UPDATE: Event has been cancelled due to varying ice conditions and safety concerns on Silver Lake. Those who have signed up for it will receive a full refund.
Hard Water Classic 2019 Ice-Fishing Tournament
Sat., Feb. 9, 2019 • Noon – 3:30 p.m.
Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville
Join Chicagoland’s largest ice-fishing tournament on Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve. Test your skills against hundreds of local anglers, and see if you land the big catch of the day. This year’s tournament promises fun competition and chances to win great prizes while enjoying some on-ice camaraderie. Check out our photos from last year's event.
Online: $20. Register online.
On-site at Blackwell’s Silver Lake boat launch: $25 (cash or credit card only)
Proceeds will support archery, fishing, boating and other ranger-led programs for Scouts, youth groups, community resource centers and children with special needs in DuPage County.
11 a.m.: Check-in and registration begins at the Silver Lake boat launch
You must pick up a wristband and turn in a signed waiver (PDF) before the tournament starts. Printing and filling out your waiver in advance, or filling this out online will help keep lines short.
Noon: Tournament begins
3:30 p.m.: Tournament ends
4 p.m.: Awards ceremony and drawings for door prizes
Big Fish of the Day: Choice between a gas-powered ice auger or an ice shelter
Longest bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and northern pike: $125 each
Second-longest bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and northern pike: $100 each
Third-longest bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and northern pike: $75 each
Prizes are not cash prizes and will be in the form of a gift card to a local sporting goods store.
All paid contestants are also eligible to win great door prizes such as a gas auger, ice shelters, tip-ups, and rod and reel combos.
Rules and Regulations
1. All registrations are final. If you do not participate or if the Forest Preserve District cancels the tournament for any reason, there are no refunds.
2. The tournament is scheduled for Feb. 9, 2019, at Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve.
3. If you’re 16 or older and not legally disabled you must have a valid Illinois fishing license.
4. You can only fish on Silver Lake and cannot have fishing lines in the water before noon.
5. You can’t have more than two poles or tip-ups in the water at one time, and you cannot have more than two hooks or lures attached to each line. Fishing holes must not exceed 10 inches in diameter. Spear fishing is not allowed.
6. Bring your fish to a check-in station immediately. This is a live-release tournament, so fish must be alive. Carry fish to the station in water in a bag or bucket, and make sure to initial the tally sheet to verify your catch.
7. Winners will be determined by the lengths of the fish as measured to 0.125 inch. The three longest bluegill (or sunfish), the three longest crappie, the three longest largemouth bass and the three longest northern pike will all receive prizes. The longest single fish overall from any species will also receive a prize (gas auger or ice shelter). In the event of a tie, the fish with the earliest check-in time wins. A coin toss will determine the winner if two fish have the same length and same check-in time. The decision of the judge is final.
8. You must wear your wristband at all times.
9. You are responsible for your own safety, actions and property at all times.
10. Only registered contestants can win prizes. Unregistered anglers in a party may jeopardize the validity of fish caught by a registered contestant. Contestants must catch their own fish.
11. The Forest Preserve District reserves the right to disqualify contestants for cheating, falsifying information, or unruly or disorderly conduct. Disqualified contestants will not receive refunds for their registrations and will not be eligible for prizes.
12. Alcohol is prohibited on Forest Preserve District property.
13. You must obey state and Forest Preserve District fishing laws and all Forest Preserve District regulations.