Plans Continue For The Jan. 23 $150,000 Minnesota Ice Fishing Contest!

Organizers Say Ice Should be Thick Enough to Hold The Event

A late lake ice-over throughout Minnesota has ice anglers now finally begin to safely fish, and the Brainerd Jaycees announced Friday that impending cold weather means the 26th Annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza Saturday, January 23 “is a go.”

Prizes are awarded to the largest 150 fish!
Prizes are awarded to the largest 150 fish!

The Jaycees say 10,000 anglers are expected to participate this year on Gull Lake in central Minnesota. Gull is about 135 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, seven miles north of Brainerd. All proceeds from the Jaycees Extravaganza directly benefit non-profit organizations serving a variety of community needs. Donations to 50 organizations from last year’s event totaled over $186,000!

The Jaycees noted with ice thickness varying widely around the state there has been some concern about conditions, but projected low temperatures in the upcoming week in central Minnesota, ranging from the teens to below zero, should settle any concerns. The Jaycees are optimistic that Hole in the Day Bay on Gull Lake will have enough ice.

“Our plans are a go for the 23rd,” says Chairperson Angie Nelson, “We’ve been in close communication with the Sheriff’s Department and will continue to do so in order to make a timely decision should there be a change in plans. We know how important this event is for our anglers, supporters and the entire community. If a change in plans is required an announcement will be made on Friday, January 15.”

Tickets are $50 with a $10 discount available online until January 22.

Prizes are awarded to the largest 150 fish registered during the three-hour, noon to 3 p.m., contest. First place wins a new Ford or GMC 4×4 Pickup, 100th place earns an Ice Castle Red Lake Edition Fish-house valued at more than $15,000, and 150th place takes home an Arctic Cat ATV. Additional prizes such as ice augers, fish locators, ATVs, underwater cameras, and various gift cards are placed randomly among the top 150 places. In addition, a random prize drawing is held 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.

Kicking off the Extravaganza weekend will be the Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos Comedy Show hosted by the Jaycees at Grand View Lodge. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Brainerd Warrior Fishing Team in support of our next generation of anglers.

Eager anglers are encouraged to monitor the Extravaganza Facebook page and web site at to purchase tickets, read the rules, and get more information including up to date reports on ice conditions.

(Top Photo: the Gull Lake ice looks like Swiss cheese with all the holes organizers cut!)


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