Brainerd, MN – Anglers from around the United States are getting ready to hit the ice of Gull Lake in hopes of catching a prize winning fish at the world’s largest charitable ice fishing tournament. The 26th Annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza is scheduled for Saturday, January 23rd.
With ice thickness varying widely around the state there has been some concern about conditions. The Jaycees are closely monitoring the area of Gull Lake where the contest is held. Projected low temperatures which dominate the forecast in central Minnesota are expected to range from the teens to below zero in the time leading up to the contest. The Jaycees are optimistic that Hole in the Day Bay of 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.”
The Extravaganza boasts nearly $200,000 in prizes for lucky or skilled anglers and prizes are awarded to the largest 150 fish registered during the three-hour 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 over $15,000, and 150th place takes home an Arctic Cat ATV. Additional prizes such as ice augers, fish locators, ATV’s, underwater camera’s, and various gift cards are placed randomly among the top 150 places. 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.
All proceeds from the Jaycees Extravaganza directly benefit non-profit organizations serving a variety of community needs. Confidence Learning Center, an outdoor education and recreation facility for persons with developmental disabilities is the primary recipient of the funds each year. Donations to 50 organizations from last year’s event totaled over $186,000.
Kicking off the Extravaganza weekend will be the Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos Comedy Show hosted by the Jaycees at Grandview Lodge. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Brainerd Warrior Fishing Team in support of our next generation of anglers. Advanced tickets are selling quickly – be sure to go to www.icefishing.org to purchase tickets today!
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.