PHOTOS BY KEITH TAYLOR
With the Winter Olympics in Sochi having drawn to a close, those who are still pumped up on the adrenaline produced by cheering on their favorite athletes, may wonder about other winter events that take place around the world this time of year. Although a far cry from Olympic events such as Alpine Skiing or Speed Skating, the annual Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby draws thousands of people into a carnival-like atmosphere filled with a sea of vendors and bob houses, all competing to win the $15,000 grand prize!
Since 1978, the town of Meredith, New Hampshire has been the host for one of the Lakes Region’s biggest winter events. The event gathers ice fisherman from across the country for a weekend of fun, fishing and a little friendly competition as to who will catch the prized fish that will be featured on the wall of fame. Presented by the Meredith Rotary Club, a world-wide organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian services, the event serves as a major fund raiser to help support the Food Pantry, Senior Center, scholarships to traditional and non-traditional students, and other worthy causes.
The Derby also hosts a program designed especially for kids with the cooperation of the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department entitled “Let’s Go Fishing” during which demonstrations of various ice-fishing techniques are provided.
This year’s event was held on February 8-9 where the frozen waters of Lake Winnipesaukee were transformed into a metropolis of fishing shanties of every shape, size and color! Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the state of New Hampshire and the 6th largest lake in the United States. Surrounded by three mountain ranges, the wooded shoreline and the crystal clear water of this spring-fed lake make it a popular year round resort.
The grand prize winner was drawn from a from a group of the top 14 ice fishers and an eleven year old named Brady King, took home the prize of $15,000!
Location: Alton, NH