Sharpen your ice auger and hooks, and put some new line on those tip-ups and jigging rods — the ice-fishing tournaments are about to begin. In fact, the first one is this weekend on the Great Sacandaga Lake.
If you get caught up in the competition and catch the ice-fishing derby fever, you can find a tournament somewhere for the next seven weekends. Here’s the list of those I’ve found, and should I find out about others, I’ll include the details in one of my ice fishing reports.
This weekend, the action will begin Saturday with the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation’s annual contest hosted by the Sacandaga Boating Club. Contestants may fish anywhere on the Great Sacandaga Lake. There will be four divisions, each with three paid places. Winners will be determined by fish length. The divisions are: walleye, pike, perch and trout.
Cash awards for each division are: first, $200; second, $125; and third, $50. Tournament hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry fee is $15 for those preregistered by Friday, and $18 the day of the tournament until 10 a.m. For additional information, call Jack Smith at 863-1062 or Randy Gardinier at 843-6329. To download an entry form, go to www.gslff.org.
Fishhouse Fish & Game Club will host a two-day tournament this weekend on the Great Sacandaga Lake. The prize fund is $2,400, and there will be cash awards for the three biggest walleye, pike, perch and trout. The walleye winners will receive $500, first; $150, second; and $100, third. In the other three divisions, the awards will be, $300, first; $150, second; and $100, third. This year’s weigh-in site will be a quarter-mile north of Fishhouse Corners at the Town of Providence parking area on County Route 110. Entry fee, which includes stew (Sunday only) and coffee at the weigh-in station, will be $25 the morning of the event or $20 if pre-registered. Applications are available at various lakeside businesses, including bait and tackle shops. For further details, go to www.fishhousefishandgame.com.
The Central Adirondack Ice Fishing Derby on Adirondack Lake sponsored by the Indian Lake/Blue Mountain Fish & Game Association will by held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 30. Cash awards will be made every hour for the top three heaviest northern pike; $100, $50 and $25. For perch, the heaviest two will
receive $50 and $25, respectively. The heaviest pike of the day will receive an additional $200, the heaviest perch, $100. Entry fees will be $30 (prepaid) or $35 (day of the event). For details, go to www.-indianlakefishandgame.com.
This year’s Grafton Lakes State Park ice-fishing tournament is sponsored by the Trout Unlimited Home Waters chapter, and will be held from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 6 on all the ponds in the park. Entry fee for adults, 16 and older, is $12. Children under 16 compete fot free. For information about pre-registering, call the park office at 279-1155.
Registration the morning of the event will start at 5 a.m. at the park’s maintenance shop. Winners will receive a variety of prizes.
Mariaville Lakeside Country Store will host a two-day tournament Feb. 6-7 on Mariaville Lake. Tournament hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, and the entry fee is $10 per day. Payback is 100 percent of all entry fees collected, and cash prizes will be given for the three biggest pickerel, with a special bonus cash prize for the biggest perch. All fish must be alive when measured.
Feb. 6 is also the date of the Northern Challenge Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Tupper Lake Rod, Gun and Sports Club. It’s one of the biggest ice-fishing contests in the state, and usually attracts a field of 1,000 hard-water anglers who will be competing for a share of more than $33,000 in cash and prizes. Based on a field of 1,000 anglers, $800 per hour will be awarded for the heaviest three northern pike weighed in (first place, $500; second, $200; and third, $100).
Some important rules to remember are: All fishing must be done on Lake Simon in Tupper Lake. Any fish caught must either be entered in that hour or immediately released. It cannot be held and entered in another hour. No fishing will be allowed inside closed shelters. All fishing must be done in open view of officials. Tournament hours are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entry fee is $35. Pre-registration is required. For further detail, call Dave McMahon at 359-9715.
Saratoga Tackle will host its eighth annual Saratoga Lake Ice Fishing 2-Day Derby, which begins Friday, Feb. 12, at noon and runs through 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14. Cash awards will be given to the top three places (by weight) in the northern pike, perch and walleye categories. There will be an optional side pool for the biggest pickerel. All of the entry fees collected will be paid out. All weigh-ins will be at Saratoga Tackle in Stewart’s Plaza.
Saratoga Tackle will also have a tournament this year. Anglers can weigh in a northern pike, perch and walleye. The winner will be determined by the total weight of the fish, which in the case of the walleye and perch, will be handicapped using a multiplier for each. For example: if you weigh in a one-pound perch, that weight will be multiplied by 10, which would then be scored as 10 pounds. The multiplier for walleyes is 2.5. There is no handicap for northern pike. Several years ago, a perch won the contest. For questions, call 584-3952.
The Lake George Ice Fishing Championship will be held Feb. 20 at Veteran’s Park, Bolton Landing. Prizes will be awarded to the heaviest three catches of lake trout, landlocked salmon, northern pike and perch. With a field of 150 anglers, the payout will be: first, $300; second, $200; and third, $125. All children that enter the children’s tournament will be eligible to win the grand prize of a free four-hour fishing charter for up to four people this summer with Jeff Johnson, captain of Rod Bender Charters.
Entry fee for adults is $20; children, $5. For more information and a registration form, go to www.lakegeorgeicefishing.org.
The eighth annual Speculator-Lake Pleasant-Piseco Fish & Game Club’s Lake Pleasant Ice Fishing Contest will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 20. Prizes will be awarded to the longest three catches of trout and pickerel. The trout winners will receive, first, $300; second, $200; and third, $100. Pickerel winners will receive, first, $150; second, $100; and third, $50. Perch cash awards; first, $60; and second, $40; will be paid every hour. The biggest perch of the day will receive an additional $100. Total payback will be $2,000. Entrants can register at The Inn At Speculator, beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, or Saturday morning at 5 a.m. The pre-registration entry fee is $25; morning of the contest, $30. A fisherman’s buffet at the Inn is included in the entry fee. For further information, go to www.slpp-fishgame.org.
The Schenectady County Conservation Council will host its second annual Ice Fishing Tournament on Collins Lake in Scotia on Feb. 21. The contest is for Schenectady County residents 15 or younger only. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The contest will be from 10 a.m. to noon. There is no entry fee. For further details, call Ray Gawlas at 372-2357.
The 51st Northern Lake George Ice Fishing 2-Day Tournament sponsored by the Hague Fish & Game Club and the Hague and Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce will be held Feb. 27-28. All fishing must be done on Lake George. Awards will be made for the three heaviest fish in each category (salmon, lake trout, pike and perch). First- place prizes in each category are: lake trout, a Magnum Strikemaster Power
Auger; salmon and pike each receive a Vexilar Cold-Snap parka and bib set; and the perch winner receives a Clam Kenai Ice Shelter. Second- and third-place winners in each category will receive cash. Tournament hours are 6 a.m. Saturday continuously through the last weigh-in at 3 p.m. Sunday. The entry fee is: adults, $15; seniors (65 and older) and 16 and under, free. Registration will be the morning of the tournament at the Hague Town Park from 6-9 a.m. For further details, go to www.haguefishandgame.com.
The 11th annual Fuel-n-Food Weekend Long Ice Fishing Contest starts at 4 p.m. Friday, March 5, and runs through Sunday, March 7, on the Great Sacandaga Lake.
All fish must be measured by 4 p.m. Sunday. The following cash prizes, six in each category, will be awarded: walleye, $600, $400, $200, $100, $50 and $25. Pike, $500, $300, $200, $100, $50 and $25. Trout, $300, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25. Perch, $150, $125, $100, $75, $50 and $25. There will also be a $100 award for the longest Mud Puppy and a $50 award for the longest non-game fish. All measuring will be done at Driftwood Park, and prizes will be awarded at Fuel-n-Food, Route 30 in Mayfield. Entry fee is $15. For entry forms, stop by Fuel-n-Food or go to www.fuelnfood.com.
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