The weather was no less than perfect with bright sun and an afternoon temperature of 10c for the 2017 PIIFA Invitational Ice Fishing Derby at Petrie Island on Saturday, February 18.
PIIFA's first derby was held back in 2008 when there were 38 registered participants. PIIFA President Al Macintyre told us, "We started the derby back in 2008 as a way to bring fellow ice anglers together and to raise money for our local Childrens Hospital, CHEO: The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. It was just Ron and I who organized the first event, but it was hugely successful so we continued to tweak the format and expand it."
Obviously, the boys did something right as this year's derby saw more than 175 registered participants and almost $3,000.00 raised for CHEO.
Winners of the day included Mario Croft and Richard Viens, both hut owners and regular fishermen in Baitshop Bay at Petrie Island. Mario took top prize for the largest fish caught, a five pound, 11 ounce Northern Pike. He also took third prize for the smallest legal fish, a perch at just over 5 inches. Richard Viens took second prize with a Northern Pike weighing just under 5 pounds.
People who caught fish during the tournament had their names thrown in a hat for a chance to win one of the many gift cards donated by various local business. The largest prize was a week-end cottage rental won by Jackson Dickie.
Other winners during the day included Sylvain Michaud who won the 50/50 draw and Reg Avon for winning the Nautilus Protexion PFD ice fishing suit. Yves Grandmaitre from Oziles' won the trophy for best ice hut of 2017. The Oziles' hut is a unique two-part ice hut that bolts together to make one huge ice hut for large groups or as a base for large groups or events.
Congrats to this year's organizers Richard Beaudoin and Christine Tessier for their months of hard work at making the 2017 PIIFA Derby such a memorable event. Thanks to our many supporters, sponsors and volunteers who chipped in including Yves Grandmaitre and the guys from the Oziles Baitshop, Al Macintyre, Eli the Pike King, Sylvain Michaud, Anne Michaud, Mike, Dan, and Ron Zinn. Check out our complete list of sponsors from the 2017 Derby and support them!