It's been a great winter for ice fishing, and a banner year for the 7th Annual Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby. Scott Miller, store manager of the family owned Trustworthy Hardware Store in Soldotna, created the Derby and says its been growing year after year.
"It's been a great Derby this year with lots of big fish, good ice, and great winter weather for people to get out and enjoy fishing. We've had more people enter the Derby this year than ever before, and so far over 300 fish have been caught and entered," said Miller. As of the third week in February Spence DeVito's granddaughter was leading in the largest fish category with an 8.74-pound Lake trout and her sister caught a 14.41-pound Northern Pike.
Scott Miller, creator of the annual Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby at the family store in Soldotna.
According to Miller there was a nice mix of family and avid fisher participation this year, "We've promoted the kids part of the Derby real hard the last few years with great prizes and to make it a lot of fun for the kids to get out there. We give them prizes up front for signing up and then a prize when they bring in a fish and on the other end we have prizes for the old sourdough guys who want to get out there and be competitive and there has been a lot of competition this year for sure," added Scott. More people than ever have also been helping folks learn how to be successful ice fishing than ever before according to Miller.
The Derby continued through the end of February and fish were accepted right up until closing time the leap year day of the 29th of February at Trustworthy Hardware. Award ceremonies are scheduled for the first weekend in March. There was no sign up fees involved in the Derby and all prizes are donated by sponsors and Trustworthy Hardware, "We just want everybody to have a fun time and get out there and enjoy themselves ice fishing," said Miller. Gear for ice fishing all seems to center around comfort says Scott, "There are people that fish hand lines out there for these big fish and do really well, but of course it's nice to have a tent on cold days to keep comfortable, but really all that's necessary is a hole in the ice and a bait on the end of your line and your fishing and have just as good a chance as anybody else out there, and that's what makes the Derby fun." The grand prize this year is an Acuview camera, and additionally other sponsors have contributed some $7,000 in prizes for this year's Derby.
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