Recreation Outdoors

THE JIG’S UP: Ninth Annual Ice Fishing Contest Slated for Feb. 12

contest has tripled in size since inception, draws anglers from around the region to compete for cash and prizes

Denise Olson | UWEC Integrated Marketing and Communications |

One lucky angler hauled in this good-sized northern pike at the 2021 Jig's Up event. (Photo via UWEC IMC)
One lucky angler hauled in this good-sized northern pike at the 2021 Jig's Up event. (Photo via UWEC IMC)

UW-Eau Claire is icing up for the 9th annual Jig's Up ice fishing contest, which is slated for 7am-2pm on Saturday, Feb. 12 on Lake Wissota.

The contest, which has tripled in participation since its inception, will once again provide anglers and winter-weather enthusiasts a fun-filled family event offering thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.

The Jig’s Up contest is co-hosted by the UW-Eau Claire recreation and athletics departments and the Lake Wissota Lions Club. Repeating title sponsors are Scheels and Eau Claire Ford, and more than $80,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded, including a two-year lease on a Ford F150 truck to be drawn from all registered fish tickets.

It's a really long, cold day for sure. There's no way around it. We all end up with great stories to share for the next whole year.

Ben Johnson

UW-Eau Claire student

Participants can purchase an unlimited number of fish tickets at $25 each, with one ticket required for each fish registered. Prizes will be awarded by weight to the top 20 fish and every 10th place thereafter to 480th place, and every fish between 481st and 500th place. 

Fish tickets can be purchased online at the Jig’s Up website, where the contest schedule and rules can be found, as well as fish and raffle ticket sales locations and a full list of fish and raffle prizes.

“Eau Claire Ford has offered a vehicle prize for years,” says Sheryl Poirier, assistant director of Recreation and Sport Operations at UW-Eau Claire. “We used to tag a fish to determine that prize, but it turned out nobody was ever catching that fish. Now the dealership offers the lease every year, and everyone who registers a fish is eligible to win the drawing.”

With more than 1,500 fish tickets sold last year, the Jig’s Up event draws a tremendous crowd and has become a signature winter event for the Chippewa Valley. Leadership at the Lake Wissota Lions Club is grateful for both the community engagement and the fundraising opportunity for their organization.

“Working with the professional and student staff at UWEC has been rewarding,” says Dave Prescher, Lions Club member and long-standing Jig’s Up committee member. “The event has become one of the biggest in the Lake Wissota area, a great fundraiser for us, and we are able to watch how it develops camaraderie and leadership among the Blugold students.”

“It’s a really long, cold day for sure, ” says Ben Johnson, a junior entrepreneurship student from Neenah. “There's no way around it. We all end up with great stories to share for the whole next year, and we all share in how great it feels to finally get out of that wind and cold!”

Visit the Jig’s Up website for details and ticket locations, and the Jig’s Up Facebook page for the latest news, trivia and updates, including "Friday Fun Facts" for the next three Fridays before the event.