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Welcome to the 2011 Ice Fishing Season!
with Big Al Macintyre
    For local hard water anglers, the 2011 ice fishing season cannot come fast enough. It's a time to welcome new people to the ice and time to renew friendships with people we haven't seen since last February.
    We still haven't decided what to do with our webcam. As you know, our efforts to keep our Baitshop Bay webcam online have been up and down over the past few seasons. Technology on the ice is just not the same as where there is a regular power source. Late last season we thought about dumping it because of all the problems of keeping it online but now we are thinking, well even if we get a few images a day it's better than nothing. If anyone has the smarts and the resources for giving us some help, please let us know.
Al and Friends     If working on your hut before the season begins, it is important to clean up all construction material, debris and garbage. Failing to do this could result in serious injury to others or damage a vehicle from debris under the snow.
    As I do every season at this time, it's time to tell everyone to jack up their huts. If your hut is in the storage area at Petrie Island, ensure that it is on blocks before the ground freezes. Failing to do this could lock your hut in ice and cause serious damage to your hut when it comes time for tow out.
    This season PIIFA will be working closely with Oziles to ensure that all hut owners keep their areas clean. All equipment, supplies and garbage should be kept off the ice as much as possible. Just a dusting of snow can hide everything and it is soon forgotten. While the snow might temporarily hide the mess, it all becomes evident at the end of the season when the ice begins to melt. When the ice melts for good, all the debris sinks to the bottom of the bay or floats down the river. So be conscious of the place we love so much and remind your neighbors!
    In case you missed it last summer, we posted some of the oddest and funniest emails received over the years. This is hilarious and we will be posting more sometime soon. Check out the
oddest and funniest emails.
    Don't forget to send in your early season photos to get our 2011 Angler's Gallery going! See you on the ice!

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A Great Winter is Forecast!
    We no longer consult the so-called weather experts for the long range winter forecast because they never seem to get it right. Judging from the weather we've seen over the past couple of months and looking out the window for the past week or so, we say this winter is going to be perfect for ice fishing. Winter weather
    Now, if you really want to know what the weather experts are saying, it seems like none of them can agree on how our winter will be. The U.S. National Weather Service says the Ottawa area will be colder than usual with more than average snow. They are also saying that the winter weather will last well into April.
    The Canadian Farmer's Almanac is telling us that eastern Ontario will have average winter temperatures with less than average snowfall. Canada's "The Weather Network" says virtually the same while David Philips of Environment Canada tells us La Nina (The opposite of El Nino) will affect the western part of Canada with very cold temperatures and give eastern Canada warmer than normal temperatures and higher than average precipitation.
    With all these conflicting forecasts maybe we should just hire a chimp to do the long range winter forecasting for the 2012 ice fishing season.


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Big Al Macintyre The Big Al Look-a-Like Contest Recap
   We got some great hits for the Big Al look-a-like contest. We were looking for photos of people that look like Big Al. You know... that unique stash and the never ending smile. It could have been someone on the bus? Your neighbor or just someone passing on the street. While the response was not overwhelming, we did receive a few good submissions of Big Al look-a-likes.
   Thanks to all that entered! All entrants receive a ballcap from Tremblay Beer and the winner receives a PIIFA sweatshirt.
    Check out the photos from the contest >>>

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Coming Events for the 2011 Season
   Take two for the second annual PIIFA ice fishing derby. Last year's season ending warm weather caused cancelation of our second annual PIIFA ice fishing derby which was scheduled for Saturday, February 27. PIIFA organizers decided to cancel the derby because the ice was just too unsafe. So we're going to try again. The 2011 PIIFA Invitational Ice Fishing Derby has been penciled in for Saturday, February 12, 2011. Details will be posted here as they become available.
   Also on the calendar for 2011 is our second annual group photo scheduled for Sunday, January 30 at 1:00 p.m.

   THE PHOTO OF THE WEEK
We Remember PeeWee
Photo par Ronald Zinn
    Over the years, we have lost many ice fishing friends and acquaintances. Our friend "PeeWee" died in a place where we are supposed to be having fun. This is my last photo of PeeWee.

PeeWee

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