Fishing for a Cure kicking off PTTP events on ice

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, January 12, 2023

For more than a decade, ice anglers have ventured onto the frozen, local waters in hopes of reeling in fish and raising money for cancer research. 

Those involved with the 14th annual Fishing for a Cure ice-fishing contest are hoping this year’s event – set for Saturday, Jan. 21 at Austin’s East Side Lake – will put their lifetime fundraising total over $200,000 for cancer research at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota in Austin. 

Graphic provided

Part of the annual Paint the Town Pink (PTTP) initiative, Fishing for a Cure is about $22,000 away from that goal, said Glenn Newman, who has led the event in recent years with his daughter, Hayley Erdahl. His son, Zach Newman, also is helping this year with the contest that will run from noon to 2 p.m. Jan. 21, with registration starting at 11 a.m.

“This is always a great day on the lake no matter the weather conditions or the number of fish reeled in,” Glenn Newman said. “There’s great camaraderie out on the ice and tons of generosity from our anglers and businesses all focused on making a difference in the fight against cancer.”

Fishing for a Cure is the first of three events planned on East Side Lake for this year’s Paint the Town Pink community initiative to support The Hormel Institute’s cancer research. East Side Lake also will host the annual Plunging for Pink polar plunge on Saturday, Jan. 28, and the inaugural Freezin’ for a Reason ice golf competition on Saturday, Feb. 25.

A year ago, Fishing for a Cure raised about $16,300 for The Hormel Institute, drawing 163 anglers of all ages. Most years, anywhere from three to 30 fish – typically pan fish –are caught during the contest.

Top anglers are determined by the weight of their fish pulled up from East Side Lake, with first place winning $300 followed by $200 for second and $100 for third. Last year’s winning fish was a 9.1-ounce sucker; the previous winner in 2020 (no 2021 contest due to the pandemic) was a 2-pound, 5-ounce largemouth bass. 

Each $20 entry fee for Fishing for a Cure – whose motto is “Continuing in the fight against cancer” – includes drilled fishing holes, bait, a button number entered for a $100 drawing along with door prizes and a meal at the post-contest event at the Austin Eagles Club, 107 11th St. N.E. A silent auction also will be at the Eagles. 

Registration will be set up at East Side Lake’s boat ramp on its eastern shoreline along Oakland Place Northeast. Portable fish houses are allowed on the lake, and Minnesota fishing regulations apply to all anglers. 

“It truly is an all-ages event focused on having fun while supporting a great cause,” Newman said. 

Organizers typically drill 200 to 250 holes in East Side Lake but can drill more, if needed. Holes usually are flagged and participants can pick any available hole on the lake; anglers also can bring their auger to create their own fishing holes.

One of the event sponsors again will be the state’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) awareness campaign to help prevent the spread of invasive species in Minnesota waters. 

People can make donations to Fishing for a Cure via a website set up through the University of Minnesota to enhance the event’s fundraising. The weblink is:  crowdfund.umn.edu/campaign/Fishing-for-a-Cure

For more information, email austinfishingforacure@gmail.com or call Hayley at 507-440-8167 or Glenn at 507-438-0313.