CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi student Cody Sablatura returned home to Minnesota January 29 to compete in the world's largest ice fishing tournament.
He expected a nice leisurely day socializing with family and friends. This particular day turned out to be one of the most incredible days of his life.
Sablatura was one of over 10,000 competitors taking part in the annual ice fishing extravaganza in Brainerd, Minnesota.
"It was crazy, went out onto the ice and it was 20 degrees," said Sablatura. "Sunny and warm and I started fishing catching just little fish and then all of a sudden I caught a 9.15 pound northern pike. There were over 20,000 holes pre-drilled and I picked a spot where the big fish were coming to eat smaller bait."
Turned out, his catch was the grand prize winner by a landslide because the next biggest catch weighed four pounds less. Sablatura won a 2022 GMC Sierra truck valued $41,000. Not a bad return for a $50 entry fee.
"I have seen people win trucks in the past, and I could not believe it was me," said Sablatura. "I had to cancel my flight home and take the 20 hour drive down but well worth it."