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An Ice Fishing Event with Something for Everyone
by Lisa G

Saturday, February 17, 2001, FishingMinnesota.com hosted their first Mille Lacs ice fishing event at Mac's Twin Bay. This three part tournament featured a Catch and Release Ice Leaders Pro-Team Challenge, a lake-wide Ice Fishing Event and a Kids Fishing Derby. Proceeds were donated to the Isle Jaycees for playground equipment.

This event was a success, thanks to the many area businesses who generously donated prizes; the volunteers who braved the cold; Tom Jones of the MN DNR and Sheriff Department personnel for providing the children with fun learning activities; members of the Minnesota Ballooning Association and the young men from Mille Lacs Academy for being such excellent balloon chasers.

Adam Johnson-Scott Steils The Pro Team Challenge was a multi-species catch and release event. Qualifying fish were measured and released then points were tallied. Scott Steil took first place with 6 points. He is a Fishing Minnesota.com Forum Guide Pro for the St. Cloud and Park Rapids Forums. Adam Johnson took second place with 3 points. He is a Forum Guide Pro and local fishing guide around the Bemidji area. Tom Herman took third place with 2 points and is a Forum Guide Pro as well as a local fishing and hunting guide for the Brainerd and Wilmar areas.

The lake-wide event concluded with the 1st place fish being a 1.01 lb perch, caught by John Durra, 2nd place was a .97 lb perch caught by Jeff Brown, and 3rd place was a tie with .95 lb perch caught by Dick Hoffer and Steve Wanamaker. A flip of a coin decided who took home the trophy.

Bryan Cooper-1st Place-Boys The Kids Derby was a tough bite! Only 8 fish were caught by the determined anglers. Perch ranged in size from .02 lb to .04 lb. The winning girl was Renee Neeser from Wyoming, Minnesota with a .04 lb perch. The winning boy was Byron Cooper , Isle, Minnesota, with a 2.79 lb eelpout. These youngsters won a trophy, a hot air balloon ride this summer on the St. Croix river, (worth $150), and a free fiberglass replica of their winning fish, courtesy of Fibertech!

Plans are already underway for next year's event, which will include the adult events and kids derby, hot air balloons, food, prizes and of course, fishing!

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