Preparing for the 2019 Ice Fishing Season

It's something we tell you every year but it's important: It's time to jack up your hut. It's a simple thing but will save you a lot of time when you want to move your hut on to the ice. If you are new to ice fishing, jacking up your hut is easy.

Jacked up ice hut.

Start with a strong car jack. Place the jack under the ski at one corner of the hut. Jack the corner up enough to place a couple of twelve inch 2x4s under the ski. Continue doing this on all four corners of your hut. You will have to repeat the procedure until your hut is at least 6 inches off the ground. If you are uncomfortable doing this or need help, there are always people in and around the hut storage area who would be happy to help. Just ask!

Ice Hut Registration

All ice fishing huts at Petrie Island must be registered with the local Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources office and the registration number must be clearly visible on your hut. Your registration numbers must be at least 6.3 cm (2.5 in.) in height and clearly displayed on the outside of the hut. Registration is necessary for any type of hut except for tents made of cloth or synthetic fabric that has a base area of two square metres (21.5 square feet) or less when erected.

For the list of local offices where you can register your ice hut, go to The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources website.

When the ice is thick enough

When the ice in the Bay reaches a minimum of 30 centimetres, Oziles will start hauling huts out on the ice. Depending on the weather, this usually begins in late December or sometime in January.
  • Your hut storage fees must be paid in full before the boys from Oziles will haul your hut on to the ice.
  • Contact Oziles at 613-841-0778 to make arrangements to get your hut hauled on the ice.

The Winter Forecast

It doesn't look great for ice fishing. According to our forecaster, Mark Sirois of The Southern Quebec Severe Weather Network, we can expect a weak to moderate El Niño for the coming ice fishing season. Winter will have a late start with the coldest temperatures coming late January through February. Precipitation will be average but a lot of it will be liquid in December. February should be the one month with lower than normal precipitation.

December

Our chances for a White Christmas decrease dramatically compared to the last two winters. Based on historical weak El Niño years, we have a 33% chance of a white Christmas. We should see above average precipitation in December, but many of the storm systems will involve rain or a rain/snow mix. Cold air will struggle to take hold in Southern Quebec which will leave temperatures above normal for the month. This does not mean there will not be some cold waves that move through the province....just nothing that sticks around for long. It should get colder after Christmas.

January

Another above average month for precipitation. These storms will be more on the snowy side with ice (sleet, freezing rain) involved with some of them, especially early in the month. There should be some more prominent arctic waves which will drop temperatures in the first half of the month, but a January thaw should happen in the second half which would bring the overall monthly average temperature to above normal.

February

This month should be colder than normal with below average snowfall. Take note that snowfall this month will likely fall during one or two snowstorms. Most days in February will be dry.

March

This month is probably the hardest month to read at this point. Although the temperature should be normal to slightly above normal for the month, there will be a series of cold waves that could bump up snow totals to above average. Most weak to moderate El Nino winters in the past left some sort of snow on the ground into April, so it is more than likely that our Spring will be slow to start.

The 2019 PIIFA Ice Fishing Derby

The 2019 Petrie Island Ice Fishermen's Association Derby is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 16, 2019 on Baitshop Bay at Petrie Island, Ontario.
2019 PIIFA Ice Fishing Derby at Petrie Island, Ontario

This is an invitational event organized exclusively for the hut owners of Petrie Island, their invited guests and the hut renters of the Oziles’ Marina and Bait Shop. This event is coordinated with Ontario’s Family Fishing Week-end and Ontario Outdoors cards and fishing permits are not required to participate.

Registration

Registration for the derby is at the Beaudoin/Tessier hut. The Beaudoin/Tessier is parked on the south road of the bay and has a camo trailer parked close by.

Cost to pre-register for the event is $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children aged 16 and under. Pre-registration begins Monday February 11, 2019 at noon and ends Friday, February 15, 2019 at midnight. Cost to register on the day of the event is $25.00 for adults and $10.00 for children aged 16 and under. Registration closes when the event begins.

Complete details >>>

Fishing in The Solitude of The Drop-off

Fishing might be fun in the ice fishing village, serious fisherman head out to the Baitshop Bay drop-off for the big ones. The drop-off is where Baitshop Bay descends quickly into the Ottawa River. While the water depth in the bay varies between 1 and 3 meters it drops-off very quickly as it descends into the river reaching 8 meters or more in some places.

Although not a ledge, it's still a favourite place for a variety of large fish waiting for their next meal. All varieties of winter fish can be caught at the drop-off and we've seen some huge ones over the years.

Even if it's a warm and sunny day around the ice huts, it could be a different story at the drop-off with no protection from the wind. Rick Beaudoin is now offering economical full-day or half-day fishing excursions from the protection of an old OC Transpo bus shelter at the drop-off. Imagine that, fishing in the solitude if the Baitshop Bay drop-off in the protection of an old OC Transpo bus shelter. If you are new to fishing, a guide can also be arranged for an additional cost.

Contact Rick for more information and to reserve your fishing excursion at the Baitshop Bay drop-off. It could be a day you will not soon forget.

Ice Fishing Photo of the Week

Leandro Rites, Lucas and Ronald Zinn.

Ya Gotta Love Kids

After winning the prize for the largest panfish in the 2018 PIIFA derby, Leandro Rites and his brother, Lucas showed up at Big Al's hut to donate part of his winnings to our fundraising efforts for CHEO. In the photo, Leandro presents $100.00 to PIIFA webguy, Ronald Zinn. A huge THANK YOU Leandro!