I have covered many events over the years for the radio station, but this past weekend was maybe the coldest event ever! Saturday was -3 with a wind-chill of -24. I never thought I would have so much fun covering an ice fishing tournament in such cold. So many smiles on parents and children’s faces. We are some tough Minnesotans!

The Canby Sportsman’s Club and Canby Fire Relief Association held their 3rd Annual Ice Fishing Tournament Friday and Saturday on Del Clark Lake. A 24 hour tournament that started Friday afternoon at 4pm and ended Saturday at 4pm. Then a 2 hour tournament for children Saturday from 1 to 3pm. It was extremely cold Saturday. When I arrived around noon, I could not believe the people on the lake ice fishing. Many ice houses on the lake, but the number of people participating in the two hour tournament that was outside and under a large tent was amazing considering how cold it was. True Minnesotans!

Casey Namken and Dave Verhelst

Friday I set up my radio equipment in the ice house where they were weighing the fish. Now, I don’t ice fish at all and the inside of the ice houses these days are very nice. They have satellite televisions, stoves, refrigerators and beds. I remember ice fishing when I was in high school a few times, and the ice houses from the 1970’s were not the same as today’s houses. So I set up in the back of the ice house, which had a really nice couch to sit on. I began broadcasting with Dave Verhelst, who is President of the Canby Sportsman’s Club and Casey Namken. I never went outside to broadcast, I just stayed in the warm and comfortable ice house broadcasting all afternoon! It was fun.

Casey Namken and his son Dylan

Saturday was a different story, I knew I wanted to be inside the large tent where the two hour tournament was being held for the kids! I wanted to interview a number of kids fishing, I thought that would make good radio. People love to listen to children on the radio. So I bundled up the best I could and set up my equipment on a table inside the very large tent. I had some good interviews with Casey and his son Dylan who had caught 8 crappies so far in the tournament. I also interviewed two young girls who were so excited to be ice fishing and they wanted to be on the radio, so I put them on. I also had Kyle and Mike from KFGO radio in Fargo on the air, they produce an outdoor show on KFGO in Fargo on Saturdays and are big promoters for hunting and fishing. All these interviews were done in the tent where it was a bit warmer than outside, but not by much.

I decided to go outside and walk around and take a video of the kids fishing in -24 degree weather. I came across a boy who was laying on his stomach with his head in the hole. I thought that was cute and what I probably would do if I was a kid. So cold and he was laying on the ice with his head in the hole. That was amazing to me, but so much fun to watch. Made my day!

So I spent two days on the ice and it was fun to watch so many people having fun in some difficult weather. Big thanks to the Canby Sportsman’s Club and the Canby Fire Relief Association for putting on a fun and safe tournament during a pandemic. My day even got better after the event as I brought home a PK Egans pizza.

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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