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History of Americas Ice Fishing Tournament

In the early 1990s, the Brainerd Jaycees had a desire to develop a signature project—a project that would rally members, raise money for local charities, and provide avenues for individual growth, personal development, and leadership. With the first contest being held in January 1991, it is certain the founders never expected this event would become the world’s largest ice fishing contest and put Brainerd, MN, on the map with a winter event that generates over $1-million in revenue for area businesses and over $150,000 for area charities annually.

The year 2020 gave this group a challenge that provided a lot of risks and unknown territory! The committee discussed many variables, but their mission remained at the forefront. They wanted to continue to help local charities, especially with the pandemic bringing such uncertainty to local organizations and charity groups. The virtual ice fishing tournament was voted for and established.

The committee did not know what to expect and had a lot of work to do. With much diligence, planning, organizing, and adapting a successful event transpired.

With that success, the committee thought they could capitalize on the idea and generate even more money charities across the United States. They decided to create a new event altogether – a new virtual ice fishing tournament that would provide even more opportunity for contestants to win and more money to be raised. That event is now called America’s Ice Fishing Tournament. The 3rd official tournament date will be February 4, 2023.

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