Contestants will vie for $200,000 in prizes
Brainerd Jaycees contest officials and the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office decided Friday to postpone the annual Minnesota charitable ice fishing contest held on Gull Lake until February 6 in the interest of safety.
The 26th Annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza was originally scheduled for noon-3 p.m. Saturday, January 23. The Jaycees say 10,000 anglers are expected to participate this year. Gull is about 135 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, seven miles north of Brainerd.
“The warm weather has had an adverse effect on the lake ice; the result being inconsistent ice thickness through-out our lakes. The safety for our volunteers, personnel and those attending the event is the Sheriff’s Office main concern. The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Brainerd Jaycees for all the dedication and support that has been offered and look forward to a fun and safe event in the very near future,” Lieutenant Scott Goddard stated.
“With the latest cold snap, we were optimistic the ice would be ready for us, but Mother Nature had another plan,” Chairperson Angie Nelson added. “However, it’s critical that we make sure the contest site is safe. This announcement will hopefully allow our participants enough time to adjust their plans to join us in three weeks.”
A postponement date of February 6 is listed on all contest tickets. Contestants stand to win more than $200,000 in prizes this year if they catch one of the largest 150 fish! In addition, a random prize drawing for additional prizes including an Ice Castle Mille Lacs Hybrid fish house and an Arctic Cat Prowler, other gift cards, and ice fishing accessories totaling nearly $40,000 in prizes is held.
Tickets are $50 and are available online.
The Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos Comedy Show hosted by the Jaycees at Grandview Lodge will continue to be held on Friday, January 22. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Brainerd Warrior Fishing Team in support of our next generation of anglers.
First held in 1991, this event has never been canceled and been postponed only two other times, in 2002 and 2012. The contest was moved to a different lake once in 2006. Proceeds from the world’s largest charitable ice fishing tournament has donated over $3 million to Brainerd-area charities, most notably Confidence Learning Center. The volunteer-run event is organized by the Brainerd Jaycees who have over 140 members contributing more than 75,000 hours and nearly $200,000 to the community annually.
Eager anglers are encouraged to monitor the Extravaganza Facebook page and web site at www.icefishing.org to purchase tickets or get information including up to date reports on ice conditions.
Guide Outdoors Readers: I bet we have some anglers who have some great “ice fishing tournament stories” to share about some odd or unusual occurrences … let’s hear ’em!