Second annual ice fishing derby set for China Lake on February 14

by Sandra Isaac

The China Four Seasons Club and the China Village Fire Department will be holding the 2nd annual China Lake Ice Fishing Derby on Sunday, February 14. This year’s event will feature catches from China Lake only, a change from last year where it was opened to all state waters.

“We are hoping that by 2022, we can make this a weekend festival event similar to China Days in the summer,” said China Four Seasons Club President Tom Rumpf. “Weigh-in time is the same as last year, 4 p.m. Entries must be in the Fire Station Building [on Causeway Road] by that time to qualify for a prize.”  Last year’s biggest catch of the day was a largemouth bass weighing over five pounds. “This year we added a prize for the largest fish of the day. The Lunker of the Day will win $200 for top prize.”

Prizes will be awarded in the following fish categories: large and smallmouth bass, brown trout, brook trout, and pickerel. The children’s category will be perch. Kids prizes will be awarded to the top five winners with the most perch caught.

Each child who participates in the derby will receive special takeaway gifts courtesy of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, in South China. These items will be given out at the fire station starting at 7 a.m. on the day of the derby.  In addition, Central Church will be set up in front of the Landing Restaurant on Causeway Road to work with kids who are new to fishing and will supply those kids with traps and bait.

“We will also be giving away over 15 door prizes including a new auger from Buckshot Powersports, 100 gallons of heating fuel from AFC, plus many gift certificates from local businesses,” said Rumpf.

Rumpf continued, “The China Lake Ice Fishing Derby is a great way for individuals and families to come out and enjoy the outdoors and be part of a China area tradition. Plus, this is also Maine’s free fishing weekend. We will be following all state-mandated guidelines, including social distancing and we will be requiring all participants to wear a face-covering when inside a building or if social distancing is not possible.”

Tickets are available for $5 a piece or three for $10 at many local stores including KC Auto, in Vassalboro, Tobey’s Grocery, Greg’s Place, Buckshot Powersports, China Variety & Redemption, Lakeview Lumber, Joseph’s Market, in Waterville, and Harvest Time Baits, in Winslow. You can also purchase tickets from members of the China Four Seasons Club and the China Village Fire Department.

The organizers have set up a Facebook page to share information on door prizes, sponsors, ticket information, and for sharing photos. Please visit


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