The weather cooperated this year and provided a truly spectacular winter setting in the Lakes Region. What a unique event, so true to NH’s winter sports heritage and the great outdoors. Driving around Lake Winnipesaukee the scenery was beautiful. Boathouses scattered like colonies throughout the coves and expanses of the lake with their bright colors and unique designs, it made for some great photo ops. It’s certainly a culture out there on the big lake, a culture full of comradery and friendships within the sport with the chance to win the big prize.
I was surprised to see all the traffic as I strolled into Meredith, considering the time of year. But what a great sight to see! All of our restaurants, shops and inns were busy again, after the previous weekend, which celebrated The Pond Hockey Classic. Spectators were pulling children around on sleds, snowmobiles were buzzing around the lake and ice fisherman were trekking out to their bob houses in all sorts of all-terrain vehicles, but the majority of them were on foot. Helicopter rides were being offered to provide an aerial view of the event. There were all sorts of vendors out there in the brisk weather offering homemade soups, burgers and dogs and more!
I brought my granddaughter, who is 4, down to Derby headquarters and she marveled at the colorful array of fish on display on the board. She couldn’t believe the size of the 10lb 6oz lake trout! She had a ball visiting several of the bob houses that were equipped with all of today’s luxuries, built in bunk-beds, plush sofas, wood burning wood stoves and cathedral beamed ceilings, one even had a cozy front porch with a couple of Christmas trees.
WMUR was there, doing videos of the events and I’ve heard a rumor that National Geographic has been out there filming this past season, because of this unique event. When you walk into the local eateries you can hear the cash registers ringing but most importantly lots of smiles on the faces of tourists and participants alike. What a great event to get out and see during NH’s great winter season.
Oh by the way! Who won the fishing derby? I don’t think this story could have a better ending… Brady King, an 11 year old local from Tamworth was able to win the $15,000 grand prize! This is what its all about! Brady has been fishing with his dad for many years and when he fought to pull in this 4.25 pickerel all on his own, he knew it was a big fish! I’m sure that little proud boy will carry this story with him his entire lifetime and he certainly is the envy of all of the participants. It’s all about spending a fun weekend together with family and friends on the lake. A truly enjoyable event.
By Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc.