Wiikwemkoong Ice Fishing Derby, Manitoulin Expositor expand tourney to two lakes and two days

Now Lake Manitou and Manitowaning Bay

MANITOULIN—There are exciting changes coming to this year’s Wiikwemkoong Ice Fishing Derby. Thanks to a partnership with The Manitoulin Expositor, the derby is expanding to two days, February 9 and 10, 2019, and will now involve two bodies of water—Manitowaning Bay and Lake Manitou—and has taken on a new name, the Manitoulin Ice Showdown. For just $100 for the weekend, anglers now have double the chance to win.

The Manitoulin Ice Showdown will see both Lake Manitou and Manitowaning Bay (as of press time, the proposed boundaries are as far as Heywood Island) open to ice anglers, allowing them to choose their preferred fishing spot. (Some pre-drilled holes will still be available on Manitowaning Bay, at Bayside Resort.)

“We’re really excited about the great new changes coming to the derby and for our partnership with The Manitoulin Expositor,” said Luke Wassegijig, manager, Wikwemikong Tourism. “Our prizes will be even bigger this year, with great cash prizes for the top fish on both lakes. And for just $100 for two days and two lakes, the price can’t be beat.”

Manitowaning Bay will still see a tagged fish contest worth $5,000 while Lake Manitou will see a mystery weight prize, any species, worth another $5,000. (Prior to the derby, a weight will be announced that the mystery weight must exceed to win to promote catch and release when possible). For both lakes, the prizes will be awarded for heaviest fish of any species: first place, $5,000 (x2); second place, $3,000 (x2); and third place, $2,000 (x2). And as people have come to expect, the prizes from fourth to tenth place at the Manitoulin Ice Showdown will be plenty to boast about too.

Everyone who buys a ticket will also be entered into a draw for the $10,000 registration prize.

“We’re pleased to be able to partner with the Wiikwemkoong Ice Fishing Derby to help grow this great event and attract even more people to Manitoulin Island, especially in the winter season,” said Expositor publisher Alicia McCutcheon.

“We’ve got the expertise from running the popular Manitoulin Expositor Salmon Classic and we think it’s a great fit for us,” added Salmon Classic organizer Dave Patterson. “Bring on the cold weather!”

Weigh-in stations will be found in Manitowaning and at Buzwah for Manitowaning Bay and at the landings at Manitoulin Resort, Sandfield and at McDougall’s Sideroad on Lake Manitou. Anglers will be asked to weigh their fish in right away at one of the weigh stations and certain criteria must be met to ensure that the fish is fresh. Of course, if you don’t have a ticket, you can’t weigh in a fish. Stay tuned for a full set of rules that will soon be available at wiikwemkoong.ca and at fishmanitoulin.com.

Tickets will be available at The Expositor Office and at Wikwemikong Tourism beginning next Friday, November 23. Makes a great Christmas gift!

“Our vision has always been to have this as an economic driver and premier winter event on Manitoulin Island,” Mr. Wassegijig said. “This partnership will allow us to reach our targets and ultimately give anglers an opportunity to catch more fish.”

The Wiikwemkoong Ice Fishing Derby and Manitoulin Expositor’s Manitoulin Ice Fishing Showdown takes place Saturday, February 9 through Sunday, February 10.