The Crappie Derby is back (with photos)

By Jillian Marshall

February 8, 2014 Updated Feb 8, 2014 at 7:46 PM EDT

Whitney Point, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Almost Annual Crappie Derby brought out thousands to Dorchester Park despite freezing temperatures.

The ice fishing tournament hasn't happened since 2011. That's because the Whitney Point Lake did not reach the ice thickness requirement for the past two years.

"We had no Crappie Derbies because we didn't have enough ice," said founder and coordinator of the Crappie Derby, Dave Hughes.

This year, the lake had 16 inches of ice, which held 2,000 anglers on Saturday.

Some people got there as early as Friday, to make sure they had the perfect spot on the more than four-mile long lake.

"We came yesterday, set up yesterday and came out at one o'clock this morning," said Samuel Clements of Lansford, PA.

Anglers either used gas, electrical or manual augers to drill the holes into the ice. They said manual augers could take up to a half an hour to drill a hole in the ice.

The temperature on the ice was below 10 degrees at noon.

"If you dress warm enough, and it's easy to dress warm, it's beautiful out in the winter time, you don't have to worry about getting sunburned typically," Hughes said.

Anglers had the opportunity to win money for the biggest catch every 15 minutes.

The winner of the derby received $1,000.

The Crappie Derby was sponsored by Broome County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Whitney Point Sportsman Association.

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