On Jan. 14, Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl measured ice thickness at Hole-in-the-Day Bay and found it thick enough to issue a permit for the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
“We drilled a couple holes out there. We were about in the 17-19 (inch) range. We feel very comfortable in this thing going through. We will be issuing the permit, which is always good news, either tonight, this afternoon or tomorrow morning. They’ll have that in their hands and they’ll be good to go,” Dahl said.
According to Dahl the event has been granted a permit within a range of 14-15 inches of ice, making this year’s thickness a vast improvement.
“We didn’t feel comfortable with that because of all the people out on the ice. Right now it’s making ice every night. We still have ten days or so to go, so it’s going to be making ice until that time,” Dahl said.
Matt Castle, Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza Chairman, said that he expects the turnout for this year’s event to be good.
“The weather’s shaping up to be pretty good. If we get what the forecast is calling for, which is about 13 degrees with light wind, I think we’re going to be in really good shape,” Castle said.
This year’s event will feature an array of prizes, though participants will be glad to hear that this year will bring back an old favorite.
“We’ve got the catch of the day coming back. It’s a side contest within the contest. The person that catches the largest of the mystery species is going to win an entire prize package,” Castle said.
The package includes a fish house, ice auger and a full ice fishing setup valued at $9,000.
Stamps for the catch of the day contest can be purchased at Mills Fleet Farm in Baxter.
As an ice angler, Dahl said that people fishing in the bay have reported both success and failure.
“They’ve been moving around through the whole bay area. It can be one day we’re at a week long of 30 below weather and the next day we’re at 25-30 (degrees). With that fluctuation of the temperature comes the fluctuation of where the fish are biting. It’s been good. I’ve heard tell about a few 28s and 30s too. There’s still big fish in this lake,” Dahl said.
This year’s Ice Fishing Extravaganza is Jan. 25 starting at 8 a.m. with the contest starting at noon. Tickets may be found at various vendors in the Brainerd Lakes Area or online at Icefishing.org.
Travis Grimler can be reached at Travis.email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook.