After all the hype before the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza about it being cold, it ended up being a beautiful day to be on the ice. And now, after going through this week, I'm thinking we got really lucky.

By looking around during the Extravaganza it was obvious there were some people that decided not to chance it with the weather but they couldn't of been more wrong. With no wind and full sunshine there were even people running around without jackets. The pre-party on Friday night at Grand View Lodge was a huge hit. And how couldn't it be? Raising funds for the Brainerd Warrior Fishing Team along with a comedy show and some great great prizes, it was bound to be fun.

And now for the fishing-noticed how I said fishing not catching? Tammy along with some family and the "New Yorkers" hit the ice early and were all ready to run to center ice with a fish big enough to make the board. But the tiny perch would be the only biters they would have. And oddly enough everyone was still smiling at the end of the day.

And to finish off a great Minnesota weekend we had to have a good old Minnesota fish fry. So that's what we did with all the favorites: fresh walleye, pickled pike, smoked trout, venison sausage and of course chicken wild rice soup. And since we do not have a chicken season I had to actually buy the chicken. It was a nice finishing touch, I just don't know how we are going to top it when our friends come back this summer to go fishing, but I'm sure I'll think of something.

JAMIE DIETMAN, What's Up Outdoors, may be reached at 218-820-7757.