The below-zero temperatures forecasted for the coming week should ensure plenty of safe ice just in time for the 2014 derby season that gets into full swing on Saturday with four events available to area anglers.
Those events are the Alexandria Bay Volunteer Fire Departments Luck of the Draw Derby, the Black Lake Fish and Game Associations Derby, the Cranberry Lake Volunteer Fire and Rescue Derby, and the Black Lake Challenge Derby.
Alexandria Bay Derby
The Alexandria Bay Volunteer Fire Departments Luck of the Draw 16th annual Fire and Ice Fishing Derby is an open-boundary affair. Northern pike must measure a minimum of 26 inches to qualify for entry.
The derby features more than $10,000 in prizes, including $1,000 donated by Glen Sweet, $500 by Gouverneur Savings & Loan, $500 gift certificate by Route 37 and Wellesley Island Building Supply, and an ice auger by Horizon Marine.
A cash amount of $250 will be awarded for the biggest fish and $250 for Luck of the Draw live release while the top prize in the youth division is a half-day fishing charter with Captain Pat Snyder. All registered youngsters will also receive a prize.
Registration runs from 8 a.m. through the evening on Friday, and from 5-11 a.m. on the day of the event. Cost is $10 for adults, and $5 for youths 12 and under.
Weigh-in closes at 5 p.m. when a merchants auction will be held, with the awards being presented at 6 p.m.
All activities, including live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, will take place at the Alexandria Bay Municipal Building/Fire Station. For more information, call 816-2243 or 788-2243.
Black Lake Derby
The Black Lake F&G Associations 46th annual Ice Fishing Derby is also an open-boundary tournament with divisions for northern pike, walleye, panfish and junior panfish.
Cash prizes totaling $1,500 will be awarded, and numerous door prizes will also be handed out.
Anglers must register ($15 for adults and $5 for youths 16 and under) prior to fishing. Pre-registration is available at the local bait shops until noon on the day of the derby.
Anglers can also register at the associations clubhouse on Route 58 between Morristown and Edwardsville from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, and beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
Complete rules and regulations are available at registration sites, and weigh-in closes at the clubhouse at 4 p.m. when prizes will be awarded. For more information, visit www.blfga.org.
Cranberry Lake Derby
The Cranberry Lake Volunteer Fire and Rescue First Strike Ice Fishing Derby features $800 in cash prizes each hour of the event as well as numerous door prizes. There is a youth perch division, and all registered youths will receive a prize.
Registration ($30 for adults and $10 for youths) starts at 4 a.m. at the Cranberry Lake Fire Hall on the day of the event. Registration forms are also available on-line at www.cranberrylakefire.org.
Fishing hours extend from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., and prizes will be awarded at the Fire Hall at 4 p.m. For more information, visit the above website or call 858-2937.
Black Lake Challenge
Rollaway Bay will be the site for the 2014 Black Lake Challenge for northern pike, walleye and black crappie. The challenge has adult and youth divisions, and numerous door prizes will be awarded.
Payout will be based on the number of entries, and 50 percent of all proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project at Fort Drum.
Anglers can register ($15 for adults and $5 for youths) at Fish Creek Bait and Tackle.
Fishing hours begin at 6 a.m., and weigh-in concludes at 4 p.m. at Patterson Taxidermy.
Monday: Raquette River Winter Experience with Don Meissner airs on PBS at 7:30 p.m.
Friday-Sunday: New York Sportsmans Expo at Syracuse Fairgrounds (www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com).
Saturday: Annual Black Lake Ice Fishing Derby (393-3543 or 375-6561).
Saturday: Alex Bay VFD Luck-of-the-Draw Ice Fishing Derby (816-2310 or 788-2243).
Saturday: Black Lake Challenge Ice Fishing Derby at Rollaway Bay.
Saturday: First Strike Ice Fishing Derby at Cranberry Lake (www.cranberrylakefire.org).
Feb. 1: Pierrepont VFDs Open Boundary Ice Fishing Derby (386-2160).
Feb. 1: David Tuttle Memorial Ice Fishing Derby at Beaver Camp (376-2640).
Feb. 8: Annual Chippewa Bay Ice Fishing Derby.
Feb. 8: Waddington Sons of American Legions 13th annual Ice Fishing Derby (250-5252).
Feb. 15: Wheathouse Bay Battle of the Bay Ice Fishing Derby (393-3669).
Feb. 15: Clayton FD and K of Cs 9th Annual Catch and Release Ice Fishing Derby (771-3533).