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ice fishing

Laramie Lions Club holds first ice fishing derby of the new year

in Travel
Laramie Ice Fishing
A young winner of the Laramie Plains Lions Club Ice Fishing Derby in 2015. Adults and youth — those under the age of 14 — will wet their lines this weekend in the 27th annual derby, to be held at Laramie’s Lake Hattie. (Courtesy photo)
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For the angler who likes to catch his or her fish through the ice, this weekend will offer up the first opportunity of the new year to compete in an ice fishing derby.

The Laramie Plains Lions Club Ice Fishing Derby, running from Saturday through Sunday afternoon, will see anglers on Laramie’s Lake Hattie wet their lines for a shot at more than $3,500 in prize money.

The derby, now in its 27th year, has traditionally been held in early January, said Lewis Lyon, chairman of the derby for the Lions Club.

“We try to start the year’s ice fishing season and I think Saratoga follows us by a couple of weeks,” he said.

The event  usually draws from 200 to 250 adults and 20 to 25 youths — under the age of 14 — who compete for cash prizes for the largest fish caught. In addition, if someone catches a fish that has been specially tagged and returned to the lake, he or she will win $2,000, Lyon said.

This is the third year for the specially tagged fish and in past years, the prize has gone unclaimed, he added.

The adult who catches the largest fish, as determined in measures of length, girth and weight, will receive $1,500. Cash prizes will also go to those who catch the second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-largest fish. A $25 prize will go to the person bringing in the smallest fish.

In youth competition, the angler bringing in the largest fish will win $150. Prizes will also be awarded for the second-, third- and fourth-largest fish, as well as for the smallest fish — again, $25.

While fishing through ice in frigid weather might not sound comfortable to some, Lyon said most of the ice fishermen are well prepared for the winter conditions.

“I like to stand up by the fire and get warm, but there’s people who like to stand out there on the ice,” he said. “You look at some of the huts that they have, they’ve got heaters in them, they’re pretty comfortable.”

Lyon predicted that up to two-thirds of those competing will be return visitors to the derby.

Fishing begins at 8 a.m. Saturday and ends at 4 p.m., resuming at 8 a.m. Sunday and ending at 2 p.m., when the derby closes.

The winners of the derby will be announced about 20 minutes after the fishing ends, Lyon said.

“We shut down at 2 p.m. and give them 20 minutes to get in off of the ice in case somebody caught one right at 2 p.m.,” he said.

The admission fee for the derby is $35 for adults and $5 for children and money raised during the event will be used to support one of the Lions Club’s several charities, which include providing assistance to those who need glasses or eye examinations, support for the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp near Casper and support for the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank in Colorado.

For more information on the derby, visit the Lions Club’s website.

A weekend of ice fishing awaits at Pinedale’s Big Fish Winter Derby

in News/Tourism
ice fishing
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By Cowboy State Daily

A weekend spent on a frozen lake might be just the ticket for anglers pining for the sunny days of summer fishing.If that sounds promising, head to Pinedale this weekend for a chance to win some cash and raise a little money to benefit cancer patients at the “Big Fish Winter Derby.”

The more than 50-year old ice fishing derby lures anglers from around the region as they try to catch the largest brown or rainbow trout from the 11-mile Fremont Lake on Saturday and Sunday.

Prizes worth more than $6,000 will be awarded during the event, which is being organized for the first year by the Pinedale Lions Club.

Jason Essington, a spokesman for the event, said the derby had been organized since the 1960s by the Pinedale Boat Club. However, the Boat Club disbanded in 2018.

“This year the Pinedale Lions Club took over all the assets the boat club had and kind of revived the derby,” Essington said.

In some fishing derbies, certain fish are tagged and the anglers who catch them win the top awards.At the Big Fish Winter Derby, prizes are awarded based on the size of the fish captured, Essington said.

“Fremont Lake is a very big lake,” he said. “We could tag 100 fish and never see them again.”

Proceeds from the event will be used to help pay the expenses faced by cancer patients usually not covered by insurance, such as lodging costs during treatment.

“The … Lions’ Club, when it has events like this, basically 100 percent of the money it raises goes back to the community,” Essington said.

People who wish to register for the event can do so until Friday by visiting the Pinedale Lions Club’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/904495963073791/

Essington said registrations will also be accepted in-person through Sunday at the derby’s headquarters at Lakeside Lodge.

In the Platte Valley, ice fishing derby a community affair

in Uncategorized/Recreation
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Video courtesy of Mike McCrimmon.

Ice anglers from several states are on Saratoga Lake this weekend for the annual Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing Derby. The weekend, always the third in January, includes a special Small Fry Derby for children under age 14.

Last weekend Platte Valley kids took to Treasure Island Pond on the Silver Spur Ranch to learn all the basics. And catch fish. Our report is from Cowboy State Daily videographer Mike McCrimmon.

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