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Whether you’re a ‘newbie’ ice fisherman like Jess Waldner, left, or an experienced one like Kolter Forbes, right, there’s plenty of fun and good fishing to be done at the annual ice fishing derby Saturday on Lake Frances. Kolter was one of the kid’s prize winners in last year’s derby with this Pike that weighed nearly 7 lbs.

The Valier Area Development Corporation is hoping all their hard work pays on Saturday when they welcome hundreds of ice fishing fanatics to the 2020 Ice Fishing Derby! 

The derby will get underway on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. at Lake Frances. 

This year’s entry fee is $20 per person and the derby features 100 percent payout. 

Register at Froggie’s Bar and Grill in Valier on Friday from 6-9 p.m. or on Saturday at the Firemen’s Pavilion beginning at 6 a.m. Registration will also be going on at One Stop Cenex beginning at 6 a.m.

Entry to the derby officially closes at 10:30 a.m.  

No fish will be weighed after 3 p.m.

Cash prizes will be paid for first, second and third places for biggest Pike and biggest Yellow Perch. Children 14 and under can win the “Kids Prize” for largest fish caught during the day of the derby. Awards will be presented at 3:30 p.m. Last year’s payout was $1,579 each for the first place Pike and Perch.

All participants they must have a valid Montana Conservation and Fishing License and follow state fishing regulations. VADC officials do not recommend anyone drive a vehicle on the ice.

VADC organizers are confident this year’s derby will be another fun and successful event.

In addition to the ice fishing derby, the VADC is holding their annual fundraising raffle. This year’s raffle boasts several outstanding prizes, including:

•Ruger Precision .17 HMR Bolt Action Rimfire Rifle, donated by Norman’s Outdoor Sports and the VADC.

•Vexilar FL-18 Propack II with 12 degree transducer, donated VADC.

•ION Electric Auger, donated by VADC.

There are many other nice prizes, including gift certificates from major sporting good stores, tools, tip ups, fishing gear and more

Raffle tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and are available prior to the derby from VADC members, Froggie’s Bar and Grill, Curry’s, the Panther Café and DeVoe’s Builders Service in Valier.

For more information on the annual ice fishing derby, please call 788-6613.

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