INDIAN LAKE — It has become a tradition and a big attraction to the Town of Indian Lake. On Saturday, Jan. 18, the Indian Lake/Blue Mountain Fish and Game Association, Inc. sponsored the ninth annual Ice Fishing Derby. One couldn’t ask for better conditions. The ice was 14 inches thick with a small amount of snow cover and no slush. The temperature was 8 degrees at 5 a.m., but by early afternoon it had risen into the low 30’s and it was sunny with calm winds until late in the day.
But it wasn’t just the weather that brought out the maximum allowable crowd of 200 participants. It was the fishing and the prizes.
“Ice fishing people are hardy,” remarked Ernie Pollman, spokesman for the derby. “Our first year of doing the derby in 2005, at 5 a.m. it was -22 degrees and we still had a crowd.”
The fishing started at 7 a.m. and the derby continued until 3 p.m. Five cash prizes were given per hour for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest pike and for the 1st and 2nd largest perch. In addition, there were cash prizes for the day’s largest pike and perch and there were 10 “door” prizes drawn at noon on the day of the derby with the largest of these being a Jiffy LP power ice auger.
Twenty-one volunteers helped the derby be a success on the day of the event. The largest pike caught was 7 pounds 4 ounces, and 29 ¾-inches in length. This prize winner was caught by Kenneth Schirmer of Fishkill, N.Y. The largest perch weighed 8 ounces and measured 10 ¼-inches and was caught by Ray Baker of Porter Corners, NY.
All in all, the derby brought a lot of fishermen to the Town of Indian Lake and a lot of joy to all who participated and helped make it a success once again. So many are looking forward to next years 10th anniversary.