The 42nd annual Sunriser Lions Ice Fishing Derby attracted hundreds of anglers to the ice at Smith Lake today. Anglers young and old fished from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and caught hundreds of pike and perch ranging from a few ounces to about 5 pounds. Prizes were awarded to the following anglers at the close of the derby at 1 p.m.:
Biggest Pike: 4.85 pounds, Shane Ellis
Biggest Perch: 1.15 pounds, Eric Holden
Smallest pike: 0.15 pounds, Garret Frost
Smallest perch: 0.10 pounds, C. J. Kennedy
Derby organizer Warren Illi noted that the Sunriser event is probably the oldest ice fishing derby in Montana. He thanked the Sportsman Ski Haus, Walleyes Unlimited, and Flathead Wildlife, Inc. for donating prizes. Lions Club member Mike Wood and other volunteers operated a food stand to serve anglers. Volunteers maintained a fire with “smores” fixings to warm up the kids. The event is held on the last Saturday of December each year.
Image courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks