Courtesy photo/GREG RIVERO
The annual Rotary Ice Fishing Derby is scheduled this weekend. It’s an event that attracts hundreds of visitors to Ely.

By Kay-Lynn Roberts-McMurray

The Ely Times

Cold weather may force people indoors most days, but this time of year you can’t keep people away from the ice for the Ely Rotary’s annual Ice Fishing Derby.

For many fishing enthusiasts, this is an event that they look forward to returning to each year.

Attracting hundreds of people to this event, means every hotel room in town is sold out, restaurants are busy and the local sports store is jam packed with customers.

Last year’s event had more than 700 entries and it’s anticipated that even more will attend this year due to the cold weather and icy conditions.

The proceeds go towards scholarship funding for students in the White Pine County area. Months of planning and work goes into putting this derby on.

Fifteen to 25 fish are tagged days before the event. Each of the tagged fish are worth $100.00 dollars each.

The tagged fish must be caught through the ice by a participant, then the tagged fish numbers are placed in a hat and one number is drawn as the winner for the $5,000 grand prize.

After the grand prize drawing, another drawing will be held for an extra bonus prize for eligible persons who purchased an extra bonus entry and caught a tagged fish. You must be present to win.

Friday night kicks off the event at the Bristlecone Convention Center with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. where you can register and get your wrist bands early.

Cocktails and Hors d’ oeuvre will be available until 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday morning the event begins at 7:30 a.m and ends at 3 p.m. Prizes will be raffled throughout the day and concessions are with food and drinks will be available.

So fill out a registration form, put on those warm layers, drill a hole in the ice, sit on a bucket, cast a line  and try your luck this weekend!