Skip to content

Marathon fish derby becoming a major event

The fifth edition of the Al Dixon Memorial Fish Derby will take place on June 15.
Conner Chevrier, left, Chucker Michano and Isabel Chicoine were the top three finishers in the 2023 Al Dixon Memorial Fish Derby.

MARATHON — Back in 2018, fishing enthusiasts in Marathon began the process of bringing back a competition to the area after it had gone away for a few years.

Fast forward to 2024, and the Al Dixon Memorial Fish Derby has become one of the big events in the community.

“It just seems like we’re getting more and more successful each year,” event president Joel Shier said.

“All of this (is due to) the volunteers. We put our time into it and it’s been a lot of fun to watch it grow.”

The event – which is named in honour of Al Dixon, who was one of the founders of the Marathon Boat Club – took place in 2018 and 2019 before COVID-19 brought a halt to the proceedings.

It returned in 2022 and saw a massive influx in competitors last year, with a record 166 anglers and 61 boats taking part.

“I think a lot of that increase has come from word of mouth,” Shier said. “We put on a good show, it’s a one-day derby and we’ve got some really good prizes.

“It kind of comes in waves in terms of how people register. We had a good week of people buying their tickets last week and then we have some people who will register at the last minute once they know what their work schedule is like.

“Plus, it’s on Father’s Day weekend, so we’re hoping to get some more families out on the Saturday to take part.”

This year’s derby gets underway on Saturday, June 15, with a shotgun start at 7 a.m. and the anglers battling it out on Lake Superior until 5 p.m.

Weigh-ins take place throughout the day with the final winner being determined by 6 p.m.

“It’s a one-fish weigh-in tournament so if you catch a fish at eight in the morning and you get like a 10 or 11-pounder, you can bring that fish and weigh it in,” Shier said. “Then you can go back out and fish again and it you catch a 12-pounder later on, you can weigh that in and that becomes your fish on the leaderboard.

“The big thing for us is to make sure that the fish are alive when we bring them back out in the water. It was pretty amazing last year to see all the big fish come and everyone of them except one lived. That was a huge deal for us.”

Connor Chevrier took home the $5,000 first place prize last year after hauling in an 18.35-pound lake trout.

Registration for the competition is $100 and takes place right until Captain’s Night, which is June 14, though non-fishers can also purchase a ticket for the door prize - a 2024 Outlander 500 ATV.

Tickets purchased before June 1 are also eligible for an ATV trailer courtesy of Major Machine Works.

“There’s a lot of sponsors for our event that donate prizes or money to make this happen,” Shier said. “If it wasn’t for them, we would not be nearly as successful.”

Those who are interested in competing in the derby or purchasing tickets can do so by visiting the event’s Facebook page.

If they are in Marathon, they can also get their tickets in person at Crossover Video, Major Machine Works and Bushwacked.