Wally Finn

This year’s event took place on Feb. 15 and was supported by more than 250 Ducks Unlimited volunteers. Numerous raffles and more than $100,000 in prizes were featured. Wood duck houses were given to youth, and prizes were awarded for the 100 largest fish caught. Fishing for Ducks also includes a pre-event party Friday evening.

Talking with Greg Erickson, volunteer and event chairman, he said the event is a fun way to bring together a mix of outdoors enthusiasts to raise money for wetlands conservation. “It’s a friendly mix of friends, families, kids and adults, some of whom are serious ice anglers and some who fish for 20 minutes and then socialize in the tents,” Erickson said. “There are games, raffles, food and a bar to keep people warm.”

Garrison Chapter Ducks Unlimited volunteers spent three days on the lake setting up tents and temporary buildings that acted as a registration area, restaurant and bar, raffle center and warm-up area. Volunteers worked with a local engineering firm to plow a 50-acre outline of the Ducks Unlimited logo that served as contest boundaries. The day began at 5 a.m. when volunteers drilled more than 7,000 holes for contestants, and boy was that a lot of racket! Participants started arriving at 7 a.m., doors opened at 9 a.m., and participants fished from noon to 3 p.m.

A giant digital monitor projected the leaderboard throughout the day as participants mixed fishing with eating, talking and playing raffles. The winning fish was a walleye weighing in at 3.37 pounds, caught by Robert Scott of Garrison. Scott took home a $20,000 prize for largest fish. Let me tell you, it was quite a sight looking up at those people, and frankly it made me quite uncomfortable!

Loose lines and tight lips,

Wally

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