Reeling in the big ones in the St John Valley

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They are catching the big ones again this week in the St John Valley. This event has been a huge success for years and brings in anglers from all over

(Dennis Cyr):"We have been doing the muskie derby for 13 years and it is still going strong. We have fishermen from all over New England some from New York, Vermont, Maine. It has been crazy."

The Fort Kent Station was busy with activity with people checking out the fish that had been caught in that area, Moving onto Grand Isle where the parking lot at the boat landing was packed with vehicles as anglers were looking to make a trophy catch and then go less than a mile to the Grand Isle registration station to measure their catch

(Gerald Soucy):"We started this last year this is our second year running this and this is where the muskie is at and it where the fishermen know it's at. They are coming her and some have been fishing since 5 this morning."

Grand Isle has been a hot bed of activity this year with some huge muskie being reeled in. Soucy says the anglers love to have opportunity to measure the fish shortly after they are caught.

Soucy:" The reason we started this a couple of years ago was that fishermen would complain having to go from Grand Isle to Fort Kent to have their fish measured. They claim they lose and inch or so in the transport of it. Here they are saving that inch."

The St John and it's tributaries have been promoted as a tremendous muskie fishing area and the derby helps bring in anglers from other areas. Cyr says the hope is they return year after year.

Cyr:"You see a lot of the same faces, but the tourist who come up one year and they see what is going on and they may participate one year. The following year they show up with four or five friends and they want to participate and catch some fish."

It was a busy first day and Chuck Cabannis is the early leader. He reeled in a muskie measuring 45 7/8th inches The muskie weight 23.36 pounds. The derby is based on the length not the weight of the fish
Dan Paradis is second with a muskie measuring 43 and a half iniches and third is Chris Houston with a muskie measuring 43 and an eighth inch
Andy Davis is leading the bass category He is at the top of the leader board with a bass measuring 20 7/8ths inches