Temperate winter weather and 18 inches of good ice prevailed Saturday on Gull Lake near Brainerd, where more than 12,000 angler-gamblers fished for prizes ranging from a new pickup to ice augers and ATVs in the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
High temperatures crested 20 degrees during the noon-3 p.m. contest, while anglers from throughout Minnesota, and the nation, who paid a $50 entry fee dropped whatever they thought might catch a fish into the chilled lake, choosing from among 20,000 holes drilled Friday by volunteers.
This year a 3-pound, 10-ounce northern pike, hooked by Stephan Lyogky of Hartville, Ohio, was the biggest fish, earning Lyogky a new GMC truck. Second place with a 3-pound walleye was Bryan Envik of Moorhead, Minn.
Third place went to Ivan Lyogky, also of Hartville, Ohio, father of the winner, with a 2.89-pound northern.
The contest, begun in 1991, has raised more than $3.3 million for local charities.