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Catfish Bay's Ice Fish Fest

January 24, 2014, 5:55 PM by Perry Groten

Catfish Bay's Ice Fish Fest

A Sioux Falls attraction, known for its summer waterskiing shows, is making a splash this weekend as a fishing destination. The cold winter has created ideal conditions for Saturday's Ice Fish Fest  at Catfish Bay.

Crews will be poking hundreds of holes into the frozen surface of Catfish Bay. Workers hauling tent poles will make way for anglers toting fishing poles.

"We're plowing snow, we are getting all our equipment set up for concessions and today what we're doing is getting our heated tent set up for the kids and families," Catfish Bay President Jim Bruns said.

The Ice Fish Fest will attract hundreds of anglers of all ages.  Two years ago, Catfish Bay had to cancel the tournament because of thin ice from the warm winter. That won't be a problem this year. The ice is more than 20-inches thick.

"We're in a good position right now and cold weather actually makes it that much safer and better for us out here" Bruns said.

Catfish Bay stocked the pond with fish four years ago. And since then, plenty of big fish have thrived in this small lake.

"About three years ago, we put over 500 14-18 inch walleye and now they're pushing 20-plus inches out here, it's kind of our own secret world, it's kind of fun," Bruns said.

But now the secret's out. And anglers will be coming from all over to try their luck at Catfish Bay.

"We're literally bringing in people from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, a lot of people within two or three hours of Sioux Falls.  It's becoming a destination-type event for the city of Sioux Falls," Bruns said.

Top prize is $1,000. 

Registration for Ice Fish Fest begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. To register online, click here.

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