The 19th season for the Canadian Ice Fishing Championships (CIFC) were held off Lake Simcoe’s Jackson Point in Georgina to crown a new team as Canadian Champion Ice Fishing anglers in 2013.
Forty-nine two-person teams competed over two days in both shallow and deep water challenges.
Perch were the targeted species during last Saturday’s event just northeast of Jackson Point. Water depth ranged from 14-20 feet in the fishing zone.
Teams members with ATV and snow sleds checked into the entry point at Bonnie Boats for gear and bait regulations at first light. Actual fishing could not begin until 8am.
Each two-person team had to catch 15 perch in total and keep them alive for release after weigh-in at 2pm. Any bait could be used with no more than four hooks allowed. Only one rod per angler was allowed and team members could only be up to thirty paces apart.
Day one perch fishing started off fast with many anglers catching their quota. Most however decided to go after those jumbos and live released many of their smaller catch. The perch started to shut down on the easy bite around 8:30 am and catching a limit after that stretched all the anglers arsenal of tips and tricks.
Perch fishing was tough all day for everyone, both pros and and amateurs had to scramble to get their limit of 15 perch per team.
Day two started out with great weather as anglers proceeded three kilometers off shore to the big fish zone, three times the area as the previous perch zone. Depths came in around sixty feet.
Most anglers hugged the perimeter of the zone marked off by blaze orange cones. Two lines were allowed per angler and again only up to thirty paces apart was permitted. Many of the larger pop up hut had both anglers huddled inside with two holes drilled outside.
Whitefish and lake trout were targeted by most anglers with various typical set ups of jigging or tip-ups. Whitefish were caught by a few anglers and many marked fish on their electronics.
CIFC 2013’s oldest and youngest competitors ranged from 13 to 90 years. Teams consisted of fishing buddies, pro anglers, husbands and wives, and fathers and kids.
Without the volunteers, it just doesn’t happen on a large event like this. Hosts Rosa Sharpe and Charlie Ross owners of Lures and Tours planned a year to make this even a great success.
My special thanks to the Briars, its team and owner Hugh Sibbald for totally spoiling me with great accommodations and food for three days while I covered the CIFC.
Team 47’s Chris Hiltz caught largest fish the of the competition, a 34- inch lake trout worth 134 points.
Team 24 had two whitefish for a total of 188 points. Fifty for the fish, fifty for a live release and one point per inch. Two ling were also caught by Calvin Perry later that morning. This propelled them into the lead.
Team 47 Dennes Szvercsok and Chris Hiltz were leading from day one and a 34-inch lake trout kept them there until team 24 caught that second ling.
Team 24 had two whitefish and two ling combined with their 15 perch on day one to clinch the championship title.
Images by Peter Wood