Minnesota boy lands giant walleye to win massive ice-fishing tourney
A 13-year-old boy was the top angler Saturday at a Minnesota charity tournament that attracted participants from around the world.
Zac Padrnos claimed bragging rights at the 33rd annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza by reeling in a 9.45-pound walleye that struck his jig at a depth of 50 feet.
Padrnos, who is from Minnesota, was fishing with 3-pound-test line, so landing the hefty walleye presented a major challenge.
“He thought it was a tullibee, but in the end with adrenaline running he ended up reeling in a fish of a lifetime, a walleye,” event staff stated via Facebook.
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Walleye are the most sought-after game fish in Minnesota. The state record stands at 17 pounds, 8 ounces.
The Brainerd Jaycees boasted that nearly 12,000 people from as far as Australia and France participated in the event. A record 14,300 holes were drilled into area lakes by volunteers on Friday.
Padrnos won a Ford F150 truck, which was among the donated prizes. It was to be claimed by his guardians.
The Brainerd Jaycees said that this year’s largest beneficiary of the charity competition is the Confidence Learning Center, an outdoor education facility for people experiencing cognitive and developmental disabilities.
The group has donated $4.3 million to more than 75 charities since the first event was held in 1991.