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Good ice already forming for Community Fishing Contest

Tickets are available for the 12th annual Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Contest.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6 on Fish Hook Lake.

More than $100,000 in prizes will be given away.

"There's good ice out there already," said event organizer Jerry Benham.

Last year's contest had bad ice with slush on top, he said.

The fishing derby is always the first Saturday in February and brings tons of people to the area, Benham said. Typically, there are between 3,000 and 4,000 people on the ice that day, he said. Last year the numbers were down because of the ice conditions.

Besides the opportunity to fish is the chance of winning a raffle prize. The grand prize this year is a 2010 XLT 4x4 Ford truck and $2,000 is awarded to the seller of the winning fish house ticket.

The 10th largest fish caught in any category will win an Ice Castle fish house, with $2,000 awarded to the seller of the winning fish house ticket.

Also, $2,000 is awarded to the seller of the most tickets.

Tickets are available at businesses throughout the Park Rapids area and at the American Legion.

Sixty raffle prizes are available. Additional prizes could be won in four fishing categories: Division I: bluegill and crappie; division II: northern, walleye and largemouth bass; perch division; and rock bass division.

Prizes range from cash to a recliner, with many gift certificates.

The annual medallion treasure hunt commences Jan. 6, with a treasure chest of prizes worth more than $1,000. Clues will be posted at the American Legion and also appear in the Enterprise.

"The tickets make a great stocking stuffer," Benham said.

This year, tickets are $40 each.

The fishing derby weekend kicks off with a Post 212 dinner from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, followed by a welcome dance from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. with entertainment by "Past Due."

Breakfast will be served from 7-10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Legion and a lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Legion.

The fishing contest is from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Fish Hook Lake that afternoon with an awards presentation at 5 p.m. at the American Legion. That evening is the fisherman's ball from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Legion.

A Boy Scouts breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7 to wrap up the weekend.

For more information, contact Benham at 732-9657. For tickets, call 218-732-3360.