with the early ice in and very cold late Dec and early Jan temps...I was thinking ice out would be early May. However, with a mild Feb including a few good rain storms...I now have hope for a mid-April ice out. I will be asking the dealer to begin prepping the boat around April 1 and plan to spend time today refreshing my lines on my reels and cleaning the tackle box. I'm feeling this will be a good year.
I'm curious on guys' opinions of last years salmon derby run by BSA. I know some of you are completely against the derby so I'm not looking for those for the purpose of this question....more wondering about "how you felt it was run" opinions. I was glad to see someone (anyone) take the lead as it seemed the Rotary was letting it slip and BSA seemed to bring back enthusiasm (and sponsors) and I'm hoping the sponsor list grows this year. I liked the idea of the expo though many didn't like being forced to pay for it with their ticket. I felt it needed more vendor participation and hope that grows this year also. I didn't attend any awards and probably wouldn't this year also without a top 3 fish for the day due to the drive from our camp to HQ to collect the smaller awards (wouldn't make a 45 minute drive and sit for an hour when I could be resting for the next day to get a free hat). Part of me thinks they should just do all awards (including daily awards) on Sunday to encourage more attendance for that one event and show vendors bigger crowds. Obviously everyone wants bigger prizes to attract more anglers (and thus sponsors) and keep the event vibrant (remember when a full console Princecraft was grand prize salmon and a smaller 16 foot Princecraft was second prize and another good sized Princecraft for largest laker and the kids first place was yet another boat? Unfortunately...those prizes reflected larger numbers of participants. I think they are in a catch 22 of "can't provide bigger prizes without bigger crowds and bigger crowds are a result of bigger prizes".
...anyhow just random thoughts for a snowy/rainy Feb day "wishin' I was fishin'".