Big Fish Winter Derby pays out over $7,000 in prizes
by Mindi Crabb
March 10, 2019
The Pinedale Lions Club hosted the 2019 Big Fish Winter Derby on Fremont Lake on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 & 3, 2019. The two-day fishing event featured over $7,000 in cash and prizes. 248 participants enjoyed their time on the lake, even if the catching was slow. Over 65% of registrants were from out of town, providing a nice little boost to the local economy.
Saturday’s $1,000 Grand Prize, sponsored by Rocky Mountain Yeti, was won by Matt Letsinger with a 40" lake trout that weighed in at 21.6#.
First Bank donated the $400 2nd place prize which went to Daniel Racich with a 35" and 11# lake trout – he also received a $100 hourly prize due to the limited number of fish turned in. Mike Jackson’s 20" rainbow trout weighed just 2.4 pounds, but earned him $200 for 3rd biggest fish, $200 for largest rainbow and a $100 hourly prize for a total of $500! Fourth place honors went to Javier Reyes and his 18-1/2", 2.4# rainbow. Shane Cooper turned in the largest brown trout, an 18-½" and 2.0 pound entry.
Hourly prizes of $100 were also won by Terry Eaton and Gary Ondrisko.
In the Youth division, Mason Kleeman reeled in a 25" 3.2# fish for the Grand Prize of $100 and Jayce Borghi turned in a 21 ¼" 1.8# fish to win a rod donated by A to Z Hardware.
Because Wyoming Game & Fish regulations limit the number of big fish in possession at any one time, the Pinedale Lions Club provided a fish cleaning and cooking station, complete with warm running water and heated with a wood stove. Saturday’s two largest fish were happily consumed by around 35 participants, allowing those lucky anglers to participate again the next day.
Sunday’s action wasn’t any faster, but there was a bigger fish. Cory White’s 21.8 pound, 39-½" lake trout was the largest of the weekend and earned him the $1,000 Grand Prize donated by Enviremedial Services Inc. Charlie Kleeman brought in a 32-¼" and 10.6# lake trout for 2nd place’s $400 sponsored by Bighorn Construction. Rebel Auto donated the 3rd place prizes both days – Sunday’s $200 was won by Joey Majhanovich and his 6.6# 29.75# fish. Dave Pape rounded out the prize list with his 24" and 2.8# trout, good enough for $150 from Rider Property Management.
Those fishermen and women who stuck around for the awards presentation on Sunday afternoon were rewarded with numerous door prizes, including cash from the hourly slots when no fish were turned in. Youth prizes were in abundance, and there was even a special award for the oldest fisherman (who shall remain nameless, but was in his 7th decade…). A big shout out to youth participant Jayce Borghi for being the only fisherman to turn in fish both days of the derby!
Grand Prize $1,000 Rocky Mtn Yeti Matt Letsinger 21.6# 40" Lake
2nd $400 First Bank Daniel Racich 11# 35" Lake
3rd $200 Rebel Auto Mike Jackson 2.4# 20" Rainbow
4th $150 Bucky’s Javier Reyes 2.4# 18 ½" Rainbow
Brown $200 Best of the West Outfitters Shane Cooper 2.0# 18 ½" Brown
Rainbow $200 Green River ValleyProgram of JHLT Mike Jackson 2.4# 20" Rainbow
Youth Grand $100 Gannett Sports Mason Kleeman 3.2# 25"
Youth 2nd Rod A to Z Hardware Jayce Borghi 1.8# 21 ¼"
Grand Prize $1,000 Enviremedial Services Inc. Cory White 21.8# 39.5" Lake
2nd $400 Bighorn Construction Charlee Kleeman 10.6# 32.1/4"
3rd $200 Rebel Auto Joey Majhanovich 6.6# 29.75" Lake
4th $150 Rider Property Management David Pape 2.8# 24" Lake
Brown $200 Benchmark Plumbing
Rainbow $200 Bridger Speed n Sport
Youth Grand $100 Square Top Consulting Jayce Borghi 2.4# 21 ¾"
Youth 2nd Rod Bridger Smith 1.8# 19"
A portion of proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to Fishing for the Fight in memory of Lion Charles Stough, to benefit cancer patients in our community.
The Lions would like to thank Lakeside Lodge and J.M. Horn’s at Lakeside for allowing us to take over their beautiful facility, the Town of Pinedale for all their plowing and support, the Pinedale Travel & Tourism Commission for advertising dollars, JuLieta from Overland Diaries for the fabulous photography, special volunteers Terri & Bruce Bartley, and Joseph and Chauncey from Fishing for the Fight.
Cash and Prizes were generously donated by Rocky Mountain Yeti, Enviremedial Services Inc., First Bank, Rebel Auto, A to Z Hardware, Benchmark Plumbing, Best of the West Outfitters, Bighorn Construction, Bridger Speed ‘n’ Sport, Bucky’s Outdoors, Clayton Wallace Construction, Country Lane Gas & Groceries, Country Lane Liquor, Cowboy Shop, Dave’s Last Stand, Design Electric, Doug Vickrey, Elevation Tax & Accounting, FlowRight Plumbing, Gannett Sports, Green River Gear, Green River Valley Program of JHLT, Hampton Inn & Suites, High Country Suites, John & Jackie Godfrey, Lakeside Lodge, Mason Law, Office Outlet, Pinedale Properties, Richard & Sheila Duginski, Rider Property Management, Ridley’s Ace Hardware, Specialty Sheetrock, Square Top Consulting, Sublette Communications, VFW Post 4801 and Winsupply.
This event was based out of Lakeside Lodge, four miles north of Pinedale and operates under a special use permit with the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Pinedale Ranger District.