More than 10,000 people will brave Baltic conditions and make the trip to Brainerd, Minnesota, to take part in the annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
The meeting is the biggest of its kind in the world and offers a tempting cash prize of around £91,000 ($150,000) to the champion.
These impressive aerial shots show crowds of anglers sprawled across scarily thin ice at the largest ice fishing tournament in the world
The competition sees more than 10,000 people brave Baltic conditions
Rows and rows of fishermen wait by their ice holes wrapped in the very thickest of winter gear
The three hour event attracts huge crowds of spectators who pile on to the two square mile competition site despite blistering temperatures of less than minus 40 degrees.
And among the hustle and bustle of sawing, casting and reeling will be a handful of wildlife photographers waiting for the victor.
Contests battle with one pole in one hole to catch the heaviest live fish – all dead, frozen or late entries will be snubbed.
Cold facts: The fishermen are careful not to leave any skin exposed (left) during the contest, which only allows live fish to count towards participants' points score (right)
Fin-tastic: The competition takes place on a two-square-mile site
Lifestyle photographer Robert Benson battled the treacherous conditions and spent 12 hours taking these stunning shots and is bracing himself for another fin-tastic event.
Robert, from San Diego, said: ‘I was really nervous about driving out on the ice, especially with the weight of all those people standing on it.
‘As I jumped in to my car, the organisers stopped me and told me to make sure I kept my window down and my seatbelt off, that way I'd be fine if the ice gave in or if I needed to get out in a hurry.
Having a reel good time: An official keeps tally on the catches (left) while a fisherman examines one of his rods as he sits in the snow and ice (right)
The event has been held each January since 1991 and takes place at Gull Lake in the city of Brainerd
‘When the tournament started the weather was pretty decent, and I could get up in the helicopter and take the amazing aerial shots.
‘But soon after the conditions plummeted and the wind really picked up. It was so strong that anything not bolted down was getting blown over - even people were being knocked down and blown across the ice.
‘The temperature with wind chill dipped to -40 Fahrenheit and many competitors gave up and left. But there were some hardcore fisherman who decided to stay, fish, and drink beer.’
The event has been held each January since 1991 and takes place at Gull Lake in the city of Brainerd. This year's event will take place on January 25.
The one-of-a-kind event is organised by the Brainerd Jaycees - a not-for-profit organisation made up of around 200 people between the ages of 18 and 40.
The Jaycee movement - the United States Junior Chamber - aims to train young people in areas including business development, management, community service, and international connections.