A group of 422 anglers who turned out in force for the 20th Annual Schroon Lake Ice Fishing Derby this past weekend, caught a bunch of fish, had a whale of a great time and added a much needed boost to the economy.
Most of the fish were biting Saturday, judging by the number of fish weighed in at the Fish and Game Club House, according to one of the organizers, Tracy Hanchett.
The biggest catch of the weekend went to Donald Prosser, Senior, with a massive 17.92 pound Northern Pike.
"Sunday was the nicer day weather-wise, with Saturday windy and cold at first, but that's when we weighed in more fish," Tracy told Schroon Laker today.
"While the number of anglers who signed up for the event was down from previous years, it’s about average since the economic downturn."
But it appears the Derby was a boost to the local economy. Beginning Friday night it was tough to get a parking spot on Main Street, as thirsty anglers packed Flanagan's and Timberwolfs Pub. A little further south on Route 9, hungry diners ate up a storm at Deceare's Pizza and Witherbee's Carriage House, where they kicked off the first of two nights of their annual Louisiana Crawfish Boil.
With an almost snowless winter, businesses that thrive on cold weather tourists -- from snow-shoers to skiers -- welcomed the crowds that the Derby attracted.
"We had a full house," Sharon Piper, from the Schroon Lake Bed and Breakfast told us today. "The group that was here reserved early."
"Not everyone who comes for the derby fishes. There were a lot more people in town on Sunday," Piper said.
1st place –Donald Prosser, Sr. – 17.92
2nd place – Thomas Pandori – 17.88
3rd place – Gus Fucci – 13.30
1st place – Dan Ross – 9.16
2nd place – Jamison Mayne – 8.62
3rd place – Konner Bruce – 7.15
1st place – Brian Aiken – 3.61
Chad Wagner - 1.53
Christopher Hart – 3.74