Grab your fishing pole. Not just because fishing is a lot of fun but because there is also $10,000 in prize money up for grabs with the Blue Mesa Reservoir Lake Trout Tournament.

We got the details from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, about the six-month-long fishing tournament. The tournament is sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and set to begin on February 1st near Gunnison at Blue Mesa Reservoir.

The tournament will wrap up on July 31st and is set up to maintain adequate kokanee fry survival by limiting predatory lake trout. Colorado Parks and Wildlife really want the target to be smaller lake trout, specifically those 24 inches in length or smaller.

Here are the exact details of the tournament:

Anglers register by turning in lake trout heads. Lake trout must be harvested legally by BMR. Only fish heads 24 inches or less count toward prize money. Anglers can turn in as many fish heads as possible but cannot pool together with other anglers to increase chances at prize money. Plastic bags and data slips are provided at the collection stations. Please use a pencil only. After the head is removed, fish must be prepared for human consumption. Winners and prize money will be announced and distributed at the end of the tournament.

There are three collection points:

  • Blue Mesa at the Iola, Elk Creek and Lake Fork boat ramps
  • CPW offices in Gunnison (300 W. New York)
  • Montrose (2300 S. Townsend)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife have tagged fish, but anglers won't know if they've caught one until prizes are awarded.

Prizes are awarded in three categories:

  1. Tagged fish: $250 each.
  2. Most fish caught: 1st place -$1,000; 2nd place - $500; 3rd place - $250.
  3. Raffle: Anglers receive one ticket for every head; 20 tickets will be drawn, each worth $200.