Hundreds of people catch over 1,000 fish at Ice Fish Fest

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Hundreds of people enjoyed the weather Saturday by ice fishing at the Ice Fish Fest.

The event brings people to Catfish Bay from all over the region, all to enjoy a day on the lake.

Catfish Bay Founder Jim Bruns said, “The number one rule is you have to have fun, that’s the number one rule at our tournament is that you have to have fun.”

Over 500 people grabbed a bucket and a rod Saturday, searching for the largest fish in the pond and at the Ice Fish Fest, and there is no shortage of fish to catch.

"Like last year we weighed in over 300 fish and we figured that with everybody they caught over 1,000 fish last year and we think that will probably happen again this year.” Bruns continued. “I’m out talking with people and people are catching fish and we are weighing in fish, so the numbers are coming pretty good.”

So once the fish is caught, it’s weighed and then released right back into the lake.

Ice fishermen Todd Hudson added, “It’s a great little fishery and people catch fish. You go to a normal fishing tournament with a big lake and everything, not a lot of fish get caught. This place a lot of fish get caught, it’s pretty exciting for everybody.”

The event is a fundraiser for the Catfish Bay Water Ski Team. The tournament hands out over $10,000 in prizes, but it’s not the money that keeps people coming back.

Hudson said, “Being out here with all the people, beautiful day, it’s a great cause and it’s a nice deal for everybody. The kids can get out here, it’s good.”

“Like a lot of outdoor activities, it brings families and friends together, it gets you out of the house, gets you off your phone and we think that’s kind of cool,” Bruns added.