Over the past five years, the Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby has established itself as one of the state’s most popular.
The chance to haul in a trophy landlocked salmon that Long Lake is kno
w for certainly doesn’t hurt. Neither does the fact that derby participants could also head over to Eagle Lake and ice a monster lake trout, or head to Glazier Lake and battle with a burly muskellunge.
And let’s not forget that the tournament’s beneficiary, the Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund, is well-deserving of the support the derby offers.
Whatever the recipe for success, one thing is certain: The derby shows no signs of slowing up.
The sixth edition of the event was held over the weekend and derby chairman Paul Bernier reports that a record 578 anglers took part on what he described as a perfect weekend for ice fishing.
Although the traditional cold-water game fish take top billing in the Long Lake event, one of the more interesting storylines came out of the competition for top muskie on Beau or Glazier Lake.
In that battle, two pals who are no strangers to catching large muskellunge took top honors.
First, though, a little bit of background: Allan Albert, a guide from St. Francis, took Kim Masse of Smyrna Mills fishing on Glazier lake back in 2004; Masse ended up catching a state-record muskie that day.
Two years later, Albert won top prize in the statewide portion of Sebago Lake Rotary Derbyfest with a Glazier Lake muskie. For his efforts, he earned a boat worth $22,000. His fishing partner that day: Masse.
Over the weekend, Albert won $750 and took place in the Long Lake derby with a 13-pound, 6-ounce muskie. Masse took second (and $500) with a 13-pound, 3-ounce brusier.
The complete list of winners and their prizes in the Long Lake derby:
Landlocked salmon: Pierre Chamberland, St. Agatha, 5 pounds, 7.2 ounces, $1,500; Rick Michaud, Perham, 5 pounds, 5.2 ounces, $750; Mitchell Dumond, St. Agatha, 4 pounds, 13.6 ounces, $300.
Togue: Linda Engelhardt, Fort Kent, 14 pounds, 2.4 ounces, $1,500; Vaughn Plourde, Eagle Lake, 8 pounds, 11.2 ounces, $750; Peter Daigle, Madawaska, 8 pounds, 2 ounces, $300.
Brook trout: John Michaud, St. Agatha, 2 pounds, 1.8 ounces, $1,250; Real Pelletier, Madawaska, 1 pound, 15.4 ounces, $750; Ben Bouchard, Wallagrass, 1 pound, 13.2 ounces, $300.
Muskie: Allan Albert, St. Francis, 13 pounds, 6 ounces, $750; Kim Masse, Madawaska, 13 pounds, 3 ounces, $500; Dana Sletterink, Wallagrass, 12 pounds, 9 ounces, $250.
Cusk: Norman Poitras, Van Buren, 8 pounds, 1.6 ounces, $350.
Most perch: Chad Albert, Madawaska, 341 perch, $75.
Youth salmon: Curtis Dionne, St. David, 4 pounds, 5.6 ounces, $100 plus a $200 savings bond; Forrest Boucher, Islesboro, 3 pounds, 7.8 ounces, $75; Nick Rossignol, Madawaska, 3 pounds, 4.6 ounces, $50.
Youth togue: Isaiah Sypien, Eagle Lake, 6 pounds, 13 ounces, $100; Ronald Collins, Fort Kent, 6 pounds, 5 ounces, $75; Corey Moir, Woodland, 5 pounds, 2 ounces, $50.
Youth brook trout: Cole Marquis, St. Agatha, 1 pound, 3.6 ounces, $100; Ciarra Thibodeau, Frenchville, 1 pound, 3 ounces, $75; Madison Doody, Caribou, 14.4 ounces, $50.
Moosehead derby a success
Heading south, organizers say recent cold weather made all the difference during the fourth annual Moosehead Lake Togue Ice Fishing Derby with Ricky Craven.
“In 2010 the ice was declared safe only days before the derby and the weather was so brutally cold,” reported organizer Bob Hamer of the Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce in an e-mail. “This year Moosehead had good ice early in January and the weather was fantastic with sun much of the time and temps around 21 degrees with very little wind.”
This year 690 togue were registered by anglers. A year ago, only 255 togue were taken to the weigh stations. Hamer said many of the fish were in the four- to six-pound range. In addition, an eight-pounder, two 10-pounders and a 14-pounder were registered.
The derby winner was Roger McLellan of Smyrna Mills, who landed a 14.01-pounder that was 35½ inches long. John Gallant of Augusta took second with a 10.02-pound, 33½-inch fish while Allen Morrill of Greenville finished third with a 10-pound, 31½-inch laker.
Jeremy Parkinson of Greenville won the grand door prize, a $1,400 ice fishing package donated by Indian Hill Trading Post.