DEERWOOD — Pike-a-Palooza northern pike tournament and fish fry scheduled for June 13 was canceled for health and safety reasons related to compliance with state orders and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines.
All anglers who registered for the tournament will be fully refunded.
“It was a difficult decision,” Ruttgers’ President Chris Ruttger stated in a news release. “Though we could have technically proceeded with the tournament, the changes required to comply with COVID-19 guidelines would have altered the event to such an extent that we didn’t believe it would have been a full enough experience for the anglers.”
Pike-a-Palooza was started in 2019 as a competitive northern pike tournament supporting the Bay Lake Improvement Association’s effort to raise awareness about and reduce the number of small “hammer handle” northern pike in Bay Lake. The resort plans to host the Pike-a-Palooza in spring 2021.
Though the tournament and fish fry were canceled, anglers are still invited to come to Bay Lake for an informal Hammer Handle Roundup on June 13.
Anglers who catch and harvest a limit of northern pike measuring less than 22 inches will receive one free beer and one free fish meal per boat from the restaurant at the Lodge at Ruttger’s. It’s free to participate. Anglers must register in advance by emailing Hammer Handle Roundup organizer Dave McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org and comply with all Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fishing regulations.