CONSTANCE BAY – It was cold, windy and wild, but every day is a great day to be on the Ottawa River.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, 96 anglers registered to take part in the West Carleton Fish-Game Club (WCFGC) Ice Fishing Derby held on Constance Bay of the Ottawa River.
The event has been held for more than 15 years – this year’s organizers not really sure of the exact number. The annual derby kicks off a weekend of free fishing in Ontario – a weekend when anglers don’t need a licence to drop a line.
So, often it’s a derby that has a good mix of first-time anglers and experience outdoorspeople – kids and adults. Organizers said they have participants as young as three and as old as 70 out today. West Carleton Online made the trek out to the bay and the derby headquarters shortly before noon, so there was still lots of fishing to be done.
“Last year it was a first-timer who won the auger,” club president Warren Backler said. “She acted like she won a million dollars. I think she was more excited about winning the derby then the prize.”
This year it was still a toss-up to who was going to win the top prize. Prizes were also awarded for biggest pike, perch and walleye.
“Quite a few pike, perch and walleye have already been caught,” Backler said. “It’s been a moderate day (weather wise). It’s been good.”
WCFGC board member Wilson Boyd says the Ottawa River and Constance Bay is a great place to fish, but you never know where you are going to find them.
“It seems like the east end is bringing in the big fish,” he said. “The fishing here is sporadic. Sometimes it could be the deep water. Today it seems like the shallow water.”