It's still too early to predict when the 2013 ice fishing season will open but the Canadian Farmer's Almanac tells us that the Ottawa area will quite a normal winter. Unlike last season's mild and sloppy weather, we should expect a good old-fashioned winter in the Ottawa area. The almanac tells us the weather will be slightly colder than normal with above average snow fall.
If you happen to be around Petrie Island working on your hut, check out the ice and send us an ice report. Ice reporting is important at this time of year because everyone wants to know how close the season is getting. Also, if you happen to be doing some early season fishing, send us your photos for our Angler's Gallery.
Looking forward to seeing everyone on the ice in the new year.
All huts stored at Petrie Island should be put up on blocks before the ground freezes. This facilitates moving the huts at the beginning of the ice fishing season.
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.
We frequently receive email from people asking questions about ice fishing at Petrie Island. The questions might seem obvious to a person who is a regular on the ice but not so to a person who has never experienced the fun of ice fishing. In an attempt to provide the answers to most questions asked, we have added an ice fishing F.A.Q. page to the website.
Read the Ice Fishing F.A.Q.'s >>>
Every season we hear stories of someone catching a fish that was too big to get through the hole. Sure, there are some great stories without witnesses; the big one that got away, but some of us have actually seen huge fish! One comes to mind in 2010 when Juan Carlos Vasquez de Valasco was experiencing ice fishing for the first time at Petrie Island when he hooked into a huge muskie at the drop off. A 10 inch hole and we only saw the muskie's nose. Was it a record? We know there are huge muskie in the area but we'll never know about this fish because it was too big for the hole.
Holes are getting wider as fishermen get more adventurous. We could see a record sometime soon because of the area where we fish. Check out the list of Ontario records to know what you're after. We've had the link on the website for years but had it buried on the kids page! Now it's time for everyone to know! The Ontario Fish Records database >>>
For the first time, PIIFA had a float in the Orleans Santa's Parade of Lights on Saturday, November 24, 2012. The float featured the ice hut of Sylvain Perrier and Ann Guay. Those familiar to the ice fishing community of Petrie Island continually say that Sylvain and Anne have one of the nicest huts on the ice.
Yves Grandmaitre, owner of Oziles Marina & Tackle has generously agreed to be our partner in the parade and in float preparation. Oziles provided the truck and trailer and PIIFA members built the float and provided manpower on parade day.
According to PIIFA President, Big Al Macintyre, over 5000 candy canes were handed out to kids... and maybe some big kids, along the parade route. Candy canes were donated by the good people of Sonshine Auto Parts in Cumberland.
Parade organizers tell us over 130,000 people turned out to watch the parade. Although PIIFA did not win for best float in its category, the parade was all for a good cause with volunteers picking up donations of cash and gifts along the parade route for needy people in the Ottawa area. Big Al says they hope to do it all over again next year.
See more photos on our Facebook page >>>
Just before last year's derby, Christine Maki from CBC Ottawa Morning dropped by Petrie Island to get a first-hand look at our ice fishing community and the upcoming derby. She got the complete tour with Big Al and visits with The Two Bobs. The interview took place several days before the derby and aired on Friday, February 10, 2012.
Listen to the entire interview with Big Al and The Two Bobs >>>
A dream I had late last season: Okay, it had been a late night on the ice last night and I decided to sleep in. It was a good sleep. No ice augers drilling at six in the morning and the usual herds of snowmobiles seemed to be somewhere else. It must have been around 10:00 a.m. when I heard a lone pick-up pull in near my hut. Nothing unusual because pick-ups are the norm on the ice, but then I heard dogs barking. These were not toy poodles or bichon frisees, but big dogs with healthy barks. "Was it Marc and Francine?" I thought. "Naw, they haven't been around this season." I continued to drift in and out of sleep.
I don't how much later it was, but I was awakened again by the sound of excited people, and there seemed to be many of them, all near my hut. I got up and split the curtain a little to peek outside. There was quite a crowd out there and in the center was a guy with a large camera taking photos of a bikini clad woman with two huge dogs. I shook my head in disbelief and wondered "was I still asleep and dreaming?" I gave my head several shakes and looked out the window again. They were still there.
I dressed quickly and went outside. People were everywhere, mostly guys whooping and cheering and even several high-fives. All watching the guy take dozens of photos of a woman, who must have been very cold. It turned out to be professional photographer, Gord Weber taking some promotional shots for his website. Many of the guys standing around wanted to get in on a shot or two but all were denied except for me.
If it wasn't for Gord Weber's website, I might still be wondering "Was I Dreaming?"
To see the real photo shoot go to Gord Weber's Blog and search "Dogs" >>>