A man brought home a new truck after winning at a 25th Anniversary Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
Steven Baumgartner of Owatonna, Minnesota narrowly ousted the leading fisherman at the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Saturday to claim a new GMC truck.
From within five minutes of the contest start, Anthony Welch of St. Paul, Minnesota held the record fish, a 3.67-pound walleye. He caught the walleye on a buckshot hook tipped with a minnow head, and held first prize for the majority of the three-hour Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
However, Baumgartner decided to move from his unproductive original spot in 26 feet of water to a shallower setup. On this boundary edge, he dropped a pink glow plug hook tipped with a shiner down the hole. Apparently it was his lucky lure.
“He hit the hook like a ton of bricks,” said Baumgartner of a 6.73 pound northern pike that took the bait within the last 15 minutes of the fishing contest.
After reeling it in, Baumgartner rushed to report the fish as thousands of onlookers cheered him on.
Standing near the results board after 3 p.m., it was announced that he was the winner of a new GMC truck.
Though Baumgartner has been coming to the Ice Fishing Extravaganza for the last 10 years, this was the first fish he’s caught in the tournament.
We all come here to catch the biggest fish, I was just lucky enough to catch it.
With above-average temperatures of 30 degrees, the 25th Anniversary event drew a crowd. The current record crowd attendance is 13,000, but no official count was available at publication for this year.
Proceeds from the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza go to more than 40 charities in the Brainerd lakes area. In 25 years, the event has raised over $3 million. The event is completely run by about 350 volunteers.