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Winter in Colorado is not just about skiing and snowboarding; it’s also the season for one of the most anticipated events in the angling community – the 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest. This annual event, happening from January 24 to 26, 2025, invites anglers to the breathtaking lakes of Granby, Colorado, for a weekend filled with fun, competition, and community spirit. If you’ve ever dreamed of ice fishing amidst the stunning scenery of the Rockies or are looking for a unique winter adventure, this is your chance to dive in. Let’s walk you through what makes this contest a must-attend event, how to participate, and tips to make the most out of your trip.

A Celebration of Ice Fishing and Community

The 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest isn’t just any fishing tournament; it’s a beloved tradition that stands as the longest-running ice fishing event west of the Mississippi. It brings together the charm of Lake Granby, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and Grand Lake, offering a competitive yet friendly environment for both seasoned anglers and beginners. What’s more, the event is a significant fundraiser for Destination Granby, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the local community. By participating, you’re not only chasing the thrill of the catch but also contributing to a great cause.

Joining the Fun

As we edge closer to 2025, keep an eye out for registration details, which will be available both online and in person. Whether you’re in for a single day of competition or the entire three-day challenge, there’s a place for you in this contest. With tens of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes up for grabs, the stakes are high, and the excitement is palpable.

Getting Ready for the Contest

Parking and Accommodation

  • Parking: With three beautiful lakes to choose from, knowing where to park can save you a lot of hassle. Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Lake offer ample parking options, but remember, the spots fill up quickly, especially near the weigh stations. For those heading to Grand Lake, the Swim Beach and Public Boat Launch are your best bets.
  • Camping: If you’re bringing your home on wheels, there are designated spots for self-contained units. Just remember, it’s winter, and the campgrounds are closed, so plan accordingly.

Navigating the Ice

Safety should be your top priority. The ice conditions can vary significantly, so always check the thickness as you go. If you’re planning to bring a snowmobile or ATV, make sure it’s under the 1,000 lbs weight limit, and always have safety gear on hand, including shovels, ropes, and a flotation device.

The Main Event

From the moment you pick up your welcome bag at Ace Hardware to the final awards ceremony at Sun Outdoors, every day is packed with activities. Early risers get a head start with ice fishing at dawn, while the weigh stations buzz with anticipation as anglers bring in their catch. The highlight, of course, is the announcement of winners, where the day’s efforts are rewarded amidst cheers and applause.

Staying Safe and Warm

The beauty of ice fishing comes with its set of challenges, notably the unpredictable ice conditions. Stay safe by avoiding areas with moving water and always moving with caution. Dressing appropriately for the cold is crucial – think waterproof boots and layers – and don’t forget an emergency kit.

Experience The Jabberwocky

For those looking for comfortable accommodations during the contest, The Jabberwocky, a luxurious 3-bedroom condo, offers a cozy retreat. Its close proximity to the lakes and top-notch amenities make it the perfect basecamp for your ice fishing adventure.

Ready, Set, Fish!

The 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest in Granby, Colorado, is more than just an event; it’s a celebration of winter, fishing, and community. Whether you’re competing for the grand prize or soaking in the joy of fishing amidst snow-covered mountains, this contest promises an unforgettable experience. So, gear up, mark your calendars, and prepare for an adventure that combines the thrill of ice fishing with the beauty of Colorado’s winter landscape. See you on the ice!