FOXHOLM - Clear water fishing sure beats the dirty stuff, at least at the annual fishing derby held at Lake Darling. The Souris River Basin Longbeards event held May 12 resulted in 385 fish being brought to the weigh-in. Last year, with very murky water conditions due to high runoff, only 39 fish were caught. Both events featured 50 two-man teams.
"It was a heck of a derby. Everyone had a good time. It was great and the water was in good shape," said Percy Ottmar, derby chairman.
In 2011 northern pike fishermen managed to catch only nine fish during the derby. The total in 2012 was 172 northern pike that totaled over 740 pounds. The largest northern was 7 pounds, 2 ounces caught by the team of Darcy Johnson of Watford City and Terry Ferdinand of Foxholm.
These fishermen were part of the Souris River Basin Longbeards annual fishing derby held on Lake Darling. The lake was much clearer than it was for the 2011 derby.
The winners of the northern division were Travis Movchan and Brody Wolff of Minot. The tourney duo had a winning weight of 28 pounds, 6 ounces. Nine pounds, 15 ounces was the winning weight in 2011.
The team of Jason and Jon Votava of Minot captured the walleye division for the second straight year. Their catch totaled 11 pounds, 7 ounces. In all, 34 walleyes were brought to the scale with a combined weight of 57 pounds, 13 ounces. The Votavas also had the largest walleye at 3 pounds, 4 ounces.
The perch division saw a huge change in success over a year earlier when perch fishing was almost impossible due to water conditions. In 2011 only two perch were weighed. This year 197 perch were weighed. Four teams tied for the largest perch at 9 ounces.
Winners of the perch category was the team of Wayne Strand and David Walters of Minot with a weight of 10 pounds, 2 ounces. The average perch in the derby weighed just under a half pound.
"We had guys who said they got bigger perch, pounders or better, but that they didn't keep them," said Ottmar.
A portion of the derby entry fees is donated to the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge.