Schroon Lake has long been a local hotbed of activity for ice fishermen, who set up their shanty villages to ward off the gusts of wind that sweep up and down the ice covered waters. The 16th Annual Ice Fishing Derby, to be held on the weekend of March 1-4, is a fantastic chance for winter anglers to get out and do what they love best. The event is so big for Schroon Lake in fact, that it rivals the 4th of July, according to Bunny Surprenant, who organizes the Derby. All the motels are full, and even the next couple towns get in on the business, he says, Last year we got about five-hundred people to attend. Of course, not all of them fish, but anglers who bring up their families and friends for a weekend of friendly competition make this one of the most successful annual events in the region. Its a family affair, says Surprenant, who is enthusiastic about this years Derby. Rosemarie Ritson of the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce was equally excited about this years season, and offered up some insight. Theyre coming on the weekends with their friends to head out on the ice and find some good locations; you can see all the shanties springing up, she says, Everyone goes out early in the mornings and then they come back for breakfast in town at some of the local restaurants - and then head right back out to their spots. Surprenant noted that during the Derby there will be snowmobiles making runs back and forth on the ice to pick up catches and deliver bait so that competitors wont need to make the trip back off but if they need a place to warm up, Schroon Lake businesses will certainly welcome them in for a hot cup of coffee and an omelet!