• Derbies team up for series
    By Dennis Jensen
    STAFF WRITER | January 20,2013
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    Photo by Dennis Jensen

    An ice fishing shanty lies half submerged after warmer temperatures softened the ice off Prospect Point on Lake Bomoseen last week.
    This has been a strange ice-fishing season. The ice came late, the fishing, particularly for perch, has been slow and unseasonably warm weather made ice conditions borderline or downright unsafe last week.

    But the forecast calls for a severe drop in temperatures, which means that ice conditions will surely improve.

    That is good news for ice fishermen, as well as for six ice fishing derbies on tap, starting Jan. 26.

    Better still, this year four derbies have joined to create the Central Vermont Lakes Region Ice Fishing Series which will mean a grand prize of $500 for an angler who takes first place in the event.

    The winning angler, most likely one who fishes most or all four of the derbies, will take home the cash by accumulating the most points for each adult fish category he or she places in.

    Jeff Larson, spokesman for the Great Benson Fishing Derby, said the four derby organizers — from the Benson Down Home Derby, the Lake Hortonia Ice Fishing Derby, the Lake Bomoseen Ice Fishing Derby and the Great Benson Fishing Derby — agreed that an ice fishing series would be a great idea.

    “We trying to help promote each other’s derbies,” he said. “An angler could start with the Down Home Derby and may want to continue to fish through all four derbies. This just adds one more layer of fun and competition.”

    The Benson Down Home Derby and the Castleton Spartans Football Ice Fishing Derby both kick off the ice fishing derby season for 2013 on Jan. 26.

    Anglers competing in the Benson Down Home Derby may fish in all Vermont waters.

    Derbies headquarters will be at the Benson Town Office on Stage Road. Contact Tom Bartholomew at 537-2468.

    This year marks the first-ever Spartan derby. Anglers can only fish in Lake Bomoseen.

    Derby Headquarters is at Fishtails, on Route 30 in Bomoseen. Contact Coleen Klatt at 468-1218 (days) or 763-670-0065 (evenings).

    The Lake Hortonia Ice Fishing Derby will be held Feb. 9 and 10, with fishing limited to Lake Hortonia.

    Anglers can check their fish in at the mouth of the channel. Contact Jody Gale at 236-5060 or Tom Cram at 282-5430.

    The Lake Bomoseen Ice Fishing Derby, one of the oldest derbies around, will be held Feb. 16 and 17. Anglers are restricted to fishing Lake Bomoseen only.

    The derby, sponsored by the Castleton Lions Club, will pay out $3,400 in prize money to anglers bringing in the best fish.

    The heaviest northern pike, bass and trout will yield $500 for first place, $150 for second, $75 for third and $50 for fourth. The largest perch will bring $400 for first, followed by $100, $50 and $25 for the next three places.

    Derby headquarters will be at Crystal Beach on Route 30 in Bomoseen.

    The Great Benson Derby, one of the oldest derbies in New England, will take place on Feb. 23 and 24.

    The heaviest lake trout, other trout, walleye, northern pike and bass will bring $600 to the first-place angler, while $300 will go to second place and $200 to third.

    The angler who brings in the biggest “other” fish, will take home $300.

    Children can also enter a kids’ fishing and raffle drawing for $5. A string of the three biggest perch makes a child eligible for fishing prizes, trophies and cash prizes, as well.

    And to wrap things up, the Castleton Lions Club will holds its 19th Annual Fish Fry on March 10 at the Trak-In, Route 30 in Bomoseen.

    There will be two sittings, at 2 p.m. and again at 5:30 p.m.

    Meanwhile, the award to the winner of the Central Vermont Lakes Region Ice Fishing Series will be made during the fish fry.

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