Originally published in Community News, February 6, 2014
Annual Hancock County fishing derby gears up for mid-month event
Children see what is on the ice fishing line during the 2010 Slim’s Fishing Derby. This year’s derby will be held February 15 and 16 in all legal Hancock County waters.
by Jessica Brophy
On February 15 and 16, the annual Slim’s Fishing Derby will be held in all legal ice fishing waters in Hancock County.
The annual event brings out ice fishermen county wide. “Sitting at the weigh station, and seeing all the people who come is great,” said co-organizer Jesse Larrabee. “I love seeing the kids come in to weigh their fish, and how excited they are.”
Unsteady weather has meant uncertain ice conditions for much of the winter. Fierce cold around the first of the year gave way to two weeks of very mild weather, and in late January, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife sent out a press release cautioning those heading out onto the ice. Since then, though, temperatures have turned more seasonable, and ice strength is likely returned to safe levels. The IF&W encourages anyone going out on the ice to proceed with caution.
In 2012, the ice fishing derby had to be cancelled due to warm weather.
This year, things are looking good, said Larrabee. “The ice conditions seem to be fairly good, and we’ll continue to watch it closely,” he said.
There will be cash prizes for each fish category—bass, salmon, togue (lake trout) and brown trout. Two prizes will be drawn—one for kids, which will be a lifetime fishing license, and a grand prize overall of an ice auger and a portable ice shack.
Door prizes include traps, jigging poles, chisels, heaters, bait traps and more.
The weigh-in station for the event will be located at Toddy Pond Public Landing in Orland from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, which is a change in time from previous years.
Online registration is open until Friday, February 14, at slimsfish
The derby benefits the Jimmy Douglass Memorial Scholarship fund. Jimmy “Slim” Douglass was a volunteer firefighter and avid outdoorsman who died in 2008 in a snowmobile accident. Scholarships are awarded to eligible Deer Isle-Stonington and Blue Hill Peninsula area high school students who have been accepted into a two-year program at a community college or trade school.