Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Virtually the best ice-fishing derby!

Okay, who am I kidding; it is the best virtual ice fishing derby. The 2021 virtual Northern Ontario Ice Extravaganza is all set for the two weeks from February 12 to the 19. There will be cash prizes for the top three weight in all five of the categories: walleye, lake trout, pike, whitefish and rainbow trout. For just a $60 entry fee your name is also in for the $500 registration draw.

Fishing boundaries have opened right up too. You can drop a line anywhere in Zone 14 from the mouth of the French River all the west to Sault Ste. Marie. South Bay of Zone 13 is also permitted. Of course all of Zone 10 including all inland lakes are legal but organizers ask that you visit for full details.

Tickets are available at Wiikwemkoong Tourism, The Manitoulin Expositor, Moxy’s Bait and Tackle in Lively or online at The tickets that are sold means there is more cash to be won. Fish on!

Lockdown lowdown on fitness

As I sit here and write on this “Blue Monday” I am inspired to get off my butt and do things by super active people. The Deschesnes family from Whites Point are afraid of winter and take advantage of everything it offers and indoor they still manage to stay off the couch and have fun.

Mom Seija Deschesnes recounts that since Christmas they have done a couple of hiking trails including a trail by the LaCloche Mountains and Assiginack’s McLean’s trail while waiting for things to freeze up on the lake as well as walks up their road almost on a daily basis.  

They have once again set up a luge run on their property to do some sliding which entails a lot longer time going up then down! They are currently working on a rink on the lake now that the weather is a little colder so the kids can play hockey since the arenas are closed. “Once the ice on the lake is a little more dependable we will do a little snowmobiling, cross country skiing and ice fishing.” 

For some indoor fun activities they have been practicing darts and having competitions with their friends in southern Ontario through Facetime so they can hang out online. Why, I even saw on Facebook Seija in a video beating one of her sons in an arm wrestling match, could that be Davin?!

NOJHL is ready for…?

The commissioner of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, Rob Mazzuca and his team have worked hard to get the nine teams prepared for the green light to start games. The league schedule, of course, was postponed in the fall because of the COVID–19 pandemic. The league organizers did not sit around waiting for the go-ahead, however. Mazzuca et al have made sure that every single player is back with their respective teams with negative COVID results! 

When the NOJHL paused for play as scheduled just before Christmas, it had just nine teams that were active: Soo Thunderbirds, Blind River Beavers, Espanola Express, Rayside Balfour Canadians, French River Rapids, Timmins Rock, Cochrane Crunch, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and the Hearst Lumberjacks. Mazzuca says all nine teams are now ready to resume play when and if they are given the go-ahead by the provincial government and the regional health units of Northeastern Ontario.

Hypothermic-Half (and 10K) a go!

Are you getting tired of the word ‘virtual’ yet? I’m afraid we will have to get used to it for some more time yet! Yes, the Running Room’s annual Hypothermic-Half and 10K has gone virtual. I have mentioned in the past that the virtual format does offer some flexibility for the runners and spread out the work for organizers who can do everything from the comfort of their homes.

You can run from anywhere you are between February 1 to 28! Their virtual run can be run or walked from any location you choose. You get to run your own race, at your own pace and at your own time. There are no restrictions and your souvenir can be picked up at a Running Room location of your choice (for free) or directly shipped to you for a fee of $15. All participants will receive a limited edition Hypothermic Half marathon souvenir product (details coming soon) and a finisher medal. This is a capped event. Registration will stay open only as long as souvenir products are available.

The Hypothermic Half Marathon and 10K Package Pickup is tentatively scheduled for early/mid- February and direct to home shipments can be expected to arrive in February/March. More details will be released on this closer to the event date.

I can think of some excellent location routes for the 21.1km distance. How about you? Here is a great one—no major highways, lake views, forest for windbreaks and no super steep hills to get your PB. Starting at the main intersection in Mindemoya, head south on Yonge Street, turn right on Blue Road, right on Monument Road, right on Hwy 542, left on Lakeshore Road, rejoin Hwy 542 and then finish at the Pavillion at the ballpark in Mindemoya. Done and one less excuse? Send me your favourite half marathon route!

A good sport is good for sports