10th annual Iceman tournament takes place in Bergland

BERGLAND, Mich. (WLUC) - Ice fishing enthusiasts gathered at AJ’s Walleye Lodge in Bergland this past weekend for the 10th annual “Iceman” fishing tournament.

The tournament held on Lake Gogebic, attracts ice fishermen and women from all over.

"A lot of people come from the local area. We get a lot of families that come together, but we have people come in from out of state. We have one family that is from Wakefield, and their brother and nephew come from Minnesota. We [also] have people from Green Bay,” said AJ’s Walleye Lodge Owner, Mary Beth DeFazio.

Participants spent Saturday and part of Sunday out on the ice, competing to catch the biggest fish.

"It’s a $750 prize for the largest walleye. We have first, second and third for walleye, first, second and third for perch, first, second and third for northern, and we have a youth division which is sponsored by Pro Phaze Electric,” DeFazio said.

Brennen Piotter, who came all the way from Green Bay for the tournament, took home the grand prize for the youth division after catching the largest walleye among fishermen 12 and under.

Piotter says out of all the tournaments he competes in, the Iceman is his favorite.

"This is fun. I like all ice fishing tournaments, but this one I get to do with my dad. It's just more fun to do it with my dad,” said Piotter, adding that he looks forward to competing in the “adult” division next year.

The tournament also boasts $2,500 in cash and raffle prizes, with many prizes being donated from local businesses.

What makes the Iceman unique, however, is that part of the proceeds go towards a scholarship for local students.

"They're our youth, they're our future, and they’re our next generation of fishermen. We want to promote them and we want to recognize them for their commitment for being outdoors and having fun,” DeFazio added.