Imagine competing in your main sport when you were a kid…
But you were competing against some of the best players in not only the country, but the world, and the majority of the field is at least double your age…
Sounds impossible, right?
But that dream became a reality for 13-year-old Zac Padrnos, as he recently got the W in the 2023 Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza held in Brainerd, Minnesota, which is one of the biggest ice fishing tournaments in the state of Minnesota, and in fact, with over 10, 000 anglers… the world.
And on top of that, the guy also won himself a brand new Ford F-150… and he’s still two whole years away from getting his Learner’s Permit.
According to KARE 11, a whopping 12,000 anglers competed in the ice fishing tournament held on Gull Lake, and just before 2 PM, Zac was fishing in 50 feet of water, using a tungsten jig and 3-pound test line, fishing against anglers from as far as Australia and France.
At first, Zac thought he had just caught a tullibee, which is a small inland whitefish. However, it turned out to be a massive 9.45 pound walleye, which threw him in first place in the tournament.
For winning, he had a choice at a F-150, or a GMC Canyon pickup, thanks to Mills Automotive Group, but he ultimately went with the Ford.
And on top of that, the tournament raised tens of thousands of dollars for local charities, and throughout their 33-year run, they’ve raised over $4.3 million for more than 75 charities.