Archived Home Page for February 4, 2011
Petrie Island's Worst Kept Secret
with Big Al Macintyre
The Baitshop bay drop-off is Petrie Island's worst kept secret. More and more people are discovering that this place is the best place for fishing anywhere in the Petrie Island area. The drop-off is where Batishop 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 large ones over the past few seasons.
If you haven't spent a few hours at the drop-off, it would be worth your while to give it a try. Chances are that you will catch something larger than you've ever seen in the bay. Varieties include Walleye, Sauger, Muskie, Northern Pike and Sturgeon.
Ice thickness varies from area to area at the drop-off, so if you are heading out there for the first time, we recommend tagging along with someone who has fished there before. If you plan to head out alone, check before you go and you might see a few people already out there. As with everywhere at Petrie Island in the winter, everyone is very friendly and they would be more than happy to give you some tips on fishing at the drop-off.
Some of the best advice we can offer is dress warm. 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. Dress in layers with warm boots, snow pants, gloves, sunglasses and even sunscreen! If it gets too warm you can remove a layer or two. If you get too cold, it's a long walk back to the huts.
Even if you see some cars out there, we wouldn't recommend driving out just because the ice thickness is so erratic. Walking is the safest way to get there; it's less than a kilometre to where you want to fish. If you're too lazy for the walk, hook up with someone who has a 4x4
Use caution when heading out there because as they say, "River ice is never safe" and be prepared for some of the best ice fishing of your life! Let us know how you did and be sure to send us some photos.
New Huts on The Ice
The opening of the 2011 ice fishing season saw many new huts on the ice. Some of the new huts look like they should be in "Better Huts and Shanties" Magazine. Some others look to be great prefabs while a few of the others we can't comment on. Check out some of the new huts, good and bad, along with all the others in our Ice Hut Archive.
Details on the PIIFA Derby
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 is ready to go on Saturday, February 12, 2011. We hope the weather cooperates this year!
The Photo of the Week
The 2011 Group Photo (Photo by Ronald Zinn)
The annual group photo from Sunday, January 30 taken in front of the PIIFA hut. Not everyone showed up but we did have a good crowd estimated at over 50 people. Brenda showed up for this one but we still missed the guys from Oziles.
See all the group photos >>>