Here is the lowdown from the Northwest Ice Fishing Festival held on Saturday, Jan. 17 at Sidley Lake.
A total of 73 adult and 13 youth anglers caught 86 fish. The first fish weighed-in was 7.1 ounces caught by Bryan Jones and earned him $50, and that soon overtaken when Terry Davis brought in a 27.5 ounce fish at 8:30 a.m.
That leading fish quikcly gave way at 8:45 a.m. when John DeVlaeminck checked in a 31.6 ounce trout.
“The fishing was so hot then, no one felt the cold,” said Robin Stice at the Eden Valley Guest Ranch. “I hiked the whole lake asking each group if they were getting bites, where they were from and getting general feedback about the festival.”
“It was hard work with six inches of powdery snow on top of anywhere from one to four inches of slush depending on location,” Stice said. “The ice reports ranged from 14 inches to 18 inches, again depending on location. Most groups had at least one person getting bites. Everyone that worked so hard to put on the festival was thrilled to hear about the action on the lake.”
Fish averaged from 101/4 inches to17 7/8 inches with a weight range of 5.8 ounces to 36.6 ounces. In all a total of 32.9 pounds of fish were caught.
The winners of the derby based on the weight of two fish was Mark Webster with 69.2 ounces who took home $500; second was Ben Cross with 34.2 ounces, $100; third was Jill Matthews with 34.1 ounces, $75; fourth was Kim Marshall with 33.9 ounces, $65; and fifth was Mike Sheldon with 33.6 ounces, $50.
Mystery weight fish winner was Terry Davis with a 27.5 ounce fish. Smallest fish prize went to George Webster with a 5.8 ounce fish worth $50, and second smallest went to Dave Mullins that weighed 8.0 ounces.