It’s that time of year again, when cold-tolerant anglers journey onto the ice for the annual Schroon Lake Ice Fishing Derby, held from daylight on March 4 to 4 p.m. on March 5. The derby is open to everyone, and all experience levels are encouraged to join in on the fun-filled weekend!

Now in its 31st year, the Schroon Lake Ice Fishing Derby, hosted by the Schroon Lake Fish and Game Club (SLFGC), draws folks from all over the region, with hundreds of anglers dotting the frozen lake with their shanties, tents, and tip-ups for a chance to reel in a record-breaker. There were over 600 anglers that dropped their lines beneath the Schroon Lake ice in 2022! The lake has a long tradition of ice fishing, owing to its large size, accessibility, local guiding services, and diverse fishery. 

People ice fishing on Schroon Lake amongst tents, shanties, and vehicles

Which species can you catch, and what prizes can be won?

You can fish for different species: northern pike, landlocked salmon, lake trout, pickerel, and perch. Landlocked salmon and lake trout are stocked annually on Schroon Lake, and there are some massive northern pike to be caught through the ice. Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be awarded based on weight for lake trout, salmon, and northern pike, as well as for the heaviest perch and pickerel. All fish need to be weighed at the Clubhouse before 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. If you happen to miss the podium, door prizes donated by local businesses and SLF&GC members will be awarded!

Don't miss out on the fish fry and other local offerings!

On the first day of the Derby, March 4, the SLF&GC is having a fish fry! Be sure to call (518) 532-7572 after 6 a.m. to preorder your fish dinner for pick-up. You'll be able to grab your dinner at the Clubhouse (take-out only) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Schroon Lake Bait and More, which is open 24/7, is giving away a free pack of grubs to the first 100 customers that swing by, starting 4 p.m. on March 4. They are supplying free coffee and donuts to anglers as well! 

Adults and kids learning how to use a tip-up on Schroon Lake.

How can you get tickets for the Derby?

It is suggested that you pre-register for the event by mailing a check to the Schroon Lake Fish and Game Club with the names of EACH participant purchasing a ticket, and the money for each participant. The entry fee is $20 per person, and all ages can register! Mail-in entries must be received by February 24. 

  • Make check payable to: Schroon Lake Fish and Game
  • Mail to: PO Box 725, Schroon Lake, NY 12870
  • Club house physical address: 25 Game Club Road, Schroon Lake, NY 12870

Tickets for the event are also being sold at several local businesses until March 2, after which they will only be available for purchase at the SLF&GC March 3 from noon to 9 p.m., or March 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are also available at Flanagan's Pub and Grill March 3 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Visit any of these locations before Thursday, March 2 to get your Derby ticket:

If these locations don't work for you, call (518) 532-7953 for tickets and information. Registration is $20 per person. No registrations will be accepted after 10 a.m. March 4. 

Aerial view of Schroon Lake in the winter

Prior to the Derby, be sure to purchase a New York state fishing license. The event is a perfect opportunity to explore the unique local shops and distinct dining options that are in Schroon Lake and the surrounding towns. Looking for lodging during the Derby weekend? Schroon Lake has all your lodging needs, from cozy bed and breakfasts to lodges and motels that suit any budget!