ESCANABA - More than 400 kids and adults - and one fish - participated in this weekend's Jig It Ice Fishing Extravaganza held at the Escanaba Yacht Harbor, said organizers from Big Brother Big Sisters of the Bay Area, the event sponsor.
Jason M. Pepin, of Escanaba, was the only fisherman to catch a fish during the competition. The small perch, caught at 11:55 a.m., weighed only 4.5 ounces but netted Pepin the first place prize of $3,000 cash, said Tanya Schuster, executive director of BBBS. The remaining prizes were given away in a random drawing.
"Our attendance was down and people were not catching fish," Schuster said. "It's more fun when you do catch fish."
Jenny Lancour | Daily Press
Two ice fishermen, in the photo above, look for fish in their augured holes at the Sixth Annual Jig It Ice Fishing Extravaganza held in Escanaba on Saturday. In front is Joel Wils of Gladstone with Ron Jacques of Escanaba behind him.
Jenny Lancour | Daily Press
Maizie Nelson, 6, of Rapid River fishes alongside her grandmother, Bonnie Nelson, of Rapid River. Big Brother Big Sisters of Delta County sponsors the event to fund mentoring programs for youth.
Some fishermen saw fish in their ice holes and fish finders were detecting swimmers below but they just weren't biting, she said.
Saturday's contest was the sixth year the organization has hosted the event along with several other sponsors from throughout the community. Profits from the Jig It help fund mentoring programs for area youth, Schuster explained.
Those who pre-registered for the event were given a goodie bag which included fishing tackle and coupons. Participants were also eligible for door prizes. Raffles and 50/50's were held throughout the day. Food and music were also available. Mother Nature provided sunny skies.
Schuster reported a total of 47 children participated in the Kids Koop which included fishing inside a tent and outside. Next year, Jig It plans to expand its Kids Koop, she said. More activities are also planned both on and off the ice to make the event more like a winter festival, she added.
"We're looking forward to next year with additional activities going on in the harbor and around the park," Schuster said.
Winners of prizes are as follows: 1st - $3,000 Cash, Jason Pepin; 2nd - $500 Cash, Wayne Johnson; 3rd - Bait and Tackle Package donated by Bayshore Resort Bait and Tackle, Jennifer Maclaren; 4th - Two-Man Portable Shelter donated by Enbridge Energy, Mike Chouinard: 5th - Power Ice Auger donated by Wells Lions Club, Chad Holle; 6th - Mr. Buddy Heater Package donated by Gary's Collision, Jeremy Smith; 7th - Garmin Handheld GPS donated by Jeff's Glass, Bob Bartozak; 8th - Riverland Taxidermy $100 package donated by Riverland Taxidermy, Douglas Mckeever; 9th - Mr. Buddy Heater package donated by Ives Trucking, Vaviel Smolinski; 10th - Two-Man Portable Shelter donated by Delta Cooperative Electric Association, Carly Meier; 11th - 2013 Jig It Ice Fishing Package, Jerry Grenfell; 12th - Mr. Buddy Heater package donated by Four Seasons Small Engine, Jake Lanaville; 13th - Garmin Handheld GPS donated by Independent Machine, Jeff Budish; 14th - Bait and Tackle Package donated by Independent Machine, Jamie Decker; 15th - Two-Man Portable Shelter donated by Upper Peninsula Power Co., Dana Vanenkevort; 16th - Jiffy Power Auger donated by Carlyon Dentistry, Kristi Hansen; 17th - Mr. Buddy Heater package donated by Independent Machine, Tony Kobasic; 18th - Garmin Handheld GPS donated by Ward's Auto Body, Melissa Vlimmek; 19th - Riverland Taxidermy $100 package donated by Riverland Taxidermy, Greg Martinson; and 20th - $150 Touch Up Detail donated by Classic Auto Collision, Jim Smolinski.
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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, firstname.lastname@example.org