Before the sun came up, nearly 100 boats were in the water and ready to reel in some bass for the Midwest Hmong Outdoors’ July 4 bass fishing tournament. The event began in 2004 and has since grown into one of the biggest Hmong fishing tournaments in the country. Winners can walk away with a $10,000 prize.
Teams spent the whole day on the water, buzzing from one spot to another when the fish weren’t hitting. Many spent the weeks before the tournament fishing Lake Minnetonka and marking the best bays on their maps.
The lure of nearly $26,000 in total prize money helps fuel the high turnout, but the sense of community draws even more. Many teams have fished in the tournament since its inception, and they know their entry fee is staying in the community. Fees are even waived for teams who travel from out of state.
The tournament ends with a weigh-in. Each team’s six heaviest fish are weighed, and the highest total wins.
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