FISHING’S SLOW, “Man Up.” Snowman, that is. Big Lakers Cody Samler, Matt Halls, Carl Mitchell and Trever Roediger spent more time on a snowman than watching their lures. It was slow, they admitted.
Forget the misery of a cancelled tournament of 2012 due to thin ice. Everybody, including the weatherman, got it right in 2013. The glorious late-winter sun splashed warmth across the ice, temperatures bounded up to near the melting point. . . . . . And the fish cooperated, too. An estimated 750 turned out for the Big Lake Jaycees’ 10th Little Hole on Big Lake fishing contest Saturday. It was a glorious event for all involved. “There were 187 fish registered in the three-hour contest, but there was so much more happening on the ice than just fishing,” says Jaycees Event Chairman Chad Lofgren. “It was hailed as ‘The Winter Event’ by one angler. “It was super fun with the weather. We sold over 800 tickets. Everything went well.” Participants were from as far away as Germany were on the lake, trying to catch ‘the right one’ in hopes of winning a portion of the estimated $12,000 in prizes. Kirby Becker of Big Lake landed the heaviest fish, a 3 lb. 8 oz. northern pike, to win the adult division. He caught his fish in six feet of water using a tip-up and a crappie minnow. He reported he first though it was just a little sunfish, then started reeling. It jerked pretty hard. Then he realized he’d best land it. He went home with a vacation package to Geiger’s Trails End in Deer River, MN. “Oh, God, that’s God’s country,” Kirby said. In 10th place, taking home the grand prize rxr UTV was Scott Thomsen, Big Lake. He caught a northern pike weighing in at 1 lb. 1 oz. Issack Sumpter landed the biggest fish, a 5.3 sunny, to win the youth division. He took home a birthday package to AirMaxx Trampoline Park in St. Cloud. Damen Klatt won a grand prize XBOX Kinect 24-inch LED TV and $100 gift card, for finishing in fifth place. His fish was a 3.7 oz sunnie. The Little Hole on Big Lake fishing contest is the largest event sponsored by the Big Lake Jaycees each year. Lofgren reports his organization put in over 5,000 hours in planning for the contest. “We want to thank all the volunteers, vendors, contestants and everyone else who helped make this such a successful event.” The Jaycees, founded in 1999, are an organization of young adults aged 18 to 40 who plan and organize community events in their personal and professional lives. They always welcome new members. They donate over 10,000 hours to area events and causes each year. For more information and joining the group, they invite readers to visit them online at www.littleholeonbiglake.org. Fishing contestants were now allowed to drive vehicles onto the lake for the contest, at the urging of the county sheriff’s office. As a precaution, those who did park (affiliated with the contest) were asked to keep a 50 to 100 foot distance between their vehicles. The ice was nearly three feet thick. Those participants who couldn’t park vehicles at the adjacent Lakeside Park were invited to use a bus shuttle originating from Lake Shopping Center.