More than 11,000 anglers compete in the world’s largest charity fishing contest

Take 20,000 holes drilled through a frozen lake, 11,000 anglers, 400 volunteers, $200,000 in prizes, and one 6.73-pound northern pike, and what do you get? The largest charity fishing contest in the world.

More than 11,000 anglers showed up for to Gull Lake in Minnesota for the 25th annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, all vying to catch the biggest fish.

Just 15-minutes before the contest ended on Jan. 24, Steve Baumgartner from Owatonna, MN, caught the winning fish, a 6.73-pound northern pike.

Baumgartner has been fishing in the contest for the past 10 to 15 years, but he almost didn’t compete this year. Then he checked the forecast and saw the unseasonable warm weather of -1 Celsius and bought his ticket the morning of the competition.

As for Baumgartner’s strategy, he says the shallow water right near the boundaries line was the trick.

“I wasn’t having luck at 26-feet, so I thought I’d give it a try in a shallow water, and that sure worked,” said Baumgartner in a press release. Baumgartner chose the GMC pick-up truck as his grand prize.