GRAND LAKE, Colo. (KDVR) – The temperature was 1 degree at dawn, but the sleepy town of Grand Lake was bustling. When the fog lifted, there were almost enough competitors on the lake to triple the town’s population by 412.
“We are just about 800 people on the ice today. And we drilled 1,200 holes this morning,” said fishing guide Nathan Zelinsky, owner of Tightline Outdoors. “We started drilling at 3 a.m.”
Ice Addiction is Nathan Zelinsky’s baby. The latest leg of his annual four-part ice fishing series brought in $26,000 in cash and prizes. Including $7,500 for the heaviest fish.
“I would spend it on going to Disneyland,” 10-year-old Clayton Strode said when asked how he would spend the grand prize money.
But catching the money fish is not so easy.
“We kinda force you to fish in a certain area,” Zelinsky added. “It’s up to your skill to do so.”
There were anglers of all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities. They all think they have a chance to make money.
“Yes, they do. Biggest carp, sucker or whatever (the) biggest fish wins,” said George Garcia.
Garcia won the top prize at Boyd Lake two years ago. That day a 25.5 inch lake trout took the lead. It weighed just under 6.5 pounds.
Could it be the money fish?
“I hope so,” said Erick Delumeau, who caught the big lake trout.
Delumeau watched nervously for the next three hours as fisherman after fisherman brought their catches to the weigh station. But the wait was worth it since Delumeau’s lake trout won first prize.
“Oh, that’s a great feeling,” Delumeau said with a smile. “My (two) boys, I told them (that) I will share (the prize money) with them. They’re going to have a college savings fund.
This 529 college savings plan is a fish story for the ages.
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