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Ice Fishing in Maine
SOMEWHERE, Maine – This weekend, March 16 & 17, marks the last chance for anglers to win $100,000 in the 2012-2013 Maine state ice-fishing derby. All entries must be turned in at one of the stat- authorized weigh stations by 5:30 p.m. Sunday March 17. The largest trout recorded for this derby is a whopping 6-pound, 20-inch rainbow caught by Erik Greer at an undisclosed lake. Greer’s trout is smaller than the state record, but should be the largest for this year’s tournament. The record holder is Michael Thebarge of Skowhegan with a 7-pound trout caught on February 6, 2009. In addition to the $100,000.00 grand prize, is a 2013 GMC truck; Bass boat with trailer and motor; weekend camping trip at campground of choice; and cash prizes totaling $5000.00.

On this last day of the tournament, this reporter joined Greer, along with his best friend and expert bass angler, Kevin Timberlake, and a novice angler and father-in-law, Robert Dunham, to an undisclosed location on his quest to earning the grand prize. The temperature is a balmy 23 degrees with the occasional wind gusts of 12 miles per hour. Today would be a good day to have an ice shack to protect you from the elements, but Maine state law requires that all ice shacks are to be off the ice by March 15. The ice is 24 inches thick with more ice in the making as evidenced by the “sounds of whales” from the ice expanding. A small campfire from wood gathered from the shoreline is built for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, and for staying warm.

Ice fishing will test the angler’s endurance and patience as it is a sport of uncertainty and a little bit of luck. Greer says “I never know when or if the fish will bite or if I am even able to find any fish.” Along with competing in the statewide tournament, these three anglers, have their own individual group competitions. Today’s prizes included $100.00 for first salmon caught; $50.00 for largest fish caught; $20.00 for the first bass caught;...
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