The Sebago Lake ice fishing derby this year will offer a $100,000 prize.

That’s the award for anyone who can catch a state record lake trout, derby founder and director Tom Noonan announced Wednesday.

“What we’d like to do, is eventually have big prizes for other species. But that will take time. I think this will create a buzz. That’s a big prize,” Noonan said, after securing the prize money through an insurance company.

Now in its 11th year, the derby brings in as many as 6,000 ice fishermen to Sebago Lake the last weekend in February. This year’s event on Feb. 25-27 is expected to bring in more, Noonan said.

He didn’t know of any other ice fishing derbies anywhere in the country that offer that big a prize. But Noonan’s hope for years has been to turn the Sebago Derby into one of the biggest in the country, surpassing the largest in Brainerd, Minn., where 16,000 gather for a three-hour derby.

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