Warm weather, friendly faces, and holes topped with tip-ups were the day's themes for the first annual CMX Outdoors Ice Fishing Derby.
This fishing derby took place this past Sunday in Lac Pelletier. The lake's frozen surface was dotted with parked trucks and shacks of participants who contributed to the event raising over $2,000 for the local Navy League and Sea Cadets.
Running the show for the day was Haley Spence, event organizer for CMX Outdoors. This event was something she came up with while looking for a way to bring together the community while raising money for the aforementioned youth organizations. For her initial attempt, the 60-or-so anglers that made it out made for a good first go at it.
"I'm not too mad about it at all," Spence grinned. "We're sending a couple of kids to camp, so that's really awesome."
Helping out with the Lac Pelletier inaugural was Anchor Pointe Lakeside Diner. They provided hot chocolate and other refreshments to the many chilly children and angling adults at the event.
While many families were out with their own gear, there were predrilled holes on sight. Members of the CMX team, alongside Spence, helped to clear the ice and drill the holes. Good-natured volunteers assisted them from the Speedy Creek Sign Shop.
Folks coming out for the day had a few options when it came to prizes. First catch of the day over 25 inches received $250, while the overall largest catch got $500.
Second place was $200 and some free equipment courtesy of Whitecap Resources. Third place received a knife set, and the largest children's catch of the day got $200, a chair, and a rod.
"I have people staying in a general area," said Spence. "We have spots for the kids can run free with no vehicles moving in and out."
Overall, they couldn't have had a better venue for the first attempt at the event. The lake was beautiful, having no wind and sunny skies. The fish were biting, and the people were friendly and talking amongst each other.
The plan is to host the event again next year, possibly adding more to the event to help draw out an even bigger crowd.
"I would love to," Spence said. "I would like to be a bit more involved and maybe have more of a turnout."