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Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza is a GO Saturday, Jan. 29

Event celebrates 32nd year of anglers gathering to catch fish with proceeds going to charities

A man uses an ice auger while others watch
Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza 2021 tournament chair Benji Thoennes, left, watches 2022 tournament chair Andrew Jay auger a hole through the ice on Hole-in-the-Day Bay on Gull Lake with Crow Wing County sheriff's Sgt. Brad Thesing ready to measure Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The in-person tournament is scheduled for Jan. 29.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — The 32nd annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza will indeed take place from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, on the ice of Gull Lake's Hole-in-the-Day Bay.

On Thursday, Jan. 20, the Brainerd Jaycees and Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department checked ice conditions on the bay, finding 16 inches of ice throughout the 2-square mile contest site.

A ruler measures ice thickness
Crow Wing County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Brad Thesing measures 16 inches of ice Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, on Hole-in-the-Day Bay on Gull Lake during the official ice check by the Brainerd Jaycees for the upcoming Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

“Event planning has been going really well this year and we’re excited to host a fantastic contest (this) weekend,” contest chair Andrew Jay said in a news release.

The Ice Fishing Extravaganza is world-renown and has drawn more than 10,000 people annually for more than 25 years. People and media from across the globe attend this event that's known as the world’s largest charitable ice fishing contest.

“The charitable aspect plus the $200,000 prize package is what keeps people coming,” Sheena Ziegler, marketing coordinator for the Brainerd Jaycees, said in the news release.


Ice Fishing Extravaganza proceeds are donated to more than 50 area charities with the Confidence Learning Center as the primary beneficiary. The Brainerd Jaycees have donated more than $4.2 million since the event was founded.

The Brainerd Jaycees issued a thanks to participants, contestants, sponsors and area businesses for their ongoing support. Tickets can be purchased at Brainerd area outlets and on the ice the day of the contest. Visit icefishing.org for all contest details.

First held in 1991, this event has been postponed three times and moved to a different lake once. The volunteer‐run event is organized by the Brainerd Jaycees who have more than 90 members contributing more than 75,000 hours and $200,000 to the community annually.

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