Leadville News – January 18

Celebrating Two Decades: Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby

Ice _ Jennifer Rogowski

The ice has set up perfectly for the 20th Annual Twin Lakes Fishing Derby to be held February 10 & 11. Photo: Leadville Today/Jennifer B. Rogowski.

By Kathy Bedell © Leadville Today

“The ice is all set up out at Twin Lakes,” reports Angelina Salazar, one of the Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby organizers. “And just last weekend, there were almost 20 shanties out on the ice.”

Let the rest of the state fight it out over the skiers, boarders and fat-bikers, because when it comes to outdoor winter recreation, Leadville and Lake County have been known to do things a bit differently. Point in case would be hosting the longest, competitive ice-fishing derby not only in the state but across the region. There’s no break in the action, as competitors kick-off early on Saturday and continue overnight until noon on Sunday. Any idea what time of day (or night) the big fish are reeled in?

Well, come February 10 & 11, many polar-pole plungers will find out as they gather in the southern part of the county for the 20th Annual Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby! Sponsored by the Leadville Rod & Gun Club, this year the event marks two decades of frozen fun that creates a shanty-town wonderland bringing folks together for a mid-winter contest for cash and prizes.Ice Fishing Derby Poster_2018

And no doubt, some of the fish being pulled from that glacial reservoir are impressive, setting the tone for bragging rights that keep local fishing men and women – and yes, there’s a kid’s competition too! – coming back for more.

So round up your shanty-town clan and make plans –  it’s time to get the word out and Go Fishin! Here’s what you need to know.

The 20th Annual Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby will be held on February 10 and 11, at Twin Lakes Reservoir, located about 15 miles south of Leadville, Colorado. This annual Lake County event draws in dozens of winter anglers from across the state to compete for cash and prizes. It’s certainly a favorite among locals and the competition is fierce! 

Competitors can enter to win cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd  place for Mackinaw, Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat fish. Prizes will be awarded on weight of individual fish caught. See how the competition panned out at the last derby in 2017 (RESULTS).

This is also a great outdoor event for the children, passing down family traditions of winter recreation. Children age 12 & under who participate and place in categories will be eligible for a 1st place belt buckle. Trophies will be awarded to 2nd and 3rd winners in each category. There is NO entry fee for the kids competition.

ice fishing shanty

The Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby is sponsored by the Leadville Rod & Gun Club and will be held February 10 & 11, 2018. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg.

And money isn’t the only thing they will be giving away! In fact the LRGC is known for delivering some top-of-the-line prizes including an ice auger and portable ice shanty. Each paid contestant will be eligible to win those prizes. And don’t forget the LRGC raffle with tickets at $5 a piece or buy 5 for $20 from any club member. 

The entry fee is only $40. For an application CLICK HERE. Paper applications can also be picked up locally at the Leadville Sanitation District office at the corner of McWethy Drive and Highway 24 South and up until Friday, Feb 9 at Saturday’s Discount, located south of Leadville at 12655 US-24, across from the Little Red Schoolhouse.

The official event headquarters and weigh-in station during the derby weekend is staged at the Twin Lakes Dexter Parking lot. The Leadville Rod & Gun Club can be reached at P.O. Box 604, Leadville, CO 80461. Or contact LRGC derby organizers Angelina Salazar at 719-293-0567 or Danny Gurule 719-293-5057.

This year, Leadville Today will again be a media sponsor for the Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby, so stay tuned for all the fishing action, photos, videos, and results. It should be a fun winter weekend! So pull out your shanty, grab your pole and auger and head out for some winter fun – and what may be the biggest fish you ever catch.

Journalist Kathy Bedell owns The Great Pumpkin, A Media Company located in Leadville, Colorado which publishes LeadvilleToday.com and SaguacheToday.com. No portion of this post or the content therein may be re-published without express written consent of the Publisher (info@leadvilletoday.com).


Russell Dicks of Pan Ark caught this sizeable mackinaw weighing in at 14.5 lbs which earned him second place in that category at the 2017 Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby held annually in February. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.


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