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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Go Fish! Derbies and events a hit with anglers in Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for April 25/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Is this the year to fall hook, line and sinker for fishing?
   If so, there are numerous fishing derbies and events to help whet the appetite for the sport.
   Among the highlights at this time of year are the Orillia Perch Festival and Fish Kincardine Derby.
   In the summer is a week of “Ontario Family Fishing Events” to try to catch a big one with no licence required.
A young angler is proud of his big catch at the Orillia Perch Festival.
    Go Fish!
   Last year it was the ice-clogged Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching but now spring has sprung in Orillia and the fish are running for the 35th annual Perch Festival.

   With the warmer weather and calmer lakes, “the perch are going crazy now,” said Doug Bunker of the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce.
The catch of the day of perch awaiting live release back into the lake.
   This live-release fishing derby, running until May 9, features more than $50,000 in cash prizes with 60 tagged perch worth $500 each along with “bonus perch,” daily, weekly and grand prize draws as well as product prizes.
   A popular fishing spot is the Narrows between the two lakes and not far from the fishing headquarters at Tudhope Park at 450 Atherley Rd.
A traffic jam of boats heading out for the big catch in the Narrows in the Orillia Perch Festival. (Photo by Kim Goggins, Ontario’s Lake Country)
   The annual event attracts about 4,000 people, with registration costing $20 for adults and $5 for children to age 16.
   “It is a great shoulder season event that brings people to the region and Saturday (May 2) is the special OPP Kids day at Tudhope Park,” said Jennifer Whitley of Ontario’s Lake Country.
Olivia Straka lands a fish at the Orillia Perch Festival. (Photo by Kim Goggins, Ontario’s Lake Country)
   The event, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. includes games, demonstrations and information on how to fish.
   Details: orillia.com/index.php?id=22; 1-888-326-4424;  OntariosLakeCountry.com

   Big salmon, trout
   Among the prizes in the 30th annual Canadian Tire Fish Kincardine Derby are the top salmon and trout along with the “biggest fish off a boat and biggest fish off the pier.”
   Hosted by the Kincardine Chamber of Commerce, the event from May 15 to 24 attracts fishing enthusiasts from far and wide to the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County.
   Among the numerous prizes is the grand one of a $5,000 shopping spree at Kincardine Canadian Tire and $1,000 each for top salmon and trout for Lake Huron Rod & Gun merchandise.
   There are also “special fishing days” for ladies, seniors and children.
Charlie Straka shows off his perch catch. (Photo by Kim Goggins, Ontario’s Lake Country)
   Last year’s event attracted 227 anglers who caught 286 salmon and 222 trout.
   The biggest fish landed was an 8.35-kilogram (19.48-pound) lake trout by David Bedford of Stratford.
   Also in on the fun is the Lakeside Downtown Business Improvement Area with a “fishy windows” contest for stores.
   Shoppers can take their receipts to the derby weigh station for a chance to win more than $100 in prizes.
   On several days during the derby, there’s all you can eat fish and chips at Bruce Steakhouse.
   Fishing derby entry tickets are $30 each or $60 for families (two adults and two children).
   Camping is also available for $100 for the entire derby or $15 a night.
   Details: kincardinechamber.com; (519) 396-9333

   Catch the fun
   The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is urging people to “catch the fun” from July 4 to 12.
   Ontario Family Fishing is a “province-wide opportunity” for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing card.

   The provincial government has designated the dates as well as a week in February for the program.
   At other times, Canadian residents between the ages of 18 and 64 years must have a valid fishing licence.
   Organizers say events such as festivals, clinics, derbies and workshops are hosted across the province.
   These include the first annual Women’s New Angler Fishing Day on July 11 at Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville.
   There is also the Family Fishing Day at the Binbrook Conservation Area on July 4 and the annual Fishing Derby at Pine Valley Park in Branchton on July 11.
   “Each event provides a great opportunity to get outside, spend some wholesome time with the family and develop a strong connection with conservation through the enjoyment of fishing.”
   Details: ontariofamilyfishing.com; (705) 748-6324, Ext. 254


   Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
   For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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