The 2017 edition of the PIIFA Ice Fishing Derby will take place Saturday, February 18 in Baitshop Bay at Petrie Island. This is always a fun event and this year, it will be held on Ontario's Family Fishing Week-end. The week-end is a province-wide opportunity for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing version outdoors card.
As with all PIIFA derbies, this is an invitational event. It is exclusively for the hut owners of Petrie Island, their invited guests, and people renting huts from Oziles in Baitshop Bay.
Contestants can compete for prizes in 3 categories: the largest legal fish; the largest panfish; and the smallest legally caught fish. There will also be lots of participation prizes and a 50/50 draw. All profits from the event go to CHEO in support of kids in our area.
Cost for registration on derby day is $25.00 for adults and $10.00 for kids, 16 years old and younger. Save $5.00 if you register on the Thursday or Friday before the event. Registration for the derby is at the Beaudoin-Tessier hut on the ice.
We have lined up a few sponsors for prize donations but are always looking for more. If you or your company would like to donate, please contact Big Al on the ice or send us an email.
The long-range weather forecast looks great for the upcoming PIIFA Ice Fishing Derby. Organizers Rick, Christine and all the volunteers have been working overtime at getting ready for the big day.
Organizers have lined up a huge amount of sponsors who have donated services or door prizes for the derby. They tell us that the first 100 people and the first 20 kids who register will get one of the donated items. Some of the prizes include gift cards for local businesses, fishing equipment and fishing clothing.
As in past derbies, Big Al is collecting your Canadian Tire Money to help buy a few more door prizes for the derby. 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 tool box... and drop off your spare Canadian Tire money at Big Al's hut or the Oziles bait shop. Remember, all profits from the derby go to the CHEO Foundation.
New this year, we are collecting non-perishable food items for the Orleans-Cumberland Food Bank. We ask that registrants for the derby bring at least one food item for the local service group. The stocks in the food bank are always low at this time of year and we want to help them out as much as we can. Suggested food items include canned salmon, fruit juice, Habitant soup, canned fruit, and tomato paste. Every donation will make a difference.
At last count, we had about 140 ice huts on the ice in our Baitshop Bay ice fishing village. That tops our previous record of 130 huts set just two years ago. With that, we still might see a few more huts on the ice before our derby on February 18.
This week will see the temperature hovering at our around the zero mark during the day. This is not optimal for thickening the ice. We ask that when driving on the ice, use caution, stay on the established ice road, and keep your speed down. Visitors to the Baitshop Bay ice fishing village are asked to park on Trim Road and walk down on to the ice.
There will no updates to our website until January 30 as our web guy will be out of the country. You can still send us your ice reports, stories and photos for the website and we will get to them when he returns. For the latest ice conditions, ask the boys in the Oziles' bait shop or call them at 613-841-0778.
A recent post on our Facebook page got our attention. The post pointed out that Ottawa River Mudpuppies are gentle and not poisonous.
If you are a regular fisherman at Petrie Island or anywhere on the Ottawa River, you have probably caught one of these. To the inexperienced fishermen expecting to pull in a nice walleye or crappie and come up with one of these, it can be a real surprise. The first thought is usually, what is that?
The common mudpuppy is the one of the largest salamanders found in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams throughout the eastern half of North America. They have flat heads, wide tails, stubby legs, and feet with four distinct toes. Their bodies are gray or brownish-gray with blue-black spots.
Anglers occasionally catch mudpuppies in the winter because baited hooks are down near the bottom in the mudpuppy’s domain.
Mudpuppies are common in the Ottawa River. They are not an invasive species nor are they a threatened species. Like the Facebook article says, they are gentle animals and not poisonous, so consider it a treat to catch one. Get a photo with your catch and return it to the water like any other live release fish.
We're getting some great photos from the ice fishermen of Baitshop Bay but we want more photos for our 2017 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.
See all the photos from the current season in our Anglers Gallery >>>
It used to be Sylvain Perrier had the nicest hut on the ice. With the rustic looking barnwood exterior and the tasteful decoration inside, Sylvain's hut was the model ice hut. Then Louis Cloutier built his "Big Red Bear Den". Louis spent huge bucks on his hut and like Louis, it was larger than life. Last year, Snoop stepped in with his model hut. Snoop worked hard on his hut and it was something to see. Now Ben seems to be the top guy on the ice with a hut that could be featured in "Better Huts and Shanties". His hut is really a home away from home. Great work Ben!