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Published January 26, 2012, 09:02 PM

Thousands Gearing Up For Big Devils Lake Ice Fishing Tourney

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Thousands of fishing fans are preparing to hit the ice for the 28th annual Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department fishing tournament.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Thousands of fishing fans are preparing to hit the ice for the 28th annual Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department fishing tournament.

It seems like every year there are concerns the ice could crack under expectations.

"Each year we have, about a month out, everybody kind of gets a little worried about whether conditions will be acceptable for the tournament," Devils lake volunteer fire chief Jim Moe said.

But, this year the ice is ready for the pressure of one of the biggest fishing weekends of the year.

"We sold 15,000 tickets. Of course everybody that bought a ticket is eligible to come out and fish, but typically we get in the

neighborhood of three to five thousand people to fish," Moe said.

The ice fishing tournament is arguably the most popular event of its kind in the country, drawing people from the entire region. Those who are coming but haven't made travel plans yet might have a hard time finding a room.

"Yeah, we're 100% full, and I think, starting tonight, we're pretty well full. We're full till Sunday, and it's exciting, busy busy time for us," Woodlands Resort owner Kyle Blanchfield said.

Blanchfield says Woodland Resort is booked up. He says ice fans heat up business for him and the entire town.

"It's one of the biggest of the year. It's pretty hard to get a room anywhere in Devils Lake, I think, or anywhere near Devils Lake, because we bring a ton of people in for that tournament," Blanchfield said.

This year's tournament is expected to raise more than $100,000 for the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

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