Statewide Ice Fishing Derby in Maine Sports High Dollar Prizes

Are you one of the hearty few that holds onto the last vestiges of winter with an ice auger in one hand and an ice rod in the other? You are not alone.

Ice fishing.

In Maine, there are still a good many places to go ice fishing in early March. So much so that there is an Annual Statewide Ice Fishing Derby scheduled for that time, and you may just want to make plans to attend.

Here are the details:

Statewide Ice Fishing Derby Details

Mark your 2012 calendars for March 3, load up your gear and set the GPS because that's the day the derby is scheduled to begin. For a $20 entry fee, plus the cost of a Maine fishing license, you may fish all of the state's fresh waters in search of your winning catch. A 24-hour fishing license will cost you $11 per person and those 16 years of age and younger may fish without one. You may also opt to buy a fishing license that is good for either three days ($23), seven days ($43) or longer. The Statewide Derby will run until 5 p.m. on March 4, 2012.

All fish entered into the Statewide Derby are ranked by weight first and then length. The time caught is also factored in if need be. The huge cash prizes you may have heard about are no fish tale either. The prize money comes from a statewide pool, and last year's first-place winners in each designated species category received $1,000. Second-place winners got $500 in prize money and third-place winners received $250. If you are interested in attending—and let's face it, how could you not be?—you must register by noon on March 3. Registration may be done at a state weigh station or online. You can also enter an online 30 Days of Derby contest for a chance to win additional goodies.

Ice Fishing Tournament at Sebago Lake

Set your sights on catching Pickerel, Pike, Muskie and Togue. Speaking of Togue, there is a separate ice fishing tournament going on in Maine at Sebago Lake on Feb. 18 and 19, 2012. If you catch a record-breaking Torgue either of those two days you'll receive a $100,000 prize purse. The man to beat in that area is Hollis Grindle. In 1958, he pulled in a Torgue that weighted over 31 pounds. You can scope out photos of Grindle's prize-winning catch online.

My family enjoys winter sports and has traveled extensively.

More from this contributor:

Insider Tips for Planning a Snowmobiling Trip to Bingham, Maine

Top 5 Off the Beaten Path places to Go Cross Country Skiing in Maine

Top 5 Places to Go Snow Tubing in Maine

Top 5 Places to Go Ice Skating in Maine

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Updated Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012