Virtual Northern Ontario Ice Extravaganza fishing derby announced for February 12-28

MANITOULIN—After much discussion on how to safely operate a winter fishing event, the partnership of The Manitoulin Expositor, Wikwemikong Tourism and the Wiikwemkoong Anglers will be giving anglers far and wide a chance to get out and win some cash prizes in a new event. In lieu of the Manitoulin Ice Showdown, this new two-week event will take on a virtual format and allow anglers from regions around Northern Ontario to fish from home and put their hot spots to the test.

This year’s edition of the derby will go virtual as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of all participants from COVID-19. The virtual format will also allow for anglers from all around the Sudbury, Algoma and Manitoulin districts to participate, as the virtual weigh-in process means that you do not have to report to a weigh station, but rather submit your measurements online where they will be recorded by the organizing group. Participation in the derby is open to anyone in Ontario Fisheries Management Zone 10, Zone 13 (South Bay only) and Zone 14, North Channel from Sault Ste. Marie to North Shore to the east of Phillip Edward Island including Collins Inlet. A full map of the fishing zones will be made available on fishmanitoulin.com and the event Facebook page. This multi-species fishing derby has something for every type of angler with cash prizes for first, second and third place across each of the five divisions (pike, walleye, whitefish, rainbow trout and lake trout) as well as a guaranteed registration draw for $500 for all paid participants. Registration is $60 per person and includes your entry into the derby for two weeks.

This one-of-a-kind event will take place from February 12 to February 28, giving anglers two weeks to dial in their hot spots and climb the leaderboard. Participants are also allowed multiple submissions, meaning they will have the opportunity to place across multiple categories for the chance to win multiple cash prizes. For submissions, the honour system will come in to play as anglers will be required to submit a video via Facebook or by email using their own measurements, while also stating the passcode during recording that will be provided hours prior to the event. The combination of live release and the passcode will ensure that fish are both caught within the event time frame, and also legally in accordance with the event rules.

Tournament information will be available on fishmanitoulin.com and on the event page on Facebook. To register for the derby, online payment can be made at fishmanitoulin.com, or in person at the Wikwemikong Tourism or Manitoulin Expositor offices. Upon receiving payment, you will be contacted with confirmation that your payment has been received and that you are registered for the event.

The Manitoulin Expositor, Wikwemikong Tourism and the Wiikwemkoong Anglers Group look forward to a safe and fun two weeks of fishing for all participants. Full contest details will be made available at fishmanitoulin.com and Fish Manitoulin on Facebook.