Be sure to have some coffee or a hot drink at the fourth annual ice fishing derby at the Loon Bay Resort on Sheridan Lake.
“It’s an experience that is important, I find. If you live up here you should know how it feels to be on the lake and to wait for the big one,” said Irene Meili, the chair of the Fishing Highway 24 Tourist Association. “Give it a try, there’s not so much you can do in winter time apart from being home and watching TV. But taking your family out on the lake, it’s kind of nice. You get to sit together, catch fish and even maybe win $1,000.”
The action starts at 7 a.m. on Feb. 2. It will go on until 2 p.m. and food and beverage vendors will be on site. Meili said there will be more vendors than last year’s event, with sausages, soups, sweet foods, and hot and cold beverages being available.
The conditions on Sheridan Lake are great for ice fishing, unlike last year’s, according to Meili.
“It’s way better. We have less snow, less slush. Like last year it was really hard to walk on the lake or even with a snowmobile, you could get stuck. This year, it’s way better. Sometimes when you get a lot of snow what happens on the lake is the ice underneath doesn’t get that hard. It’s more slushy and you have more water between the ice layers,” said Meili.
They are hoping for more people to attend this year. Last year only 90 people came out, opposed to the previous events where around 150 people would come ice fish on average.
Meili hopes that the move to an earlier date might help with that, as it is further apart from the Deka Lake Ice Fishing Derby and the Interlakes Family Day activities.
“We hope the Superbowl doesn’t play against us,” laughed Meili.
She added that she hopes more Facebook activity, ticket sellers and people help promote the event.
First prize for the largest fish is $1,000 cash, followed by over $500 and $400 worth of retail value for the second and third place.
Meili said the association did not settle on the prize amounts until after the poster with event info was posted.
Awards will be announced at 2:15 p.m.
Tickets will be sold at the following locations for cash only: Lone Butte Sporting Goods, The Country Pedlar, Interlakes Rona, Bridge Lake Store, Sheridan Lake Store, Interlakes Market, Screamin’ Reel (100 Mile House), Gordo’s Rent-All (Williams Lake), 108 Supermarket, and the Loon Bay Resort (tickets can be also purchased during the day of the event at this location).
Adult tickets are $10 and junior tickets (6-16) is $5. Each ticket holder is eligible to win a door prize, which varies from fishing equipment to clothing.
The Fishing Highway 24 Association ask participants to follow BC Fishing Regulations Region 5. Fish must be handed in for weighing before 2 p.m. at the Loon Bay Resort. Vehicles except snowmobiles and ATVs are not allowed on the lake.