Registration opens for Minnesota's biggest ice fishing tournament


Somewhere in the frigid waters of Gull Lake, there's a 4-pound northern pike with your name on it.

So say the organizers of the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, often billed as the world's largest charitable ice fishing tournament, set for Jan. 25 on the Brainerd-area lake. This year, there's nearly $200,000 in prizes at stake, the Associated Press reported.

Registration opens Friday.

Roughly 10,500 anglers competed last year, despite below-zero temperatures and 50-mph winds. San Diego photographer Robert Benson snapped some beauties, despite being "so cold I couldn’t see straight,” he told Wired magazine.

Bror Linnerooth of Brainerd won the contest last year when he used a hook and fathead to pull a 4.41-pound northern pike out of 35 feet of water, the Brainerd Dispatch reported. "I knew the fish was going to make the prize list, but first place is unbelievable,” he said.

Tickets are available online. Tickets are available for a discounted price of $25 through Nov. 30 at Mills Fleet Farm stores, the website says. After Dec. 1, tickets are $45.

The 23-year-old event raises $200,000 for charities each year, organizers say.

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