300 Santas go fishing on North Carolina lake, benefiting Toys for Tots and setting world record

The real Santa may have even been on the lake

It might be getting close to Christmas, but Santa still has plenty of time to get some fishing in.

While things can get crazy this time of year, it’s also important to remember that the holidays are the season of giving. A group of nearly 300 fishermen kept that tradition alive in one of the most seasonally appropriate ways possible: angling à la St. Nick.

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Fishing rod company Ugly Stik held a bass fishing tournament in North Carolina on Saturday, and raised over $15,000 worth of donations for Toys for Tots. In the spirit of the season, participants even dressed up like Kris Kringle himself.

The result was a lake filled with a record-setting number of fishing Santas, just two weeks before Christmas.

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“Fun fact: Santa Claus loves gettin' after some Bass before Christmas time!" the company wrote on Facebook, touting the event as the first of its kind and setting a "world record" as the largest fishing tournament with anglers dressed as Santa.

The company thanked everyone who entered, prompting one to wonder if there were that many lookalikes making a scene, perhaps the real Santa was able to sneak out for some pre-Christmas fishing as well.

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Jon Schlosser, Ugly Stik vice president of marketing, said that the brand felt the feel-good event was especially important this year to lift spirits amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“This year especially, we felt people needed an event like this one. It’s hard to see so many Santas in one place and have a bad time," Schlosser told 3 WBTV. "Ugly Stik has always been about having fun and just catching fish—and what a better example of that than this. We’re excited by the turnout and proud to own the world record but we’re even more excited to help bring Christmas to so many kids who might not otherwise have one this year.”