Brainerd, Minnesota is home to a wide variety of activities and world class events including the annual Brainerd JC’s Ice Fishing Extravaganza. This mighty event brings over 10,000 people from around the globe each year on Gull Lake just north of Brainerd to compete for 150 prizes valued at over $200,000. It is the largest charitable ice fishing contest in the world and a must add to any outdoors enthusiast bucket list. Even if you’re not big on ice fishing the event is a must see. The contest is organized strictly by volunteers and the proceeds are donated to area charities totaling nearly $3 million in its history.
This year National Geographic is creating a new reality television series focused on all things ice fishing and will be filming an episode at the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Jan. 25. The show will follow a group of seasoned fisherman who represent the culture of ice fishing in America throughout the series and will air later this year. The film crew will spend nearly one week in the Brainerd lakes area filming many different aspects of ice fishing, the preparation of the Extravaganza on Gull Lake’s Hole in the Day Bay, and the contest itself.
Twice (including this time) in the 24-year history of the Ice Fishing Extravaganza it has been featured by National Geographic. Almost 22 years ago there was a two-page spread including an aerial photograph of the event in the September 1992 edition of National Geographic The Magazine. “We are thrilled that National Geographic is interested in showcasing our event, ” said Angie Nelson, a representative of the Brainerd Jaycees, “ fishing contests are a very important aspect of ice fishing culture.”
The Brainerd Lakes Area extravaganza location was chosen in part because of the uniqueness of the event which boasts more than 10,000 participants annually and its robust prize list of 150 prizes valued at more than $200,000.
For more information on the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza visit www.icefishing.org.
About the Brainerd Jaycees:
The Brainerd Jaycees are a leadership development organization for men and women ages 18-40. Founded in 1939 they have more than 130 members. The Brainerd Jaycees donate more than 30,000 hours and $250,000 to area charities and causes each year.