Anglers Take to the Ice for 3rd Annual Ice Fishing Contest

Anglers Compliment Weather, Fish Still Hiding

DULUTH, Minn.- Only in the Northland can you expect a frozen lake to be covered with ice houses and four-wheelers.

On Saturday Anglers attacked the ice, trying to get themselves the next biggest cash to win the 3rd Annual Alpine Bar Winter Walleye Fishing Contest.

The white blanket of snow on the frozen St. Louis River is peppered with different colors.

Ice houses blot the landscape, signaling the beginning of the fishing contest.

From afar, the ice fishers look like insects moving around a piece of paper, though the ice shifts and clicks ominously underneath.

For many, ice fishing is a leisurely, winter activity.

“It’s a great activity to get out in the wintertime, there’s not much else to do around here, yknow? You gotta kinda embrace the cold and enjoy the outdoors as much as you can.”

“That’s why we live here, right?”

Lynsie Radovich and Ryan Johnson, and their furry fishing friend, Gunner, have been camped out on the river since 9:30 in the morning, hoping to be the early birds getting the fish.

Unfortunately, ice fishing doesn’t always yield results.

“Not good fishing, they call it fishing, not catching. But it’s a good day to be on the ice,” she said.

“Uh they’re gonna start biting soon!” said Johnson, sarcastically.

“Yeah, right? It’s always just about to bite, always just about to bite,” replied Radovich.

Word around the ice is everyone’s getting the same bad luck.

One by one they head back to the Alpine Bar in Gary-New Duluth.

Here, it’s clear that it’s not all about the catch, but the camaraderie and the cause.

“It brings a lot of the community residents together to have fun in outdoor activity, but bring the community together to raise funds so the money can go back into the community,” said Mary White, President of the Gary-New Duluth Community Club.

Registration was $5 a person, and organizers say they had about 45 anglers.

The Community Club is hosting another fundraiser, their 25th Annual Rabbit Hunt in February.

The money raised goes to things like maintaining Gary-New Duluth’s Veterans Memorial, Far West Fest, and the renovation of the Gary-New Duluth Community Rec Center, among other projects.

“We want to promote neighborliness, being in a safe community, and I think getting to know our neighbors and people coming together, that’s how you make it a better place,” said White.

But of course, it’s still somewhat about the fish caught.

The prize winners sit, frozen in a truck. A walleye, normally 20 bucks at a restaurant, is free for this lucky fisherman.

For the fish, it hasn’t been a great day.

But for the anglers, it’s like Christmas all over again.

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