The St. Lawrence River Walleye Associations annual Northern Pike Challenge ranks as the most celebrated North Country ice fishing derby. Team E Outdoors filmed the 2011 Challenge and that show aired on Time Warner Sports a number of times in recent months. The 2012 Northern Pike Challenge, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Among changes for the 6th annual event are expanded fishing boundaries and the awarding of a 2012 Polaris 500 4X4 Sportsman ATV as the Grand Door Prize. Fishing hours run from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Fishing is restricted to Fobares Pond to the train trestle, Coles Creek Marina and Bay, Wilson Hill, and Sucker Brook in Waddington.
The Challenge features $1,000 payout per hour for the three largest northern pike, including $500 for first, $300 for second, and $200 for third. Also, $100 cash will be awarded for the days biggest walleye, and $50 will be awarded for the wackiest hat. Natures Trophies Taxidermy Bait and Tackle in Waddington is awarding a free mount for the largest fish of the day. The Youth Division (age 15 and under) features 100 percent payback of entry fees, and prizes will be awarded based on the largest yellow perch. In addition, numerous door prizes, including powered ice augers and ice shanties, will be handed out.
All prizes will be awarded at 4 p.m. at Sandy Beach.
Entry fees are $35 for Adult Division and $5 for Youth Division although youths may also enter the adult competition ($35). Registration sites include the Ale House (North Main St., Massena), Natures Trophies (Waddington), Sandys Custom Tackle (Lisbon), Chapmans Sport Shop (Black Lake), Massena Bait & Tackle (East Hatfield St., Massena), and Green Machine Bait and Tackle (Irish Settlement Rd., Waddington).
Registration closes at these locations on Feb. 23. Individuals can also register by visiting www.stlawrenceriverwalleyeassociation.com and printing out a mail-in registration form. A last-chance registration will take place at the Louisville Fire Station No. 2 on the morning of the event. This registration begins at 3 a.m. and closes promptly at 7 a.m.
Prior to fishing, all entrants must sign in on the day of the event at the Louisville Fire Station No. 2 on Route 37 (approximately five miles east of Coles Creek and approximately three miles west of Massena). Sign-in hours run from 3-7 a.m., and each angler will receive a registration number for the door-prize drawings.
The Northern Pike Challenge is a catch-and-release event. To facilitate the successful release of fish, anglers must bring their catch to the weigh scales in a container (bucket, fish bag, cooler, etc.) with water so that the head and gills of the fish are submerged in water. Only live fish will be accepted for entry at the on-site, weigh-in stations, and all entries become the property of SLRWA.
The 2012 Challenge is a true celebration of ice fishing, and proceeds from the event aid the SLRWA in its walleye-stocking and conservation programs. Participants are reminded to follow all angling, conservation, ATV, and snow-sled regulations and to behave in a respectful manner regarding the environment and fellow anglers.
For more information, visit the website listed above or call Mike at 384-3450.
Feb. 13: PBS Airs Streamside with Don Meissner at 7:30 P.M.
Feb. 14: Federated Sportsmens Clubs of SLC Meet at 7 P.M.
Feb. 16: Lisbon Sportsmens Clubs Holds Regular Meeting at Lisbon Library at 6:30 P.M.
Feb. 18: Ogdensburg Rescue Squad Cancels 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. 20: PBS Airs Streamside with Don Meissner at 7:30 P.M.
Feb. 25: St. Lawrence River Walleye Association Hosts Annual Northern Pike Challenge.
Feb. 25-26: West Potsdam VFD Hosts Annual Gun Show.
Feb. 29: Seasons Close in Northern Zone for Squirrel, Grouse, and Pheasants.
March 3: Cranberry Lake VFD Hosts Annual Ice Fishing Derby.