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Forest Lake Fishing Contest Moves to Grand Rapids in 2008


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From the Pioneer Press:

Warm weather pushes ice fishing contest off Forest Lake for good

Associated Press

FOREST LAKE, Minn. - Warm weather plays havoc with ice-fishing tournaments, and the organizers of the Golden Rainbow contest have had enough of it.

The contest, which has been held on Forest Lake since 1987 except in the years it was canceled because of warm weather, will move to Grand Rapids in 2008. This winter's tournament has already been canceled because of warm weather. The contest was canceled in 2002, 2003, and last January, as well.

The Golden Rainbow contest, run by the Hopkins Area Jaycees, has been one of the state's largest and oldest for ice fishing, and the biggest in the Twin Cities area. Forest Lake is about 25 miles north of St. Paul.

As recently as 2001, as many as 8,000 anglers converged on Forest Lake hoping to hook a scale-topping fish and winning some of the contest's $125,000 in cash and prizes. But participation plunged by half by 2004, after the two consecutive cancellations, said Jaycees organizer Jason Gadd.

Julie Finley, who owns a Domino's Pizza in Forest Lake, said her workers pulled sleds loaded with pizzas to anglers on the ice, delivering about 1,000 pies during the one-day tournament.

"When it's been held, we were one of the busiest Domino's in the state," she said.

Finley called the move disappointing but said she understands the plight of the Jaycees, which relies on the contest as its main revenue for the community projects it funds in Hopkins and Forest Lake.

"You can't control the weather," Finley said. "It's just a drag that it's not going to be here anymore."

The event will move to Lake Pokegama in Grand Rapids in February 2008.

Gadd said the cancellations and sagging participation have devastated the Jaycees' general fund. He estimated the group spent $40,000 on the 2006 contest before it was canceled.

"We've had a great relationship with the city and community," Gadd said. "But, financially, we just can't depend on the ice on Forest Lake anymore. It's tough to stay if we have no contest."

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Really sad sign of the times, global weather patterns are

shifting and many businesses that depended upon the winter

being cold and snowy will suffer. Last 5 years have really

shown everyone who loves winter here that its not what it

once was. Looks like the ice will be going out in January on

some southern MN lakes this year. Extended weather forecast

does not look good at all. frown.gif

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Kind of funny that this just made the news now since they decided to move it way last summer. The media really jumped on the bandwagon on this one. Sorry to see it go from town as it was really good for the local economy! I wonder with the weather we are having if they are going to have enough ice up in Brainerd this year!?


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Your right, I had heard they have been having the same problems with the ice conditionsin recent years. With no below zero moving into the state anytime soon I don`t think they will have enough ice either.

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I would go. Better fishing and more scenic than a freeway.

You may be right though. It was so close to the twin cities that the amount of people pulled from the major metro was big. Now that those people will have to travel will they go to Rapids?

Maybe the numbers will stay the same but just be filled by other people who wouldnt go before because it was too far a drive?

Its about the same drive for me but I like the Grand Rapids area much better. Tons of other lakes to fish if you want to make it a long weekend.

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i was planning on fish in the contest last february but it got cancelled i might still consider the trip this year. and trust me the city folk will drive anywhere for anything they even com down here to pass shoot pheasants that he farmers are chasing out of the corn.

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Hmmmmmm!!!! Maybe this is just what we need. Start the psychological games on Mother Nature and Old Man winter. No, we don't need cold weather in the Metro, we will go farther north. Then, WHAM. 20 below for a week and two foot of ice. OK, I am delirious. It might be just me but I go north to go ice fishing and driving off the lake I have to turn the wipers on full tilt. Yes it was raining but all the water splashing up was flooding the windshield. And no I wasn't doing 50 off the lake, barely 20. Is this MN or IA or Ill? confused.gif I am not sure where I live anymore.

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