Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest gears up for 31st annual event with new additions | SkyHiNews.com

Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest gears up for 31st annual event with new additions

Kick off party, frozen fish toss added to yearly tournament

A lone fishing hut sits in the snow on top of the frozen surface of Grand Lake during the Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest.

As the end of January edges ever closer, and temperatures in the high country remain frigidly low, it is time once again for Granby's annual angling adventure, known as the Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest.

The popular winter fishing event will be held this weekend, Jan. 25, 26 and 27 on Grand County's Three Lakes: Lake Granby, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Grand Lake. The 31st iteration of the annual event will get under way this Thursday night at Indian Peaks Marina with the first ever Three Lakes Contest Kick Off Party. That party will be followed by three days of dedicated fishing with cash prizes being awarded

"Our registration numbers are already up," Jessica Blair, executive director of Granby Chamber of Commerce, said comparing 2019's numbers to last year. "We have added a kick off party Thursday night at Indian Peaks Marina. That is almost sold out already."

So far a total of 400 anglers have pre-registered for the event as of Monday morning. That is 100 more anglers than were pre-registered for the 2018 Three Lakes contest the Monday prior to the event. Overall Blair said the Chamber expects around 1,400 anglers to participate in the contest. Blair attributed the increase in anglers for the 2019 event in part to weather.

Grand County experienced an especially mild winter for the 2017 / 18 season and according to Blair concerns about unseasonably warm temperatures and thin lake ice led several anglers to cancel their registrations for the tournament.

"My last report, from a couple of weeks ago, was that the ice on Lake Granby was at 12 inches," Blair said. "Safety is the number one priority. And we always tell people to check it as they go. But the ice will be substantial enough to anglers take their sleds out on the lake if they choose to do so."

The kick off party for this year's contest will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Indian Peaks Marina. The event will feature a Cajun themed menu for attendees, drinks, karaoke and the brand new frozen fish toss contest wherein contestants will attempt to toss frozen fish into a container from a distance. The winner of the event will receive a $100 prize.

The contest's official weigh station location is also moving in 2019. For the last several years the weigh station for the contest was located at the North Shore Resort. This year the weigh station for the contest will be located at Indian Peaks Marina. Blair said contest organizers will also be setting up a "village" on the ice right outside the weigh station this year.

The village will include a hospitality tent offering chili and coffee, tents for several local merchants and areas that will offer activities for children. Blair noted that the village on ice will even be equipped with lamp posts and lighting.

Fishing in the contest will formally begin Friday morning at 6:40 a.m. The weigh station will open at 9 a.m. each morning. Along with the cash prizes that will be awarded to anglers based on largest catches the contest will also feature a series of prize package drawings on Saturday night.

The prize packages, which are separate from the cash prizes awarded for fish, vary in value from $2,390 to several hundred dollars. Winners of the prize packages will be selected through a drawing system. Each angler who registers for the tournament, be it one day or all three days, will be entered into the drawing. Anglers must be present at the awards ceremonies, held at the Granby community Center at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, to win.

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