Stage set for largest ice fishing derby


More and more fish houses have been popping up on Maple Lake in anticipation for the 39th annual Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby.
According to organizer Nick Olsen, Ice Force has dubbed the derby as the largest of its kind in North America.
“With having as many participants as we have in our derby, that’s what basically catapulted us to be the largest derby in North America,” Olsen said of the 7,500 derby tickets that have been sold annually for the past six years.
Olsen clarified the difference between a derby and a contest.
“A derby is for fun and a contest is for winning big prizes,” Olsen said. “A contest is usually $25 to $45 per ticket per hole and people can win big pickup trucks and that sort of thing. A derby is for fun and is more family-oriented. Ours is only $5 and our cause is the community instead of just one person winning a big prize.”
Proceeds support the Maple Lake Property Owners Association’s efforts to clean up and improve the lake.
The Arctic Plunge adds to that fundraising effort, with MLPOA splitting funds evenly with the Maple Lake Fire Department and True Friends.
Largely due to the partnership with True Friends – which operates Camp Courage and Camp Friendship in the area – about 75 participants are expected to take the plunge at 10:30 a.m. near the beach access.
More information appears in this week's Messenger.