Fishapalooza ice fishing contest on FL put on ice

Lack of anglers to blame for tourney’s demise

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

It just wasn’t working.

The reasoning behind the discontinuation of the Fishapalooza ice fishing tournament is that clear-cut for Jim Woods of Ice Hole Productions, who brought ice fishing back to Forest Lake in 2008.

The on-again-off-again event is back off, and without any unforeseen developments, this time it’s for good.

“If someone wants to pick it up they can,” Woods said last week. “But if what we were giving away didn’t make it work, I don’t think anything will.”

Indeed, the tournament’s troubles were not for a lack of sponsor interest – Fishapalooza 2011 saw the disbursement of about $180,000 worth of prizes, including a $20,000 check for the biggest fish. And while the balmy winter might well have forced the event’s cancellation anyways, Woods made up his mind months ago.

Fishapalooza drew only 3,300 or so participants last year. For an event in its third year (it was not held in 2009), Woods could not continue to work on it year-round and not see a profit.

“It’s just not what I expected when we started this,” he said. “I expected it to grow…It just didn’t work.”

VFW Post 4210 in Forest Lake was Fishapalooza’s title sponsor.