Stone Lake ice fishing derby set for Jan. 31

Published 3:03 am Tuesday, January 20, 2004

By Staff
CASSOPOLIS -- The second annual Stone Lake ice fishing derby will be held on Saturday, Jan. 31 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an alternate date of Feb. 14.
The Cassopolis/Vandalia Chamber of Commerce Downtown Development Authority of Cassopolis and Southwestern Michigan College are sponsoring the derby.
Registration is required between Tuesday Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 31 at Marcello's Pizzeria, across from Stone Lake in Cassopolis. The fee of $15 includes a stocking hat, with 90 percent going into cash prizes.
There will be three categories of fish, with one prize per category: bluegill, perch and bass. Fish will be judged based on length. Fish are to be caught anywhere on Stone Lake.
During the derby, "live" fish will be measured. No frozen, dried out or fish caught prior to the derby will be allowed. One prize per contestant. Judge's decision will be final.
Parking is at Marcello's, where there will also be free coffee and hot chocolate to all contestants.
Prize distribution will be within one half hour after fish are measured.
Last year's derby was a huge success with 72 fishermen and women traveling a distance to participate. Though bitter cold and snowy, a number of ice houses dotted the lake.
At that derby a prize of $325 per longest fish was awarded. Winners included Bill Hodgkinson of Millburg with a 13.125 inch perch; Gary Schrader of Niles with a 9.625 inch crappie and Don Frantz of Pokagon with a 9.375 bluegill.