“We have a situation this year on Lake Simcoe that has not been seen since 2002,” said Charlie Ross of Lures and Tours. “Basically there is much of the main lake far out from shore, that is simply not safe. Even if we had cold weather between now and the event, it is unlikely conditions would improve enough in the main lake to safely allow our anglers to venture way out there on Big Fish Day,” said Ross. “We have consulted with competitors, sponsors and Lake Simcoe ice fishing experts, and the overwhelming consensus is that the far off-shore sections of the lake are highly unlikely to build up enough safe ice. Therefore attempting to target big fish in these areas would simply be unsafe,” he concluded.
However, all is not lost ... as a great deal of the areas extending out from Georgina do indeed have decent ice. Ice hut operators who typically target perch closer to shore have been operating for several weeks and report ice ranges between 10-15 inches.
“Instead of entirely disappointing so many people who want to see this tournament happen, we have decided to forego the Big Fish Day this year and will have two days of Perch fishing instead, held in shallower water closer to shore,” said Rosa Sharpe, also with Lures and Tours. “We also have to say, the support received from our sponsors and the anglers for this decision has been very encouraging. Safety First is everyone’s main concern.”
The tournament will follow the rules and points system originally established for Perch Day. There will be a weigh-in and live release each day. Each team’s points will be combined on Sunday Feb. 26th to establish final positions in the tournament.
The safe perch fishing areas will not likely offer a fair distribution of big fish species, ie. lake trout, pike and whitefish, throughout the designated zones. Therefore any catches of these fish will be considered incidental and not scored towards the tournament outcome.
Lake Simcoe is recognized as one of the finest yellow perch fisheries in North America and we look forward to hosting a first class ice fishing tournament February 25th and 26th.
For more information contact Charlie Ross or Rosa Sharpe
Canadian Ice Fishing Championship www.cifc.org
P.O. Box 561
Bobcaygeon, ON K0M 1A0