ROXBURY — More than 400 anglers vied for $3,150 in cash prizes for the largest bass, trout, pickerel and perch during Saturday's 34th annual Ice Fishing Derby at Roxbury Pond.
Of that prize money, $2,000 was the grand prize for a tagged 16- to 18-inch-long brook trout, which for the 34th year in a row, nobody caught.
Travis Laughton of Rumford caught the largest trout at 2 pounds and 17.5 inches long, netting $150. Craig Milligan, also of Rumford, won $100 for catching the largest perch at a foot long.
Shannon Sumner of Bethel won $200 for first place, catching the largest bass. It weighed 3.2 pounds and was 19.25 inches long. Taking second place and $150 was Chad Calden with an 18.75-inch fish that weighed 3.4 pounds. Judy Kennedy won third place and $100 for an 18-inch bass that weighed 2.7 pounds.
Ian Truman of South Paris won $200 and first place for the largest pickerel. It was 25 inches and weighed 4.6 pounds. Todd Manson took second place with a 24-inch fish at 3.5 pounds, and Pete Beaulieu took third place, winning $100 for a 23.5-inch fish that weighed 3.2 pounds.
For many of the participants, the event was an annual social gathering for hundreds of friends and families. There was plenty of ice at 2 feet thick, lots of sun and temperatures in the mid-30s.
"It's something to see, because you see the vehicles out here, there was a couple of women snowshoeing through here, cross-country skiers, snow machines, four-wheelers, ice fishing," Robert Grinnell said while driving his Arctic Cat four-wheeler out on the pond.
"There's so many different sport areas that's going on out here. It's unreal. It's a real family thing."
Angler Anthony Mazza brought his family out for the day, joining his dad on the ice. He also brought his dog, a friendly 7-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever named "Remmy."
Mazza, who fishes on the pond a few times a year, said he arrived at 4 a.m. to find a spot.
He said they caught some bass, pickerel and a crappie, but not trout, just because they weren't trying to catch any.
"If we would have wanted to go for trout, we probably would have gone to another location," Mazza said, pointing toward the western end of the pond. "We used a little bit bigger bait trying to get the big bass."
His children were playing with other area children nearby. Several adults also passed the time playing games while waiting for trap flags to flip up, indicating a fish on the line or swim-by mugging of the bait.
Eric Dube of Pownal, who has a family camp at the pond, and his friends were playing Cornhole, a variation on horseshoes that uses bean bags and wooden platforms.
"What a beautiful day, huh?" he asked.
His daughter, Morgan Dube, 12, and her friend, Madi Dickinson, 12, of Yarmouth, took advantage of the derby and gathering to raise money for causes.
They held a bake sale on the pond near the island to raise money to help defray medical expenses for Bob Humphrey. Morgan Dube said he was injured last month when hit in the eye by a firework.
"He has many medical bills and surgeries that we need to raise money for," she said.
The children earned $206 with their third annual bake sale. Their debut year they raised money for St. Jude Children's Hospital.
"We sold hot chocolate, cookies — a ton of different kinds of cookies, brownies; we had bread and a lot of different stuff," Morgan Dube said.
Unlike last year's derby, which had subzero temperatures, Saturday's event was rather mild.
"Last year, it was freezing and we sold out of hot chocolate," Dickinson said.
"This year we got like three cups of hot chocolate sold," Morgan Dube said, laughing. "It was really warm out."