Ice fishing is a favorite wintertime activity for anglers once the cold temps hit Vermont. In Brattleboro, on an estuary where the West River meets the Connecticut River, an area of water known around town as the Retreat Meadows becomes home to dozens of ice fishing shacks once the water freezes over. Most of these tiny huts (see photo below of the Retreat Meadows in January) are equipped with gas-fired warmers or wood stoves, allowing wintertime anglers to be comfortable while fishing for hours on end.
And in Wilmington, Vermont, just south of Mount Snow and west of Brattleboro, the Harriman Reservoir plays host to an annual ice fishing contest. For 2011, the Harriman Resevoir Ice Fishing Derby is coming to Wilmington, Vermont February 26 and 27. This annual event is a ton of fun for the family, as well as the serious ice fishing enthusiast. This year's derby is receiving an especially enthusiastic lead-up, as last year's event was canceled due to safety concerns with thin ice.
Here are the quick details...
WHAT: 27th Annual Harriman Reservoir Ice Fishing Derby WHERE: Harriman Reservoir, Wilmington, Vermont WHEN: February 26 and 27, 2011 COST: The organizers of the event, the Deerfield Valley Sportsmen's Club, have yet to announce ticket prices. But each admission includes a raffle ticket for a prizes. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 each.
Awards in several different categories are handed out at the end of the derby around 4pm.
The Harriman Reservoir is widely known as an excellent fishing spot. Bass and trout are the most commonly caught fish -- the trout are especially prized. Once in a while, salmon will nibble.
New to the sport of ice fishing but itching to give it a try? Make sure you've purchased your license first. You can buy one online at the Vermont Fish and Wildlife's website. Prices vary depending on age, but you can also purchase a temporary 3-day pass for $10.
Below is a video, shot on the Retreat Meadows in Brattleboro, Vermont, featuring some ice fishing basics.
Enjoy and be safe on the ice! As always, we'd love to host you in one of our Vermont winter rental homes if you're coming to visit and need a place to stay near Wilmington.