GREENVILLE, Maine — Ricky Craven, a three-time NASCAR national series winner and an ESPN broadcaster, will meet and greet participants on the ice during the annual Moosehead Lake Ice Fishing Derby Jan. 28-30, sponsored by the Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce.
Unlike last year, when the ice conditions kept the derby in limbo until the last minute, there is plenty of solid ice for this year’s event thanks to the recent cold snap.
“Fortunately, this year we are blessed with plenty of ice and the weekend looks like we will have fantastic weather,” Bob Hamer, the Chamber’s executive director, said Monday.
The derby is one of the Chamber’s larger fundraising events and last year helped the Natural Resource Education Center, the James F. Alenson Memorial Fund on behalf of Craven, and a local scholarship, according to Hamer.
With last year’s unpredictable ice conditions and miserable weather, fewer people participated. Richard Petrin Jr. of Arundel pulled in the biggest togue at 4.69 pounds and 25 inches long.
This year’s derby is shaping up to be one of the better ones, Hamer said. As in past years, cash prizes will be awarded for the three largest togue and a cash prize for togue entered into the fish pool. The cash prize for the largest togue will be $1,500. Several door prizes will be awarded to lucky ticket holders; no fish required.
Derby tickets, which are $25 per person or $40 per family, are available at numerous sporting goods stores, and the Chamber’s center. Participants must have current Maine fishing licenses.
Hamer said there are new bag and size limits in place on the lake: The maximum is five togue between 14 and 18 inches long, and one of the five can be longer than 18 inches. Every legal fish qualifies the entrant to win prizes in the fish pool.
Craven, who has been a regular guest at the event, will spend one of the three days chatting with anglers on the lake, Hamer said.
For information and rules, contact the Chamber at 695-2702.