylan Mouw of Sheldon, IA (11.84lbs)


Heaviest Northern Pike:
1st Place - Dylan Gaudineer of Bondurant, IA (11.72lbs)
2nd Place - Bill Huse of Milford, IA (8.36lbs)
3rd Place - Ryan Sabin of Spencer, IA (8.28lbs)


Heaviest Stringer of Panfish:
1st Place - Danny James Salmon of Jackson, MN (6.89lbs)
2nd Place - Barry Anderson of Milford, IA (6.62lbs)
3rd Place - Dean Weydert of West Bend, IA (5.26lbs)

2019 Walleye Weekend Donation


The Chamber of the Iowa Great Lakes was thrilled to be able to present checks from Walleye Weekend proceeds to local Lake Protective Associations in the Iowa Great Lakes area.

The four Lake Protective Associations that will receive an equal portion of the $21,312.52 donation include: Center Lake Protection & Improvement Association, East Lake Okoboji Improvement Corporation, Okoboji Protective Association, and Spirit Lake Protective Association.

Thank you, once again, to all those who were involved with the 37th Annual Iowa Great Lakes Area Walleye Weekend.


Tagged Walleye Caught


The tagged walleye was caught at 5:30AM on Sunday, June 2ndin Big Spirit Lake and immediately brought in to Kabele’s Trading Post for verification. The tag was confirmed, and a check was presented to Steve on Monday, June 3rdfor the amount of $3,514.40. Nine tagged walleyes remain in the Iowa Great Lakes chain of lakes.

This is the second year in a row that a tagged walleye has been caught less than one month after the Iowa Great Lakes Walleye Weekend tournament. Two more tagged walleyes will be paid out during the Extended Contest. The second tagged walleye will receive 15% of the registrations or $2,635.05 and the third has a value of 10% of registrations or $1,756.70.