by Kelly Johnson
Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, the third annual Nowthen Lions Club ice fishing contest went on as scheduled Feb. 4.
More than 200 holes were drilled in East Twin Lake, similar to previous years. However, the holes were spread out in an area double the size used last year due to the thin ice.
According to Judy Herrala, who helped organize the event, the organization was given the go-ahead to hold the event Jan. 29 after Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart gave the OK. Sheriff’s officials measured the ice thickness to be 13.5 inches Jan. 28.
Due to the thinner than normal ice conditions, no vehicles were allowed on the ice, which meant organizers had to tote all their items, including concessions, onto the lake themselves.
“It was very interesting,” Herrala said.
In all, some 400 tickets were sold for the contest, at $10 apiece, with proceeds going to the Nowthen Lions Club, which donates to various community activities throughout the year.
Prizes were awarded for the three largest fish.
Mike Cashman, who brought in the first fish of the day, also captured top honors and $250, securing first place with a northern weighing in at 2.8 pounds.
Jason Hujanen won second place, $100, with a 12-ounce northern.
Bryce Franck finished third place, $50, with an eight-ounce crappie.
Kelly Johnson is at email@example.com