First Salmon Classic enters home stretch

Judging by the smiles on this family’s face outside the Gore Bay weigh-in station, a good time was had by all at the Manitoulin Expositor Salmon Classic.

MANITOULIN—It’s the home stretch of the inaugural Manitoulin Expositor Salmon Classic, and the excitement surrounding Northern Ontario’s largest fishing derby is palpable.

Salmon Classic organizer Dave Patterson noted that bigger fish are coming into the five weigh stations each day with a new big fish topping the leaderboard. The Mystery Weight winner was also announced over the weekend. Michel Henri won the 15,000 BTU Broil King propane smoker courtesy of Jake’s Home Centre with his 16.75-pound salmon. The mystery weight was 16.42 pounds.

Reinhard Roick of Ottawa is now in the lead with his 22.75-pound salmon (caught at South Baymouth aboard a Screaming Reels charter) followed by: second, Kevin Boyd, 21.69 pounds (Providence Bay); third, Neil McNally, 20.08 pounds (Gore Bay); fourth, Ian Anderson, 20.04 pounds (Gore Bay) and fifth, Al Murdock, 19.45 pounds (South Baymouth).

“We’ve had a lot of 18 pound plus fish in the last few days,” Mr. Patterson noted, “almost all of which have been caught using dark-coloured lures.”

The prize for the heaviest trout still stands at 15.33 pounds for Brian Coyne’s rainbow brought in at Providence Bay. “We know there are bigger fish out there—there is still lots of room to beat that fish,” Mr. Patterson added.

There are still three days left to purchase your Salmon Classic ticket for just $60 for your chance at $12,000. Ticket sales close this Friday, August 12 at midnight and the scales close on Sunday, August 14 at 12 noon with the official prize giveaways to take place that same day at 2 pm at the Providence Bay Marina. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

“On top of giving away $25,000 in cash prizes, we will also be making a major announcement about next year’s derby,” Mr. Patterson said.

Mr. Patterson encouraged patience during the final days of the Salmon Classic with an expected increase in traffic at the Island’s boat launches and at the weigh-in stations that are largely volunteer run.

“There’s still time to get out there and get fishing,” Mr. Patterson encouraged.

Tickets can be purchased at the following locations until Friday, August 12 at midnight: The Expositor Office in Little Current, Up Top Sports Shop in Mindemoya, The Recorder Office in Gore Bay, Trail Side Sports in Espanola, Moxy’s Bait and Tackle on Regional Road 55 near Whitefish, Ramakko’s Source for Adventure on Regent Street South in Sudbury and at www.fishmanitoulin.com.