It’s winter in Minnesota, which traditionally means it’s soon time for the annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza!
This year, however, unusually high temperatures and some fake news posted on social media have made many question whether or not Minnesota’s biggest ice fishing contest has been canceled.
Keep reading the article to learn more about the controversial social media post and the official statement made by the Brainerd Ice Fishing Extravaganza board.
December and early January have been very warm all over the northern US.
Many waters, including Gull Lake north of Brainerd, where this year’s Extravaganza is supposed to be held, were still open at the beginning of 2024.
Additionally, organizers of the annual Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby have decided to cancel the event due to inconsistent ice conditions on the lake.
Naturally, then, many people started to wonder about the Ice Fishing Extravaganza. No or bad ice, no ice fishing contest, right?
Thankfully, much colder temperatures have finally arrived in Minnesota, and good ice is now being made on many of the state’s lakes.
Will it be thick enough for the Extravaganza on February 3, though? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?
Ice reports do look promising for the wider Brainerd area, with anglers reporting a good 6 to 8 inches on many lakes already.
And with the expected forecasts for the coming days and week, the Extravaganza’s board is also hopeful and enthusiastic!
Still, the extremely warm weather earlier this winter had made many people doubtful.
And then there was this social media post, which didn’t help in this regard!
The “Satirical” Socia Media Post About the 2024 Extravaganza
A little over a week ago, the Facebook Page “Crow Wing County Department of Memes” published a post stating that this year’s Brainerd Ice Fishing Extravaganza had been canceled due to the lack of good ice.
Pretty quickly, the post was shared by hundreds of people on Facebook and sort of went viral.
The problem was that the organizers had made no official statement about this year’s Extravaganza and this matter!
After getting plenty of angry responses, the FB page then deleted the original post and instead published a few posts stating that theirs is a satirical page and that the event had not been canceled.
In other words, they embarrassed themselves, in my opinion!
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy satire as much as the next guy. But this isn’t satire, sorry to say!
This was fake news spread by a Facebook page that merely wanted to get attention on social media.
Sorry for being so harsh, but the Extravaganza is a big deal in Minnesota, and the post probably reached tens of thousands of people who all got false information about the event.
That isn’t right if you ask me!
Things like that tend to spread like wildfire online, and even though they tried to make things right, who knows how many people still believe that the event has actually been called off.
According to the organizers, over 10,000 spectators and contestants are expected at this year’s event. That’s a huge show, in other words!
In fact, the Brainerd Ice Fishing Extravaganza proudly calls itself the “largest charitable ice fishing contest on earth.”
It would be a shame if some people would miss it merely because of a false online statement!
So, This Year’s Extravaganza Is Still on, Then?
Yes! At least, that is the official statement made by the organizers so far!
If everything goes as planned and the weather plays along, the 2024 Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza will be held on February 3!
I’ve actually reached out to the board and wanted to confirm things. This is the answer I got:
Currently, the date is still set for February 3. With the expected forecast, we are building ice!– Katherine Thoennes, 2024 Chair
Of course, nothing is absolutely set in stone, though.
With the unpredictable weather these days, any ice fishing event could still be canceled if temperatures are too high and the ice should be deemed unsafe.
As mentioned above, the forecasts look very promising, and I sincerely hope, for the organizers, sponsors, contestants, and spectators, that the event will take place as planned.
Right now, temps are super low in northern Minnesota, so things definitely look good ahead of the event!
But no matter what might or might not happen, be sure to check the latest updates and information either via the Extravaganza’s website at icefishing.org or their official Facebook Page Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
If you’d like to purchase tickets for the Extravaganza, you can do so on the ice or online via the Extravaganza’s Ticket Shop.
If you want to read up on the contest’s rules, you can do so by clicking this link.
Lastly, this link will get you to this year’s prize list, should you be interested.
I wish the organizers, sponsors, contestants, and spectators a fun and successful 2024 Brainerd Ice Fishing Extravaganza and tight lines out there!
All images courtesy of Brainerd Jaycee Ice Fishing Extravaganza