Minnesota Frozen Gull Lake Annual Ice Fishing Tournament Draws Nearly 10,000 People

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty Images)

You could say it was a “reel cool” time in Minnesota this weekend as thousands of fishermen flocked to the 32nd annual Frozen Gull Lake Fishing Tournament. The annual event which is hosted by the Brainerd, Minnesota Jaycees was expected to bring in a large number of anglers this year. However, 10,000 attendees sure blew past any previous predictions. This weekend brought in a record number of ice-fisherman as nearly 10,000 participants donned their warmest winter hats, coats, and ice gear; all to compete in the ice fishing tournament.

During the annual event, participants compete to see who will reel in the largest fish from the frozen lake. This event has come to be known as the world’s largest charitable ice fishing tournament. All proceeds from the fishing tournament go to charity. This year, the event has chosen close to 50 local charities to benefit from the proceeds.

Lots of Big Winners At The Annual Minnesota Frozen Gull Lake Ice-Fishing Event

The massive ice fishing event also offered the thousands of participants – and those supporting the chilly fisherman – the opportunity to win several amazing prizes. Some of these include the Catch of the Day Prize Give Away as well as the Random Drawing Raffle. 

The top winner of the 32nd annual Frozen Gull Lake Fishing Tournament was Cody Sablatura, a visitor from Corpus Christi Texas. Sablatura reeled in a massive Northern Pike which topped the scales off at 9.15 pounds. Other winners of the annual Jaycees Ice Fishing event include Minnesota native Troy Vetsch and Tyler Herickhoff. Vetsch pulled in a Walleye measuring at a whopping 4.98 pounds; and Herickhoff who also hails from Minnesota also reeled in a Walleye, this one weighing an impressive 4.77 pounds.

This massive event has been a focus among fishers all over the world has been featured in a variety of national outlets including National Geographic, NBC Nightly News, and even ESPN.

Busch Light Gives Anglers Just What They Need This Season

The attendees at the annual Frozen Gull Lake Ice Fishing event are pretty focused on catching the winning prize. However, others who enjoy a day of ice fishing may like to pair the sport with a nice frosted beverage. But, this year, Busch Light has these anglers covered! The popular beer brand announced the release of a limited-edition ice fishing can just a few weeks ago.

“ICE FISHING CANS ARE HERE,” the popular beer company writes in an early January Instagram post. Check out the Insta message here.

The photo Busch Light pairs with the post features a 30 pack of the limited edition Ice Fishing Busch Light cans; along with some of the most necessary ice fishing gear.

“It doesn’t get any cooler than that,” Bush Light adds to the Instagram post. “Reel ’em in before they melt off the shelves.”