Dress Warmly and Carry A Hot Toddy…
ANGLERS GEARING UP FOR NORTHEAST’S PREMIER ICE FISHING
CONTESTS IN ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY
Hundreds of anglers will be breaking the ice in just a few weeks, as the season of ice fishing tournaments gets underway in St. Lawrence County..
Contests that include several of the biggest in the northeast will take place across the county each weekend from January 26th to March 2, on the St. Lawrence River and two of the county’s best-known lakes. Most anglers will be trying for walleye and northern pike, the largest species that can be fished legally this time of year.
The biggest tournaments are the St. Lawrence River Walleye Association’s Northern Pike Challenge on February 23, which could draw nearly 1,000 people this year and pay out some $25,000 in cash and prizes, followed by the Cranberry Lake Ice Fishing Derby on March 2 where some 800 anglers are expected to compete for $10,000 in cash and prizes.
The schedule of tournaments follows; contact the organizers for registration fees and details. Most are catch-and-release contests and open to all ages, with special divisions for children. All are on Saturdays.
* January 26 – 45th Annual Black Lake Ice Fishing Derby, on Black Lake. Black Lake Fish & Game Association, www.blfga.org
* February 9 – Chippewa Bay Ice Fishing Derby, Chippewa Bay, St. Lawrence River. Chippewa Bay Fish & Game Club, http://chippewabayfishandgameclub.org. Only sportsmen’s club in the state to fund and operate a northern pike hatchery.
* February 16 – Battle at the Bay Ice Fishing Derby, Wheathouse Bay, St. Lawrence River, Ogdensburg. For details, www.wwoadventures.org. Will benefit Wounded Warriors programs and include anglers from nearby Fort Drum.
* February 23 – St. Lawrence River Walleye Association’s 7th Annual Northern Pike Challenge, various locations on the St. Lawrence River. $25,000 in cash and prizes; $1,000 awarded every hour. For details, http://stlawrenceriverwalleyeassociation.com. Helps support association’s walleye stocking program.
* March 2 – The 4th Annual Cranberry Lake Ice Fishing Derby, hosted by the Cranberry Lake Volunteer Fire Department, on Cranberry Lake. $10,000 in cash and prizes; up to $800 awarded every hour. For details, www.cranberrylakefire.org.