Ice fishing is a social activity for many anglers, and nowhere is the social aspect of ice fishing more prevalent than at derbies where anglers enjoy the camaraderie of family, friends, co-anglers and derby organizers. No month offers more derby opportunities than February.
Todays column takes a look at five area derbies slated for the first weekend in February.
The Redwood Volunteer Fire Department is hosting the Redwood Luck of the Draw Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday. The event has open-boundaries and features a $1,000 grand prize (donated by Redwood VFD) in the adult division and a $300 grand prize (donated by Felders Roofing and Gerald Umstead General Contractor) in the youth division.
Minimum entry lengths for northern pike are 24 inches for adults and 22 inches for youths. Anglers can pre-register ($10 for adults and $5 for youths) at Felders Service Station and Crossroads Grocery in Redwood, T.I. Bait Shop in Alexandria Bay, Chapmans Sport Shop at Black Lake, and Ace Hardware in Chaumont.
Activities will take place at the Redwood Fire Hall where anglers can register from 6-9 p.m. Friday from 6-9 p.m. and where they can weigh in pike from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prizes will be awarded at 6 p.m. For more information, call Tom at 222-6590.
Tupper Lake Derby
The Tupper Lake Rod and Gun Club hosts the Northern Challenge Ice Fishing Derby, one of the areas largest derbies, on the first Saturday in February each year.
This event pays out more than $33,000 in cash and other prizes, including $800 each hour. Fishing is restricted to Simon Pond, and the clubhouse serves as derby headquarters. Detailed rules for the contest are available at www.tupperlakearchers.net. Registration fee is $35, and more information is available by calling Dave at (518) 359-9715.
The Pierrepont Volunteer Fire Department will hold an Open Boundaries Ice Fishing Derby on the first Saturday in February. Cash prizes will be awarded for the largest northern pike and walleye in the adult division, and for the largest yellow perch and black crappie in the youth division.
Participants must register ($20 for adults and $10 for those 15 and under) by Friday at local bait shops or by calling 386-2160. Registration includes entry for numerous door prizes. The fire hall will serve as derby headquarters, and weigh-in time is 4-5:30 p.m.
Sandy Pond Derby
Sandy Pond will be the location for the Team Perch Derby on Saturday. Proceeds from this event will benefit the 5th annual Deaf Ice Fishing Invitational. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top seven finishers while additional prizes and gift certificates will also be handed out. Pre-registration will take place at the Sandy Pond Steak House on the eve of the derby from 5-8 p.m. For more information, call Jim at 593-1457 or Chris at (530) 991-6176.
Sponsored by Three Mile Bay Fire Department, the 38th Lyme Fishing Derby is a two-day event scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Prizes include $750 for first, half-day fishing charter for second (sponsored by Gone Fishing Charters), $250 for third (sponsored by Steven Hall Construction), and $200 for fourth (sponsored by Lyme Chamber of Commerce). Another 50 prizes will also be awarded.
Anglers can pre-register at Chaumont Hardware, T.I. Bait Shop, Snug Harbor Rest and Marina and Guffins Bay Resort. The Three Mile Bay Fire Hall will serve as derby headquarters where weigh-ins will conclude at 5 p.m. on Saturday and at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Saturday: Parishville VFDs Rabbit Hunt (244-0817, 265-2922).
Saturday: Redwood VFDs Luck of the Draw Ice Fishing Derby (222-6590)
Saturday: Pierrepont VFDs Open Boundary Ice Fishing Derby (386-2160).
Saturday: Tupper Lake Northern Challenge Derby (518-359-9715).
Saturday: Three Mile Bay FDs 38th annual Lyme Ice Fishing Derby.
Saturday: Team Perch Derby at Sandy Pond (593-1457).
Saturday: David Tuttle Memorial Ice Fishing Derby at Beaver Camp (376-2640).
Feb. 8: Annual Chippewa Bay Ice Fishing Derby.
Feb. 8: Waddington Sons of American Legions 13th Annual Ice Fishing Derby (250-5252).
Feb. 8: Chaumont K of Cs First Annual Ice Fishing Derby (783-2244).