Smith Lake Derby Attracts 400+ Anglers!
(Above Photo: Abby Reynolds (turned 5 on derby day) shows off a nice perch she caught at the Smith Lake Lions Club ice fishing derby on December 27, 2014.)
The 44th annual Lions Club Smith Lake Ice Fishing Derby held west of Kalispell on Saturday, December 27 attracted over 400 anglers. Youngsters composed the biggest part of the crowd. Anglers landed hundreds of small pike and fewer numbers of perch on jigs tipped with maggots or smelt.
The event is put on by the Sunriser Lions Club as a public service to the community and as a way to make a modest amount of money to donate to family fishing pond programs. Anglers also donated some pike to the Hooked on Fishing program for dissection exercises. The Lions operated a food stand offering hamburgers, chili, and other items.
“This is a great family event,” said Warren Illi of the Sunriser Lions Club. “We had a terrific turnout and decent weather. It was great to see so many kids catching fish.” Illi said that a popular part of the event is the contest for the smallest perch and pike. Illi manned the weigh-in table set up for anglers to check in their catch in hopes of winning a prize.
- Largest Pike: 6 pounds plus, Alona Johnson
- Smallest Pike: 168 grams (0.37 pounds), Ty Crofts
- Largest Perch: 1.33 pounds, Jaylund Rammell
- Smallest Perch: 226 grams (0.5 pounds), Kaylee Rammell
(via Montana FWP)