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2024 Great Sacandaga Lake Walleye Challenge Canceled

2024 Great Sacandaga Lake Walleye Challenge Canceled

Earlier this week, it was announced that the annual Walleye Challenge on Great Sacandaga Lake will be canceled due to poor ice conditions.

Keep reading to get all the details on this unfortunate news and discover what will happen to the contest’s prizes (because there’s still a chance to win those). 

The Walleye Challenge: A Popular Ice Fishing Contest

The Walleye Challenge is a very popular ice fishing contest held annually on Great Sacandaga Lake in Fulton County. 

Around 2,000 contestants were expected to compete in this year’s contest.

The Challenge has had a long tradition, but due to warmer winters, it has faced many challenges in recent years. 

This winter’s high temperatures didn’t leave the organizers any choice but to cancel the Challenge, which was scheduled for this Saturday, February 17. 

Earlier this week, it was publicly announced that the 2024 Walleye Challenge would been canceled:

“Good morning, and happy Friday. As you will see from my lake report, there isn’t enough ice to have the walleye challenge safely. 

There is 5″ where we need 9″. And it will get colder next week, but not cold enough to make 4″ before next Saturday. 

In my opinion, the ice is very safe for walking and fishing, but not for vehicles that must travel long distances across the ice to register their fish, every hour. Therefore, we cannot have the contest. 

I am bummed more than you guys about this, but I can’t control the weather.”

As it turned out, during this last week, we continued to see exceptionally high temperatures, so canceling the event was a wise choice!

Additionally, there was also a post published on the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page:

A Bad Year for Ice Fishing

Since the beginning of this winter, things have looked pretty dismal for Great Sacandaga Lake. 

Due to the warm temperatures and strong winds between December and mid-January, the enormous body of water was entirely open, as could be read in a recent article in the Daily Gazette

The colder weather that drew in around the end of January helped to build some solid ice, but it just wasn’t enough! 

This also led to the event not being sold out for the first time ever in the Walleye Challenge’s 15-year-long history. 

It seems 2024 just wasn’t the right year.

What About All the Prizes, Then?

The Great Sacandaga Lake Walleye Challenge is known for its many awesome prizes!

Thanks to the contest’s many sponsors, there were $20,000 in miscellaneous prizes. That’s really cool for a regional ice fishing contest like this one! 

Luckily and kindly, there is still a chance to grab some of those prizes. The public announcement further reads: 

“All prizes will be given away by random draw at Lanzi’s on the Lake starting at noon. (So, you terrible fishermen now have a chance ) 

Lanzi’s will be open for business that day. So old school style Beaver, the chamber President Anne, AKA “the arctic fox,” and I will be on the deck outside announcing the winners and blasting tunes. 

We should be wrapped up by four, so come out, check out Lanzi’s new look, and make a fun day of it. And of course, quite a few people are going to win some great prizes. 

I can’t think of a more beautiful place to be than Sacandaga Lake.”

So if you’ve paid the 60 bucks entry fee, get out there and have some fun!

If you have any additional questions, please contact Fuel-N-Food at (518) 661-6917 or the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce at (518) 725-0641.

What the Future Holds…

That’s a really nice gesture by the organizers, I find!

This winter really has been horrible to us ice anglers, so at least, these guys are trying to make the best out of it.

Many ice fishing events throughout the Northeast and Midwest have been canceled this year.

Let’s hope that this won’t become the new norm in the future!

Additionally, there have been far too many accidents on the ice this year, especially regarding vehicle traffic.

So, please be careful out there and avoid sketchy ice altogether. It’s not worth risking your health or life!

Tight lines out there!

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