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It’s time for anglers to hit the ice for annual fishing derbies

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Annual ice fishing derbies dominate the sportsman’s February calendar, and these derbies are special community events. Not only do the derbies offer anglers the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of a day on the ice and the chance to win quality prizes, but the events also serve as fundraisers for local service groups.

Among the organizations sponsoring February ice fishing derbies are the Clayton Fire Department and Knights of Columbus, Chippewa Bay F&G Club, Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department, Plessis Fire Department, and St. Lawrence River Walleye Association.


The Clayton VFD and Knights of Columbus are hosting their 7th annual Catch and Release Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, Feb. 4. This event features a $1,000 grand prize donated by FX Caprara; other major prize donors include Clayton Marina Sales & Service, Rusty Johnson Masonry, Peterson’s Painting, LP Builders, and Whitesboro Plows. Participants can register ($10 for adults and $5 for children) at the K of C Hall on Friday, Feb. 3 beginning at 3 p.m. and on Saturday between 5:30 and 10 a.m.


The Chippewa Bay F&G Club is hosting its Annual Open Boundary Northern Pike Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. This club uses proceeds from its events to sponsor youths at summer camps and to support its northern pike stocking program. Participants can register ($10 for adults and $5 for youths) at the Fish and Game Clubhouse beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10 and on the day of the event.

All prizes in the derby are awarded by drawing, and the top prize is $500 donated by Ned’s General Store in Hammond. Other prizes include $100 cash donated by Redwood Tavern for youth division, half-day fishing charter donated by Dave Gascon of Fun-2-Fish Charters, $100 for catch and release donated by Garlock’s Lumber, and $50 for catch and release donated by Craig McLear of Butternut Cottages.


Feb. 18 derbies are slated for Ogdensburg, Harrisville, and Plessis. The Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad is hosting its 7th Annual Ice Fishing Derby at Ogdensburg’s Wheathouse Bay, and fishing hours extend form 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Algonquin Power donated $1,500 to the event that offers top prizes of $350 in the Adult Division and $100 in the Youth Division. Participants can pre-register ($20 for adults and $10 for youths) at the Rescue Squad headquarters at 101 State St.

The Harrisville VFD 10th Annual Ice Fishing Derby at Lake Bonaparte has three divisions: northern pike, trout, and perch (youth only). Based on 1,000 entrants, up to $6,400 will be awarded. The entry fee is $25 for adults (additional $10 for entering the trout category) and $5 for youths under 12. Pre-registration sites include TNT Tackle in Edwards, Truckside Tavern, Village Inn, Marshey Road Trapline Supplies, Bonaparte Wine and Spirits, and Harrisville R&G Club. More information is available at

The Plessis Fire Department is hosting its first Luck of the Draw Ice Fishing Derby, and the event is an open-boundary one for northern pike only. The grand prize is $500 in the adult division and $200 in the youth division. Minimum length requirement for fish is 24 inches in the adult category and 22 inches in the youth category. Participants can pre-register ($10 for adults and $5 for youths) at T.I. Bait Store in Clayton and Felder’s Bait in Redwood.


The St. Lawrence River Walleye Association is hosting its Northern Pike Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 25, and this derby serves as a major source of funding for the group’s walleye stocking program. Sponsored by Budweiser and Subway, the Northern Pike Challenge offers a 2012 Polaris 4x4 Sportsman ATV as the grand door prize. In addition, $1,000 will be paid out hourly for the three biggest pike.

Participants can pre-register ($30 prior to Feb. 10, $35 beginning Feb. 11, and $5 for youth perch) at Ale House and Massena Bait and Tackle in Massena, Chapman’s Sport Shop at Black Lake, Sandy’s Tackle in Lisbon, and Nature’s Trophies and Green Machine Bait and Tackle in Waddington.

This derby is a catch-and-release event with restricted boundaries. For more information and an entry form, visit


Feb. 4: Clayton Hosts Annual Catch & Release Ice Fishing Derby.

Feb. 4: Oneida Civic Center Hosts CNY Sportsman Show in Oneida.

Feb. 9: SLC Trappers Association Meets at Lisbon Library at 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 11: Chippewa Bay F&G Club Hosts Annual Ice Fishing Derby.

Feb. 14: Federated Sportsmen’s Clubs of SLC Meet at 7 p.m.

Feb. 18: Ogdensburg Rescue Squad Hosts Annual Ice Fishing Derby at Wheathouse Bay.

Feb. 18: Harrisville VFD Hosts Annual Northern Pike and Trout Ice Fishing Derby at Lake Bonaparte.

Feb. 18: Plessis Fire Department Hosts Open Boundary Ice Fishing Derby.

Feb. 18-19: Johnstown Moose Lodge Hosts 7th Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show in Johnstown.

Feb. 25: St. Lawrence River Walleye Association Hosts Annual Northern Pike Challenge.

Feb. 25-26: West Potsdam VFD Hosts Annual Gun Show.

March 3: Cranberry Lake VFD Hosts Annual Ice Fishing Derby.

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