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N.H. man gets cash for catch at Great Rotary Derby on Winnipesaukee

Spectators and fishermen gather around the scoreboard at the annual Great Rotary Ice Fishing Derby on Lake Winnipesaukee. COURTESY PHOTO

Thousands of people head to the big water of Lake Winnipesaukee each year for the Great Rotary Ice Fishing Derby with hopes of catching one of those big-money fish.

One of those people was Milford, N.H., resident Dan Desmarais. He along with many of his friends from the fishing group “Punisher Fishing” made the trek as they have done before. Dan said he loves fishing derbies, going to Leominster, Townsend, Greenfield and other places just to wet a line in winter. It gets you out of the house.

He and his friends set up in Alton Bay on a beach area. The bottom appeared to be sandy, so he set up a Friable jigging rod with 4-pound fluorocarbon line. This was set with a number 10 hook and salmon eggs.

It was not long before his 30-inch rod bent to the water. The fight was on! After a prolonged battle the rainbow was brought on the ice to a huge shout of joy. This was a big rainbow and Desmarais knew it, not just some 12-inch skinny trout he would catch at a bathtub pond but a hefty “pound” fish that may be in the money.

He brought the fish up to the official weigh station and was informed of the great news. His fish was 3.63 pounds and would take first place in the derby. At the end of the day a check for $15,000 was his.

He had won the event and the tax man was right there with his hand out and took a cut. Now the money is in the bank. Desmarais has a few ideas for his newfound wealth but for now he is just happy to let it sit in the bank for a spell.

News & notes

Massachusetts deer hunters scored a new record with 14,513 deer during the fall season. This was a year that saw little acorn crop and some snow. The deer were in great shape.

Pennsylvania has a problem with Chronic Wasting Disease in 100 square miles of land. One proposal was to kill every deer in the two counties but this was shot down.

Hunter safety courses in New Hampshire can be had this summer and fall by calling 603-271-0459.

A trapper education course in Massachusetts will be held in March and again in April and you can register by calling the Hunter Ed folks in Westborough at 508-389-7838 .

Moose permits are now available by going on line in New Hampshire and Maine to apply for the lottery tags. They will be pulled in May.

The Springfield Sportsmen’s Show is Feb. 22-24 at the Big E in West Springfield. This is always a big show and a great take.

Spring trout stocking is on the horizon. The numbers per district will be released soon and stocking should begin within a few short weeks.

Spring is on the way.

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