Ice Fishing Extravaganza (Minnesota) : The largest charitable ice fishing contest in the United States


( In the early 1990s the Brainerd Jaycees had a desire to develop a signature project—a project that would rally members, raise money for local charities, and provide avenues for individual growth, personal development, and leadership. With the first contest being held in January 1991, it is certain the founders never expected this event would become the world’s largest ice fishing contest and put Brainerd, MN, on the map with a winter event that generates over $1-million in revenue for area businesses and over $150,000 for area charities annually

The Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, is held on Gull Lake, north of Brainerd, Minnesota, in January of each year. The contest has over 15,000 anglers and drills over 20,000 holes for the contest. In recent years, the money this contest raises for charity has risen to $150,000.

In 1991, that project took shape in the form of an ice fishing contest. Over the course of 30 years, the contest has become the largest charitable ice fishing tournament in the world. That feat comes with its own set of challenges, mother nature being the most unforgiving.

On Jan. 16, according to the Jaycees press release, permits were issued after the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department and the Brainerd Jaycees found 16 to 18 inches of ice throughout the two square mile contest area. Although this has not always been the case with the contest being postponed three times (2002, 2012 and 2016) and 2006 was the only time the contest was moved to a different lake.


In only two days, volunteers prepare Gull Lake for the tournament. Drilling over 10,000 holes, bringing in food and utilities, manning the different checkpoints, and operating the various stations is all accomplished through volunteers.

According to wikipedia and

Xiang Yun (Collect and Nominate for the U.S. Record) - USKings (Source of photos: internet)

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