The 37th annual Saratoga Ice Fishing Derby is January 18 and 19
If you're looking to get hooked on some ice fishing, the Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 37th annual Saratoga Ice Fishing Derby is coming up January 18 and 19, 2020.
Anglers will be out on the ice of Saratoga Lake in Saratoga, Wyoming competing for the $2000.00 first prize for catching the largest fish during the two-day derby. In addition, there'll be over $6,000.00 in guaranteed cash prizes and up to $35,000 in additional prize money.
Competitors should also keep an eye open for the many Bounty Fish, a fish with a pink tag behind the dorsal fish. The first Bounty Fish to be caught and verified during the derby and is worth $500. Plus there will be three Trophy Trout to catch during the Derby that could be worth $5,000 or $10,000 or $20,000.
Hourly cash awards of $100.00 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 $200.00, as well as hourly awards of $20.00. And look for door prizes each hour.
If an angler is not having any luck with the rainbows during the derby, they have a chance at the Sucker Skirmish. The “biggest sucka” caught and the fisherman who catches the most suckers during the Derby can win up to $500.
The “Best Hut” contest is back at the derby by popular demand. Judges will look for the most creative, eye-catching and yet still legal hut to win bragging rights for a year. Fishermen are encouraged to stop at the Derby Tent to share their best fishing story and the winning story will be added to the organizer's website.
Derby hours are 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM Sunday. Registration is $35 for adult anglers and $10 for small fry. Online registration is available at saratogachamber.info/fishingderby. According to derby officials, if you register online and pay by credit card, you can print your receipt and be ready to go with no need to check-in at derby headquarters because your receipt number will be unique to you.
You can still register in person at the Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber office at 210 West Elm Street in Saratoga during office hours and on Friday night January 18 until 8:00 PM, or at the lake Saturday morning starting at 6:00. You can also register at stores in Saratoga and Riverside that sell fishing licenses.
Concessions will be available at the lake all weekend. Organizers suggest that folks make lodging arrangements as soon as possible since local motels fill up fast. Saratoga Lake campground has also doubled the number of hook-ups but it is on a first-come-first-served basis.