Saratoga Fishing Derby, January 15-16 |

Saratoga Fishing Derby, January 15-16

Ella Marie Hayes
Saratoga, Wyo.

It is time ice fishermen load up their ice fishing gear and head to Saratoga Lake for the annual 2011 Saratoga Ice Fishing Derby on January 15 and 16. Derby hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Derby cash prizes total $6,000. Fishermen will have an opportunity to compete for the $2,000 first prize for catching the largest fish during the two-day derby, $1,000 for second prize, and $500 for third. Hourly cash award of $100 will be awarded for the largest fish measured that hour.

Placing for prizes is based on length added to girth for total score of fish caught by registered fishermen during the two-day Derby. Game fish must be over 14 inches to qualify.  Fishermen must bring the fish to the Derby Headquarters on shore.

The Small fry winner will receive a $200 savings bond for 1st Place; $20.00 per hour will be paid for the biggest fish measured during that hour. Drawings will also be held for all registered entries at random each hour of the derby for great merchandise.

Bounty Fish will be marked by a pink tag on the dorsal fin. The first fish caught will be worth $500; second will earn $200, and the third one will be worth $50.00.  Derby rules apply.

Two new contests this year will be for “Best Hut” and “Best Fishing Story.” Entrants for the best fishing store will be videotaped while sharing their hard luck story (limit of two minutes). Stories will be judged on the following criteria: Emotional tugging of the heartstrings; Likelihood of story being true; and Ability to change names and locations for security reasons.

Videos will be judged after the Derby is over and winners announced by February. Winner will be notified by telephone, entrants are advised to write clearly on their entry form. The winning video will be posted on the Chamber web site.

Entry fees are $30.00 for Adults, and $10.00 for Small Fry Fisherman (under age 14).  Food and beverage concessions are available all weekend.

Participants may register at the Saratoga /Platte Valley  Chamber office in Saratoga at 210 W. Elm St. Platte Valley /Community Center on Friday, January 14, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. or the Derby Headquarters at Saratoga Lake on Saturday, January 15.

Come join the winter fun! For more information about the Derby, please call the Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce at (307) 326-8855 or access their website at