Castleton football hooks into derby
CASTLETON — The first Spartans Football Ice Fishing Derby will be held on Jan. 26 on Lake Bomoseen.
All proceeds from the one-day derby will go towards the Castleton State College football program, according to Bill Bunker, spokesman for the derby.
For now, Bunker said, the biggest concern for the big day is sufficient ice. Warmer weather late last week had Bunker worried about safe ice for the derby but Bunker, an avid ice angler, knows that while it takes some time to make safe ice, it also takes time for that ice to melt.
On much of Lake Bomoseen, by mid-week, ice conditions were from 4 to 6 inches thick, plenty of ice to support a well-attending fishing derby.
And that is precisely what Bunker is looking for on the big day.
“We want people to come out, have a good time, support the Castleton football team and catch some fish,” he said.
The derby will have cash prizes of $500, $300 and $100 for the top three fish four categories: trout, perch, bass and northern pike.
Derby headquarters will be at Fishtails, adjacent to the Trak Inn on Route 30, just across from Lake Bomoseen.
The derby will run 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. All fish must be weighed in by 3:30 p.m. to qualify for a prize. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for youths, 14 and under.
Only fish taken from the waters of Lake Bomoseen will be eligible. Tickets are available at Tom’s Bait in Bomoseen and at Fishtails.
Bunker said that Spartan coaches approached him with the idea of holding a fundraiser on the ice.
“They came to me for some advice and I just threw some suggestions their way,” he said.
Employed as a carpenter and general maintenance worker at Castleton State College, Bunker said he expects to fish the derby.
“I am an avid ice fisherman,” he said. “I don’t get to fish in the summertime because I’m busy doing so many projects.”
Bunker said he has gotten some significant help from Colleen Klatt, the wife of head football coach Marc Klatt, “lining up sponsors, running off fliers and tickets and other stuff.”
Bunker said he hopes the derby finds enough success so that it can become an annual event.
“Right now, we’re hoping for some decent weather, a good turnout and a lot of good fishing,” he said.
Meanwhile, the derby is also selling tickets for a fishing shanty package, including a portable shanty, a sled, an 8-inch hand auger, a stool and a cover for the shanty.
Derby helpers will be selling tickets for the shanty package at derby headquarters.
The National Wild Turkey Federation Vermont Turkey Calling Competition will be held at the 21st Annual Yankee Sportsman’s Classic on Jan. 19 starting at 10 a.m.
To sign up for the competition, contact Ron Lafrenier at 434-4274.
This is but one event that will take place during the Jan. 18-20 event, held at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction.
More than 175 exhibitors will be featured, including outfitters, hunting and fishing supplies, boats, RVs, ATVs, snowmobiles and more.
The event will also feature more than 45 free seminars on fly fishing, ice fishing, deer, waterfowl, turkey, bear, elk and moose hunting, dog training and more.