By Dan Johnson

As I write this, thousands of anglers from across the Upper Midwest are anxiously awaiting and eagerly preparing for an ice fishing competition of epic proportions.

At noon tomorrow, the thunder of a cannon will kick off the Brainerd Jaycees 25th Annual $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Gull Lake’s Hole-in-the-Day Bay.

More than 10,000 hardy souls participated in the charity event last winter, and no doubt an equal number will try their luck again this season. With proceeds benefitting local charities, and prizes valued at nearly $200,000 up for grabs—including a brand-new Ford or GMC truck—who can blame them?

As much as I’d like to say I’ll be fishing the event, I’m actually covering the action for Lindy. A proud sponsor of the event, the company is offering a Lindy Shopping Spree to the 8th-place finisher, plus a Lindy Big Fish Bounty worth $3,000 in cash if the 25th-place finisher has a Lindy Perch Talker in their possession. So if you’re fishing the event, our paths may cross as I canvas the fishing grounds, camera in hand. I’m even set to take flight in a media helicopter to capture aerial imagery of the mass of hard-fishing humanity below.

My sons Josh and his friend Clayton will be fishing, however, and they’re both as excited as kids on Christmas Eve. Without sharing any of their secrets, I’ll say that Lindy Perch Talkers, Rattl’n Flyer Spoons, Frostee Jigging Spoons and Tungsten Toads are a big part of their arsenal. But then again, why would anyone wanting to claim top honors leave such deadly weapons at home?

Good luck to all those fishing tomorrow, and on behalf of the Brainerd Jaycees and Lindy Fishing Tackle, thanks for supporting such a worthy cause!