Despite a month of thawing temperatures the 17th Annual Ice Fishing Derby sponsored by Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware & Fishing is underway and will run through February 28th. “We’re going ahead with the Derby,” said Scott Miller, one of the family owners of the iconic hardware store, “We encourage everyone to be careful. We got back to freezing temperatures over the weekend and from the reports we’ve heard a lot of small lakes still have about 14inches of ice and are good to go and the slush and overflow is hardening up again. We still advise to keep vehicles off the ice and to watch the larger lakes like Hidden Lake very carefully,” he added. According to Miller the community tip up town will be held in the middle of the month this year Saturday, February 15th at Sports Lake from noon to 3:00pm. The fishing itself is unlikely to be any different due to this warm January says Miller, “We expect similar fishing conditions with mornings and evenings producing the best results for rainbows and pike. We’re excited about a couple of lakes this year that promise some good grayling fishing. Scout Lake and Arc Lake were both stocked a couple of years ago and are producing some nice fish. We are looking forward to some more record breakers this year! Each year we see a huge variety of fish entered and some of the heaviest in a couple of categories. Thanks to all the contestants who return year after year, really putting in some time to get out there to find that big one. So come on in to the store and sign up and then get your family out there to catch YOUR big one!
Once again Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware will have an incredible amount of prizes for this year’s derby. “Our vendors have stepped up as sponsors and provided thousands of dollars in prizes and sponsorships. Some of the grand and first place prizes include an Eskimo power auger and Quickfish II ice shelter. Aqau View has provided an underwater camera. And of course we will have hundreds of rods reels and other exciting prizes. Remember to get the kids out fishing too. We will be giving out fishing bags to the children under 12 as they sign up. Every child gets a prize from the prize box or a trusty buck every time they weigh in a fish. This will be sponsored in part by Berkley, Eagle Claw, and Gamakatsu. We will also have the 16th Annual Kids derby which mimics the open derby but the prizes are oriented towards the little ones.
Leaders have been known to change several times in a single day and then followed by a week of few, if any changes at all. Then another flurry of shuffling the leader board until the final gun goes off on February 28th. This year’s prize list is as extensive as any of the others and still hasn’t been completely finalized yet. We also have the women’s and adult divisions. In total we have 25 different divisions for folks to enter and as always the derby is free to anyone wishing to enter and participate. There are a number of rules which must be adhered to for qualifying catches. Make sure you check out all those details on the rules page when you come into the store or on our website soldotnatrustworthy.com.” Stop by Soldotna Trustworthy on the Sterling Highway for fishing tips and all the gear you need to maximize your chances of winning. Check out standings, pictures and compete derby details at www.soldotnahardware.com.