WIKWEMIKONG—Wikwemikong Tourism and Canadian Sportfishing have partnered to bring to Manitoulin the 6th Annual Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, February 15 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at Bayside Resort on Manitowaning Bay. This year, Trail Side Sports in Espanola has partnered to give away a 2014 ATV as the grand prize. As always there will be cash and product prizes to be won for the top 10 fish. Those who register before January 24 will qualify for the early bird draw for $500. All derby entrants are entered to win a 2014 Rainbow Ridge Golf Course season pass as part of the registration draw. This year’s derby social and prize table will be held at the Wasse-Abin High-School with a rainbow trout dinner sponsored by Buzwah Fisheries. Proceeds from the event go to support programming at Wikwemikong Tourism.
Canadian Sportfishing and celebrity host Italo Labignan have partnered with Wikwemikong Tourism to film two episodes of the fishing show to be aired in 2015. The first episode will be filmed in part at the ice fishing derby but will also include footage at other Wikwemikong locations. The second episode will be filmed in August at the annual Pike and Bass Classic. This is not the first time Canadian Sportfishing has filmed on Manitoulin Island; in 2011 the show aired two episodes featuring the rainbow fishery.
“We are extremely pleased to have Italo host our event,” states tourism coordinator Luke Wassegijig. “Our organization sees the economic value that this partnership has had to Manitoulin Island and having Canadian Sportfishing film our events will assist in ensuring the sustainability of our derbies.” The 2011 Wikwemikong episodes can be viewed at www.wikwemikong.ca.
Back by popular demand is the ‘Pimped Hut’ tagged fish contest sponsored by Q92, The Great Spirit Circle Trail and CTV, which is promising to once again be a highlight of the annual ice fishing derby. For only $25 anglers will compete to reel in one of 50 tagged fish for a six-man portable ice hut from Andy’s loaded with fishing equipment, a stay and fish package with Island Sunrise Outfitters, a season supply of Laker Lager product and apparel by Fishbum Outfitters. The Pimped Hut is valued at over $3,000 and tickets can be purchased on site or in advance at Wikwemikong Tourism and at The Expositor Office.
Annually the derby attracts up to 500 anglers to Manitoulin Island with over 50 percent travelling from off-Island locations. Wikwemikong Tourism has partnered with the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre to offer exclusive derby rates and expects to once again reel in anglers from across the province.
Wikwemikong Tourism’s mission is to build a foundation for sustainable tourism development through the creation of quality market ready products and services. Its parent organization, the Wikwemikong Development Commission, serves as the economic development branch of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve.
For more information on the ice fishing derby please visit www.wikwemikong.ca or call (705)859-3477.