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.
f 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. One simple mistake could mean your life. 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.
Like we said, 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.
Yves Grandmaitre, owner of Oziles' Marina and Tackle has just announced the details of the 2014 Petrie Island ice fishing derby. He calls it derby but we call it derbies as there will be three derbies run simultaneously. Here's what we know:
As with any ice fishing derby at Petrie Island, there will be tons of prizes with the profits going to a good cause. All net proceeds from this years derby at Petrie Island go to Blue Fish Canada and CHEO .
Complete derby rules, list of sponsors and your derby poster to print are on our events page.
We're getting some great photos from the ice fishermen of Baitshop Bay but we want more photos for our 2014 Anglers Gallery. How was your week-end? These people had a great time. We wanna see your photos!!! Send us your best pics using the email link at the bottom of the page.
Big Al is collecting Canadian Tire money again this season to help buy a few more door prizes for the Petrie Island ice fishing derby on February 15th. Al has bought some great door prizes over the past few years and it was your donations of Canadian Tire money that helped!
Check your drawers... check your pockets... check your glove box... and drop off your spare Canadian Tire money at Big Al's hut early in season.
Remember, it's all for a good cause because all profits money made at the derby go directly to a good cause somewhere in the Ottawa area.