Statewide, season-long ice fishing derby up and running

As the winter progresses, you’ll surely hear about ice fishing derbies that will be held on a particular day or weekend, or on a particular lake or group of lakes.

Jo Mary Lake 1

There are a few derbies that are little less specific, however. And those events are a good way to celebrate the Maine ice fishing tradition all season long.

One such event, the 5th Annual Ice Fishin’ Derby and Benefit, is already up and running — the competition runs from Dec. 1 through March 31 — and participants are encouraged to fish as many lakes as they want, and to catch and enter whatever species they can find.

The derby is held annually in memory of Alec Cyr, who died in 2011 after battling colon cancer. Cyr left behind a young family, including his son, Chase, who is now 3 years old. Half of the proceeds of the derby each year are donated to Chase Cyr’s college fund.

Here’s how the tourney works: Pay a $10 entry fee (send checks to Wes Ashe, 60 Fern Street, Apt. 2, Bangor, 04401).

Then feel free to fish any legal water in the state, sending along an emailed photo of the fish, next to a tape measure and your official derby card. The angler who catches the longest fish in each species category will have their name entered into a lottery for the grand cash prize.

If you’ve got more questions, you can get in touch with Ashe at

John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.