T his year’s ice fishing season, which kicks into high gear with this Saturday’s Benson Down Home Derby, will feature an added element of excitement for local anglers.
The organizers of the Down Home, Lake Hortonia, Bomoseen and Great Benson Derbies are introducing the first-ever Central Vermont Lakes Region Ice Fishing series.
The series will combine the results from all four derbies and the region’s most successful angler will receive a $500 cash prize.
“We’ve been talking for a number of years between the derby organizers how we could share in the promotion of the derbies,” said Jeff Larson. “And this idea was borne from those conversations.”
The series will work on a points system, with the person who earns the most points taking home the prize.
In each derby, the first place fish in any particular category will earn five points for the angler making the catch. Second place will be worth three points and third place will net the fruitful angler a single point.
There is also a bonus point awarded to each angler who purchases a ticket to any of the derbies.
“That way even the unlucky fisherman in the first derby has a point going into the second derby,” Larson said.
Organizers will keep a running tally of points and Larson is hopeful that tally will be posted at derbies so anglers can compare their progress to others.
The $500 cash prize – and bragging rights – will be presented during the Castleton Lions Club’s Fish Fry Dinner on March 10. The angler’s name will also be engraved on a plaque.
There is no additional charge, besides the cost of entering the derbies, to be eligible for the prize.
“It should be fun and add an extra layer of excitement,” Larson said.