In upper Minnesota, ice fishing is what a lot of people do in the wintertime. East of Brainerd on Mille Lacs Lake, the ice is burdened with more than 5,000 ice-fishing houses, some of them outfitted with all the comforts of home carpeting, TV, bunk beds, you name it. But all you really need to catch fish is a hole in the ice, a bucket to sit on and a rod, reel and baited hook.
There are four classes of fish in Mille Lacs Lake: fish everyone eats, like walleye and perch; fish some people eat, like tullibee; fish no one admits eating, like eelpout; and fish you accuse others of eating, like carp. According to one Minnesota ice fisherman,"Carp's considered a delicacy in Iowa and Nebraska."
Each winter the Brainerd Jaycees sponsor an Ice Fishing Extravaganza. The first 100 anglers who catch a fish larger than eight ounces each win a bucket full of tackle.Whoever catches the hundredth-largest fish wins a new pickup.