Three days, three lakes: Ice fishing tournament starts next week in Grand County
A village is going up on Lake Granby next week for the 32nd annual Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest, and local businesses and organizations are invited to join the gathering.
With designated fishing areas and predrilled holes in the ice, some tournaments are more limited than Grand County’s, as the three-day tournament will spread out across the frozen Lake Granby, Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Reservoir.
The tournament starts with a Thursday kickoff party and runs Jan. 24-26 with anglers from across the state and region vying for prizes and cash valued at over $28,000, $12,000 in tagged fish and $10,000 in merchandise. This year, the first prize for the Saturday raffle is a new 2019 Ski-Doo 550LT Tundra Snowmobile.
The tournament has been in existence for over three decades now, but one of the recent additions, The Village at Lake Granby, only sprung up last year. The US Ice Fishing Association is assisting the tournament’s host, the Granby Chamber of Commerce, building the village again this year with designs to make it bigger and better than the inaugural run.
Altogether, this year’s village will encompass more than a dozen tents, complete with heating and raised platform flooring. It will all go up about 500 feet from the Indian Peaks Marina. The village will only be a short walk from the marina, but a flyer promises free shuttles for people and vendor materials out to the village.
Detailing the layout, village organizer Chris Meister said there will be a hospitality tent, a tent with free coffee and chili, a poker tent and space for local businesses and organizations. Outside the tents will be a fire pit and temporary “sidewalks” on the ice with room for fun and games.
“We’re putting up this village for entertainment and so people will have something to do during the tournament,” Meister said. “It’s just a gathering place… It takes a whole semi to bring all this stuff up.”
Meister added that the village is looking to hold swap meets every afternoon and produce a festival-like atmosphere to accompany the ice fishing. If any local businesses or organizations are interested in setting up a display inside the village, they can contact him at 303-319-4307.
Overall, the tournament breaks down into three day-long contests on each day of the tournament. Competitors include all kinds of anglers, from beginners to the seasoned fishermen and fisherwomen. More than 100 children fish in the contest. Entries start at $45 for one day and include a prize package drawing ticket. The first anglers to register also receive a commemorative hat. Tagged fish contest winners will receive $1,000 cash.
Tournament organizers are planning a kickoff party from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday at River Run RV Resort with a frozen fish toss and a chance to win $100, along with door prizes. A $25 ticket includes two drink tickets and food. For more, go to http://www.granbychamber.com/fish or call 970-887-2311. Keep an eye out for updates on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/3lakesicefishing.
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This summer’s potential for record-breaking recreation in Grand County comes down to simple math.