Open Division Derby winners and their prizes at Soldotna Hardware awards ceremony.
This year’s Soldotna Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby had some very interesting results: More participants, record number of fish caught, first ever woman to complete a Derby Flush, more winners, more prizes, larger trout, and smaller pike, “Fish & Game has been doing a great job with their nets reducing the pike population and of course our derby fishers have been targeting hard as well, but they were smaller and harder to get this year and we are happy to see that because we saw an increase in the size and number of lake trout, rainbows, and dollys, we even had some dollies brought in from some of those pike lakes and that’s significant. Over all this was a huge year for big fish,” said Scott Miller of Soldotna Hardware who has been putting on the annual event for the last 12 years.
Kids Ice Fishing Derby champs win trophies and prizes at Soldotna Hardware's award ceremony.
According to Miller over $10,000 in prizes were presented last week at the awards ceremony, “Of course we’ve never had a charge for entering the Derby and our sponsors stepped up and were a significant help in our having such great prizes, but the best part is seeing the sparkle in the eyes of the kids when they come with their fish and say ‘Hey look at what I caught! They do a great job and give us a lot of joy and laughter here at the store,” added Miller. Kids of all ages, men and women turned out last Saturday at the Soldotna Hardware & Fishing store to receive their prizes and get a chance to draw for the Grand Prize, an ice fishing package that included a power ice auger, underwater camera, tent, poles, chairs and everything to make ice fishing in Alaska fun and comfortable.
Scott Miller with the overall Soldotna Hardware Ice Fishing Derby women's champion Terry Rioux.
To be eligible for the drawing, you had to be a winner of one of the open division categories, “The order of the draw for the grand prize was according to when the winning fish had been entered, so it was a bit anti-climatic when no one drew the grand prize and so it went to the only guy that wasn’t able to be at the awards ceremony to draw for himself, but when I called him he really couldn’t believe it, he was so excited and asked if he had won the ice auger, and I told him dude you won an auger, fish tent, underwater camera, poles, the whole package. Then when he came in to the store to pick up all his prizes, he told me that he had to use his chain saw to cut the whole in the ice because he really didn’t have any ice fishing gear and now he has the entire outfit and we couldn’t be happier,” said Dawn. This year’s open division winners were: Dixie Haghuist, Tim Endsley, Jasper Bassetti, Ryan McMahon, Matt Jackson, Matt Moore, and Eli Holt. The kid’s division winners included twin brothers Jordan & Jonah Theisen, Emma Landeis, Jacob McConnel, and Hannah Seldon. Winner of the Soldotna Hardware employee division was 8-year-old Melia Miller landing a 2.68 pound Rainbow Trout, and the overall women’s division winner was Terry Rioux with a 7.5 pound Lake Trout.
To see the complete list of all the Derby winners and photos of them with their catches, stop by Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware and Fishing.
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