The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

The shortest month of the year proved to be a great month for those who entered the 21st Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware &Fishing Annual Ice Fishing Derby with 318 fish being brought through the ice and registered.

According to Scott Miller of the family owned Soldotna Hardware this year saw over 1,000 participants signing up to get out on the ice for this year’s event. Derby winners packed into the store last week to claim their prizes and awards with the kids as excited as a Christmas morning,

“It’s awesome! The smiles on the kid’s faces when they come in with their fish and come back to get their prizes is why we do this every year,” said Miller at the awards ceremony. “The little guys had some big fish this year.The Minnow Division six and under saw a three pound rainbow brought through the ice by a three year old. That was Aaron Kratsas and that’s a big fish. Then Alice Voight at age six completed a grand slam getting out there with her parents and grandparents and caught six different species. That doesn’t happen by going to just one lake and one trip, it’s a big effort, but what a thrill that she’ll remember all her life,” said Miller.

And the youngest fisherwoman to land a fish this year was also from the Voight family, “Ariel Voight at one and half years old caught her first fish before she can even walk. The Voight family has been a long time participant in the Ice Fishing Derby. Ariel’s dad Jeremiah got started in the Derby when he was in high school and now his kids are following in his footsteps and it’s pretty cool he’s teaching his daughters and kids around him how to fish and enjoy Alaskan winters,” added Miller.

There were also some huge fish brought in for the open division that included for the first time a catch and release division, “Jasmine our new derby queen this year made a special measuring tray for catch &release where they would take a picture and bring it in. That was an exciting division this year with Kendra Pisa taking that top honor this year. There were some huge fish caught and released which means they’ll be bigger next year and may even be caught again. The largest fish in the open division that was brought in to the store was caught by Anthony Bunch with an 8.09 rainbow trout. Anthony also won other divisions with nice salmon, lake trout, grayling and northern pike so he put a big effort into this year’s event. We love it this is what Alaska is all about getting out there with your family and having a good time enjoying life and teaching kids how enjoy Alaska and we get so much support from our vendors and the community, the State Troopers donate the bikes for the minnow division and John Iverson hand carves the trophies. We truly appreciate everyone who comes in during the derby we hate to see it end but it’s worthwhile and we’re looking forward to next year,” said Miller.

You can see photos and all the winners of this year’s derby by going to soldotnahardware.com liking them on Facebook or stopping by the store on the Sterling Highway.

The smile of 6-year-old Tallee Voight as she collects her ice fishing winnings tells the story of winter family fun on the Kenai.

The smile of 6-year-old Tallee Voight as she collects her ice fishing winnings tells the story of winter family fun on the Kenai.

3-year-old Aaron Kratsas wins the Minnow Division catching a 3.07 lb. rainbow trout.

3-year-old Aaron Kratsas wins the Minnow Division catching a 3.07 lb. rainbow trout.

Little kids catch big fish & prizes in Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby.

Little kids catch big fish & prizes in Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby.

Alice Voight caught a fish and won a bike in the Ice Fishing Derby.

Alice Voight caught a fish and won a bike in the Ice Fishing Derby.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

Alice Voight caught a fish and won a bike in the Ice Fishing Derby.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

Alice Voight caught a fish and won a bike in the Ice Fishing Derby.

ABOVE: Little kids catch big fish & prizes in Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby. LEFT: Ice fishermen and Trustworthy staff gather in the store for the finish of the annual Ice Fishing Derby and the award ceremony.

ABOVE: Little kids catch big fish & prizes in Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby. LEFT: Ice fishermen and Trustworthy staff gather in the store for the finish of the annual Ice Fishing Derby and the award ceremony.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

ABOVE: Little kids catch big fish & prizes in Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby. LEFT: Ice fishermen and Trustworthy staff gather in the store for the finish of the annual Ice Fishing Derby and the award ceremony.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

ABOVE: Little kids catch big fish & prizes in Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby. LEFT: Ice fishermen and Trustworthy staff gather in the store for the finish of the annual Ice Fishing Derby and the award ceremony.

Ice Fishing Derby winners of the Ladies Division.

Ice Fishing Derby winners of the Ladies Division.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

Ice Fishing Derby winners of the Ladies Division.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

Ice Fishing Derby winners of the Ladies Division.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

Ice Fishing Derby winners of the Ladies Division.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

Ice Fishing Derby winners of the Ladies Division.

At 1.5 years of age Ariel Voight was the youngest fisherwoman to bring a fish through the ice.

At 1.5 years of age Ariel Voight was the youngest fisherwoman to bring a fish through the ice.

The icing on the Ice Fishing Derby

At 1.5 years of age Ariel Voight was the youngest fisherwoman to bring a fish through the ice.

More in News

Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River dipnetting closed; Kasilof to close Sunday

The Kasilof River dipnet fishery is reportedly slow, but fish are being caught

Silver salmon hang in the Seward Boat Harbor during the 2018 Seward Silver Salmon Derby. (Photo courtesy of Seward Chamber of Commerce)
Seward Silver Salmon derby runs Aug. 13-21

Last year’s derby featured 1,800 contestants competing across eight days

Rayna Reynolds tends to her cow at the 4-H Agriculture Expo in Soldotna, Alaska on Aug. 5, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Animals take the stage at 4-H expo

Contestants were judged on the quality of the animal or showmanship of the handler

Emily Matthews and Andy Kowalczyk pose outside the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies headquarters on Friday, July 29, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Charlie Menke/Homer News)
AmeriCorps volunteers aid Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

The 10-month commitment pushed them outside of comfort zones

People gather in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, for Salmonfest, an annual event that raises awareness about salmon-related causes. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
All about the salmon

Fish, love and music return to Ninilchik

Alaska State Veterinarian Dr. Bob Gerlach gives a presentation on Avian Influenza Virus at the 4-H Agriculture Expo in Soldotna, Alaska, on Aug. 5, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
State looks to outreach, education amid bird flu outbreak

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is spreading in Alaska

Fencing surrounds the 4th Avenue Theatre in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. Demolition will begin in August 2022 on the once-opulent downtown Anchorage movie theater designed by the architect of Hollywood’s famed Pantages Theatre. The 4th Avenue Theatre with nearly 1,000 seats opened in 1947, and it withstood the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Efforts fail to save historic Anchorage theater from demolition

Anchorage entrepreneur Austin “Cap” Lathrop opened the 4th Avenue Theatre, with nearly 1,000 seats, on May 31, 1947

Mimi Israelah, center, cheers for Donald Trump inside the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska, during a rally Saturday July 9, 2022. Two Anchorage police officers violated department policy during a traffic stop last month when Israelah, in town for a rally by former President Donald Trump showed a “white privilege card” instead of a driver’s license and was not ticketed. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Alaska officers violated policy in ‘white privilege’ stop

The top of the novelty card reads: “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything.”

Ashlyn O’Hara / Peninsula Clarion file 
Alaska LNG Project Manager Brad Chastain presents information about the project during a luncheon at the Kenai Chamber Commerce and Visitor Center on July 6.
Local leaders voice support for LNG project

Local municipalities are making their support for the Alaska LNG Project known

Most Read