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Jaycees get go-ahead for Extravanganza after ice check

It’s time to get ready for the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, back on Gull Lake’s Hole-in-the-Day Bay Saturday, Jan. 29, for its 31st annual charity tournament.

A man operates an ice auger while others watch.
Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza 2021 tournament chair Benji Thoennes, left, watches 2022 tournament chair Andrew Jay auger a hole through the ice on Hole-in-the-Day Bay on Gull Lake with Crow Wing County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Thesing ready to measure Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The in-person tournament is scheduled for Jan. 29.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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HOLE-IN-THE-DAY BAY — With a nip in the air, the Brainerd Jaycees waited for the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office to read off the ice thickness Thursday, Jan. 20, on Gull Lake’s Hole-in-the-Day Bay.

Andrew Jay, Brainerd Jaycees 2022 tournament chairperson, drilled the hole that would contain the fate of not only the tournament but of all the preparation and hard work that goes into hosting 10,000 people.

A ruler measures ice thickness
Crow Wing County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Brad Thesing measures 16 inches of ice Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, on Hole-in-the-Day Bay on Gull Lake during the official ice check by the Brainerd Jaycees for the upcoming Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

“We’ve got 16 inches of good ice right here,” said Sgt. Brad Thesing, with the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office Recreation Division. “That means the event can go on.”

After getting the official word from the sheriff’s office, the Jaycees are now able to receive a permit for the Jan. 29 Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, Jay said.

“Now we get to work, now is when the work starts,” Jay said. “Making sure we got everything lined up and coming into town, getting (the) roads plowed, tents set up. The next week is, it's go time. We're hitting the ground running. Ready to be back on ice for the first time in a couple of years.”


The tournament is scheduled noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 29 on Gull Lake with tickets available for purchase at all Fleet Farm locations until Jan. 29 for $50. Participants and guests are welcome to enter the tournament area through a check station after 8 a.m.

Tickets may be purchased online at or at any Fleet Farm location prior to Jan. 29. To find more information or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, visit .

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme, call 218-855-5859 or email

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2020, covering Public Safety and the Baxter City Council.
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