Please note: The 2015 derby was cancelled due to lack of ice. 

A crisp clear dawn spent on a frozen sheet of ice may not appeal to most but it's when you can feel the most alive. There is a community of them, people bundled from head to toe making their way out onto the frozen landscape in the early morning hours, trying to find the best spot to set-up camp. They make their bets and drill holes into the thick frozen glass and then sit patiently, in the quiet stiff air, and wait.

These are the dedicated ice fishermen and women who feel more alive with each frigid intake of breath. Loyal hunters and fishers travel to Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife in Morocco, Indiana throughout the year to take in its flora and fauna, but the ones out on the ice during the coldest days of the year are the hardiest of them all. Their shelters and shanties stubbornly dot the horizon.

The Newton County Park Board hopes you'll conquer the cold and join us at Willow Slough January 30,2016 for our annual ice fishing event. We can't promise what the weather will bring but we can say the donuts, hot chocolate and coffee are delicious, even better because they're free.

The Newton County Park Board in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources is celebrating all things ice fishing with a free fishing derby from 6 to 11 am January 30, 2016. All ages are welcome!

There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for each age group. This free event will feature prizes for mystery weight winners and an Eskimo Stingray Auger and portable ice shelter as a grand prize. Free donuts, coffee and hot chocolate will also be available. Sponsors include Cabela's, Chief's Bait Shop #2 in Lake Village, and The Station in Brook. MUST REGISTER TO WIN and MUST WEIGH IN BEFORE 11 AM. Registrants are able to weigh up to five fish. All state and property rules and regulations apply.

Event is subject to change or cancellation based on weather conditions. Due to this year's extremely mild conditions please check our Facebook page and website prior to the event, or contact Willow Slough at 219-285-2704.

Participants 18 and older must hold a valid Indiana fishing license. Fishing licenses are $9.00 and can be purchased on site. Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter at to be sent news and updates.

There is an 18-inch minimum size limit and daily bag limit of 2 fish for largemouth bass for all Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife area waters. There is a panfish limit of 25 fish per day, including bluegill, redear, and crappie in aggregate. All other size and bag limits apply.

See you on the ice