Brainerd, Devils Lake ice fishing tournaments to bring thousands onto the ice this weekend

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BRAINERD, Minn. – Two big ice fishing tournaments are happening this weekend in Brainerd, Minnesota and Devils Lake, North Dakota.

Thousands of people will be making their way to the Brainerd Lakes area for the annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.  

Event Chairman Tad Johnson said pre-sales have been strong for this year’s event, and they are hoping to get back up to over 10,000 entries. He said the economic impact on the region is huge.

“It’s the biggest hotel day of the winter,” Johnson said. “All of the restaurants and bars have record days. The impact was measured a long time ago in the millions (of dollars) and after today’s pricing it’s got to surpass even what that was.” 

Johnson said tickets will be sold all the way up to the start of the event tomorrow. 

Volunteers will pre-drill 20,000 holes for the contestants to choose from. The top prize is a pickup, along with other big prizes like Ice Castle Fish Houses, ATVs, and more. 

The Devils Lake Fire Department is urging the thousands of anglers planning to fish in their annual department tournament to dress for the conditions.   

Fire Chief Nate Bennett said, given the weather forecast – which calls  for wind chills as low as -30 in the afternoon – and the fact that on-ice shelters are not allowed, anglers will need to bundle up.

Bennett said tournament organizers are planning for between 4,000-5,000 anglers to take to the ice.  This is the 39th year for the event, which will award more than $325,000 worth of fishing and raffle prizes.  

All the tickets for the tournament are sold out.

Source: KFGO


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