Burbot. Ling. They go by many names, but on Leech Lake near Walker, Minnesota, the locals call them eel pout, a species normally despised by anglers. And every February since 1980, folks have come from far and wide to pay homage to this slithering bottom-dweller. Part ice-fishing competition, part party, part reason to act up, and part reason to swim in the frigid waters of Leech Lake, the Eel Pout festival draws thousands onto the ice for a Woodstock-esque celebration. Check out these photos from this year's event.
For more information on Walker, Minnesota's annual Eel Pout Festival, visit eelpoutfestival.com. You can find out how to compete for the biggest fish, or the wackiest plunge into frigid Leech Lake waters.