Fort Kent Muskie Derby is underway

Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 7:21 PM EDT
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ST JOHN VALLEY, Maine (WAGM) - The quest to catch monster fish is underway on the St John River and it’s tributaries this weekend.

Rene Cloukey says it was a wet start to the annual Muskie Derby.

It was a wet start to the 20th annual Muskie Derby. While the weigh stations were quiet there was still a buzz and a large number of entrants for the annual event.

(Dennis Cyr):” We have a lot of people interested again this year. Right now the number is slightly down, but we haven’t counted our on line registrations yet. We will only know the total on Saturday around noon time. We are expecting about 300 again.”

The grand Isle was a very busy place with people loading and unloading their boats. Scott Haggerty of Presque Isle has had derby success in the past

(Scott Haggerty):” Two years ago I won the derby and got quite a few places on the board. We had a really good time and got really lucky.”

Haggerty’s son Scott was fishing solo in the quest for the big one

Zach Haggerty):” Persistence, You got to put in time and deal with rain. There is a lot of luck. You kind of drive the boat all over and hope that you find a fish.

Haggerty:” There’s a lot of luck to it and the right lures and the fish are temperamental. They say the fish of 10 thousand cast.”

Jesse Pelletier of Madawaska spent the morning on the water, but was calling it a day and will be back tomorrow

(Jesse Pelletier):” I enjoy it. Everyday I could be out here I would be out here. This weekend doesn’t look too promising. Water is dirty and the current is quick. That rain didn’t help anything.”

Scott Haggerty says the rain is having an affect and could make for a slower weekend for the anglers.

Haggerty:” It’s not going to be very good fishing for this three day event. Water is really high as you can see.”

He also said there are a lot of good anglers taking part in the event.

Haggerty:” There’s a lot of good fisherman that come to this from all over the United States and the Northeast. Guys across the border fisn and it is an international Muskie Derby.”

Pelletier has been fishing for muskie all season and has had some luck, but he wouldn’t tell us where his favorite fishing spots on the river are

Pelletier:” My spots are called secret spots. Anywhere in the river is a good spot.”

The quest for the 2000 top prize continues through Sunday and by then there should be plenty of fish stories to share.

Rene Cloukey NewsSource Sports.