Organizers of the Feb. 13 ice fishing derby on Roxbury Pond include, from left, Kevin Jamison, manager of Aubuchon Hardware in Rumford; Barry Tunton, president of the Roxbury ATV Riders Club; and Michael B. Hanson, club trailmaster, with his son Liam Hansen. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

ROXBURY — The Roxbury ATV Riders Club has teamed up with Aubuchon Hardware in Rumford to help sponsor an ice fishing derby on Roxbury Pond, Saturday, Feb. 13.

It’s one of two derbies planned at the pond in the next two months.

Michael B. Hansen, club vice president and trailmaster, said anglers who pay the $10 entry fee will be eligible for more than $5,000 in prizes, raffles, food and plenty of fish.

“We want the community to come together and for everyone to leave with money, a prize, or the memory of a lifetime,” he said. “I’m hoping it will be the biggest Roxbury fishing derby we’ve ever had.”

The derby, to be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., takes place during one of Maine’s Free Fishing Weekends.

Regarding any COVID-19 concerns, Hansen said, “I like that it’s an outdoor event. It’s a big lake, so people are going to be able to keep their distance and still have a good time.”

Aubuchon is sponsoring more than $2,000 in cash prizes for the catches.

Manager Kevin Jamison said he convinced his corporate people to sponsor the prizes.

They are $250 for first, $150 for second and $100 for third for bass, pickerel, and trout.

There is a $100 prize for the largest perch and $100 for the largest crappie!

There are also cash prizes for the largest game fish of any species not listed.

The derby was formerly held by the Mexico Lions Club, which had hosted the annual Larry Mercier Ice Fishing Derby for 39 years. Instead, the Lions Club will partner with Operation Reboot for an ice fishing derby March 20 on Roxbury Pond.

Lions Club President Barry Bunton said the club is teaming up with Hailey Hugs of Bethel, which is donating $1,000 for two door prizes.

“Then we’re going to donate somewhere around 25% of the proceeds back to them,” he said.

Hansen said the door prizes are an electric ice auger and a portable easy up ice fishing tent that will fit in a back pack. The entry fee enables participants to be in the drawing for the prizes.

Hailey Hugs is a nonprofit charitable organization that champions fundraising and awareness. It awards grants directly to families living with the financial strain of childhood cancer.

The derby will also have buckets to collect donations for the Greater Rumford Community Center’s Pay It Forward Program, spearheaded by Gary Dolloff. It provides clothing, food, firewood and other necessities to those in need.

Bunton said the club hopes to involve youth.

Hansen said kids are always on their phone, so, “If they’re going to be on their phone out there, let’s make something exciting from it. The kids can follow each other around, or their parents, with their phones and they can film each other actually handling the fish and catching the fish. Bring that video to us with their fish and say, look, my kid just caught this 12-inch bass and here’s the kid doing it. At the end of the day, we’ll find the biggest fish of any species, we want all fish to count if they’re a kid.”

As part of this youth tournament, they’ll award a $100 cash prize for the largest fish, as well as a mystery prize revealed when the cash prize is awarded.

Hansen will post social media during the event, including the kids’ videos throughout the day on the club’s Facebook page as well as Hansen’s personal page.

“It will be the first time since I was 10 years old that I haven’t fished this derby,” he said. “It’s because I want to commit myself so that everybody has a good experience.”

Winners will be posted online as well as updates on the largest current fish caught.

Hansen said bait for the derby will be available at Baker’s Store near Roxbury Pond, or Fuller’s Bait on the South Rumford Road in Rumford.

There will also be food available at the derby.

Donations and sponsorship for door prizes are being accept up until the derby. To donate, contact an officer of the club or Bunton at 266-5886, or Hansen at 951-5034 or through Facebook messenger.

Anglers can get tickets the day of the derby at the Aubuchon Hardware’s tagging station on Roxbury Pond or early at Aubuchon Hardware in Rumford, Mills Market in Andover, and Baker’s Country Store in Roxbury.


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