MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Every Thursday and Friday til the end of February, we’re going to your favorite frozen lakes.
Frank Vascellaro and Chris Shaffer headed up to Walker, Minn., Thursday for a massive party — Eelpout Festival.
Every February, thousands of Minnesotans gather at Leech Lake to celebrate all things quirky (like the ugly, slimy eelpout) and have “pure Minnesota fun.”
Frank & Chris Kick Off Festivities With Flaming 2×4
Only about 1,000 people live in Walker, Minn., year-round, but when they welcome the “eelpouters,” as they’re called, the population swells to more than 10,000 people.
Frank & Chris Welcome Festival-Goers Before Free Beer Hour
During the day, the Eelpout Festival has attractions for everyone. But in the evening, the entrainment is aimed at adults.
Putting Together The Polar Plunge
As much as the festival is one giant party, it’s also about fishing. In order to get ready, Frank and Chris visited a local outfitter, Reed’s.
Frank & Chris Visit Reed’s Outfitters
It wasn’t open Thursday, but Frank and Chris were able to see a bar on the lake made of 40,000 pounds of ice. They also got to see the “eelpouters” stream out onto Leech Lake.
Frank & Chris Watch The Eelpouters Stream In
Since the Eelpout Festival is sort of about fishing, the guys needed a fisherman to help them catch the slimy fish. Turns out the fisherman, named Kenny, was there when the festival began decades ago.
Frank & Chris Go Fishing For Eelpout