The Saratoga Sun -

Cold cash offered

34th annual Ice Fishing Derby puts money where the fish's mouth is-up to $20K


Courtesy Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce

Small fry winner Jayce Borgi, left, of Ogallalla, Neb. and first place adult winner Tammy Guerra of Parker, Colo. show off their winning catches at last year's Ice Fishing Derby.

Get hooked at the Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce's 34th annual Saratoga Ice Fishing Derby.

January 21 and 22 will be your opportunity to compete for the $2000 first prize for catching the largest fish during the two-day derby.

Prove your skills at Saratoga Lake in Saratoga while competing for over $6,000 in guaranteed cash prizes and up to $35,000 in additional prize money.

The largest fish caught pays $2,000, $1000 goes to the second largest and $500 is the payout for the third biggest. Fish size determination will be based on length plus girth.

Registered fishermen have more opportunities to win: Catch one of only three Trophy Fish during the Derby and it could be worth $20,000 or $10,000 or $5,000!

Keep your eyes open for the many Bounty Fish-a fish with a pink tag behind the dorsal fin-the first Bounty Fish to be caught and verified during the derby is worth $500 to the fisherman!

Hourly cash awards of $100 will be awarded for the largest fish measured that hour. Small fry (under age 14) can enter the contest for a chance to win the grand prize of $200, as well as hourly awards of $20. Fantastic door prizes will also be given each hour.

Back by popular demand, a "Best Hut" contest for the most creative, eye-catching and yet still legal hut will win braggin' rights for a year!

Fishermen are encouraged to stop at the Derby Tent to share their "Best Fishing Story." Whether it's about the one that got away, or a close call with death, the winning story will be added to our website!

Derby hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Registration is $35 for adult anglers and $10 for small fry. Food and beverage concessions are available at the lake all weekend.

Make your lodging arrangements as soon as possible since local motels fill up fast. Saratoga Lake campground has doubled the number of hook-ups but it operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Online registration is available again this year! Fill out the form at, pay by credit card, print your receipt and you're ready to go-no need to check in at derby headquarters because your receipt number will be unique to you. You can register in person at the Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber office at 210 West Elm Street in Saratoga during office hours, Friday night January 20 until 8 p.m., or at the lake Saturday morning starting at 6 a.m. You can also register at our local retail stores in Saratoga and Riverside that sell fishing licenses.

For more information, please call 307-326-8855 email or go to


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