This picture will give you an idea what it will look like Sat. morning for the derby and this isn't even the most crowded spot.
Racine Harbor, Racine County
MOON PHASE (8%)
Fishslayer.. As in all locations on derby day it is first come first serve. Yes, it will be busy, especially since it is on the scheduled day and not a backup date. Since this is a small area to fish for a few hundred fishermen/women so it will be congested. How important a spot is how early you get there. In years past I knew people who spent the night on the ice to get the spot they wanted (seriously, slept on the ice over night!). So take it for what it is worth. It will be busy. There will be constant drilling and people will show up and plop down next to you and drill holes no matter how early you get there. Just look at it as a time to have fun and enjoy company of others and if you catch a fish you are lucky. With all the augers going and noise of the tailgate party on the ice fishing is normally difficult. There have been years where they haven't even had enough fish registered to pay out the places. As long as you keep the "derby" in perspective you will have a fun time. If you think you will get a secluded spot if you show up early and no one will aproach your area and it will be nice and quiet for the finicky trout you will be disappointed.
So quick question for u guys who have done the trout derby. I'm thinking of giving it a shot this year. From talking to a few people on the ice they've said you have to be there way way early to get a spot, like be there 2 in the morning early to get a spot. And also it gets like s minefirld basically. Just wondering from the guys here if that's an exaggeration or do u really have to be there super early to get any spot for a group of three people. Not asking for tips or secrets on fishing, just an idea of how crazy this gets based on what I've heard. Pm is on. Thanks and good luck
MOON PHASE (3%)
I was down earlier checking the ice. Most of the marina has between 7-8 inches of good ice. The exception is any area where aerators are located, as always, exercise caution in these areas. Especially in the S/W corner by the condo docks, multiple aerators in that area.
I talked to SU Racine Ice Derby officials who were out checking the ice. The derby is on for next weekend, they’ll be getting the word out over the next couple days. Below is text from a group email I received from them earlier today:
Quick reminder that this Saturday Feb 4th is the 2017 Racine Trout Ice Derby located at Reef Point Marina in Racine. We are giving away over $5K in prizes in our derby prize pool raffle. Each angler that enters the derby will receive a raffle ticket towards the prize pool raffle. Anglers have the chance to purchase a second raffle ticket for $10.00 to increase their raffle odds. Some of the prizes include Jiffy Propane Augers, Ice Suits, Ice Shacks and many many more great prizes. This is in addition to the great cash payouts for the Rainbow - Brown - and Pike categories for the anglers that make the top 5 board with fish. Another highlight and staple of the derby is the $500 bonus cash donated by Kerry Paulson of the Automatic Fisherman. The heaviest fish that was caught on one of the "Automatic Fisherman" takes home the bonus $500 cash. For more information and rules on the derby please visit www.salmonunlimitedwisconsin.com and click on the ice derby link to the left of the page.
Please keep in mind that the Southwest area of the marina located by the condos has open water areas due to the condo management installation of aerators throughout the area. And as always be cautions by any aerators throughout the marina and while entering and exiting the ice.
Registration is slated to start at 5:00 am in the breezeway area of the marina but we will start registering earlier than that if we are set up prior to that time.
Please pass on and we hope to see you there!
Dan Radke SU Wisconsin
Hope this answers some of your questions. Good luck out there next week, exercise caution!