FL Ice Fishing Derby attracts record number of anglers

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Photo by Dennis Mansfield

Angie Furgeson of Petoskey, a volunteer official for the Fife Lake Ice Fishing Derby, reads out measurements of potential winning fish caught Saturday. 

FIFE LAKE – For a second consecutive year, the annual Fife Lake Ice Fishing Derby set a record for participation.

According to Kathy Gwizdala, owner of the Fife Lake Lodging & Party Store and one of the coordinators of the competition, a total of 386 anglers registered to compete in the ice fishing derby held on the frozen waters – well, mostly frozen – of Fife Lake on Saturday, Jan. 27. That topped the previous record of 353 set last year.

“It was a gorgeous day,” Gwizdala said. “Things went very, very well.”

While the weather might have been unseasonably warm for such an event, chilly nights during the week help set up the competition with nearly a foot of solid ice in spots.

“I think people embraced (the warmer weather),” Gwizdala added. “The lake was beautiful. Though, after about 2 p.m., it got a little slushy.”

Organizers attributed the growing participation to efforts in recent years to promote the ice fishing competition to other areas of the state, including downstate.

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