It’s derby day in Alexandria Bay

Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 6:11 PM EST
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ALEXANDRIA BAY, New York (WWNY) - With parts of the Saint Lawrence River frozen over, some folks took advantage in Alexandria Bay for this year’s ice fishing derby.

In Alexandria Bay Saturday, tents were pitched with folks waiting for a bite.

“It’s definitely an enjoyable day to come out. You get later into the season and it gets kind of cold,” said ice fisherman Logan Raz.

The first ones to stake their claim had the best luck. One pair saying they’d been on the ice since 6 AM.

“Set up our tip ups and we’ve been jigging. Caught some perch and a couple of nice pike,” said Joshua Greenwood.

Contestants were aiming for pike, but many found themselves swimming in perch. They took the bait all the same.

But a barrel full of perch isn’t a bad thing. Especially for folks with an empty stomach.

If folks did manage to wrangle a pike, they brought it to the Alexandria Bay Fire Department, where it was measured and weighed.

But the winner was determined by luck of the draw.

“So, we’re not doing any biggest fish. So, if you bring in a fish 26 inches or bigger you have a chance to win the grand prize of $2000,” said Aziel Snyder.

And what would contestants do with that $2000 cash prize? We asked one.

“I actually haven’t thought about it, but I’d actually put a lot of it into my bank account and save it,” said Shane Henry.

The pike caught by the Henrys are actually pretty lucky. According to Shane, once they’re weighed in for the competition, they plan to release them.

“I don’t really think we need the meat. It’s good to throw them back so you can catch them again,” said Henry.

Money raised during the competition will help with future efforts in the fire department.