Despite less than optimal ice conditions, organizers are deeming last weekend’s 18th Annual Canadian Ice Fishing Championship a resounding success, complete with the biggest-ever payouts.
Thanks to southern Ontario’s non-winter this winter, giant Lake Simcoe’s entire 725-square-kilometre surface did not freeze consistently, with many lake trout and whitefish spots remaining dodgy at best. Wisely, the tournament’s new owners, Lures & Tours, opted to cancel the traditional deep-water big-fish day and have two shallow-water perch days instead.
In the end, 45 teams from Ontario, Quebec and Michigan arrived in Georgian to compete for $16,500 in team payouts (for up to 10th place), as well as another $17,000 in product and bonus cash prizes. Taking the $7,500 first-place prize were brothers Armando and Freddie Martino, of Keswick and Bradford, Ontario, respectively.
“Those payouts were well above what would be expected if we relied solely on the registration fees this year,” said Rosa Sharpe, co-owner of Lures & Tours. “We believe this to be a wise investment by our company. It assures the anglers, the community and our supporters that we are in for the long haul to deliver a top quality event.”
Here are the top 10 finishers, complete with their hometowns and total two-day weights.
1st) Armando Di Martino & Freddie Di Martino (Keswick/Bradford, Ontario): 16.5 pounds
2nd) Jeff Mitchell & Diane Mitchell (Beaverton, Ontario): 16.420 pounds
3rd) Kyle Perry & Lance Boyd: (Pefferlaw/Sutton, Ontario): 15.170 pounds
4th) Susie Pike & Len Burden (Sutton, Ontario): 13.760 pounds
5th) Thad McGathy & Brian Greven (Bay Port, Michigan/Brechin, Ontario): 13.680 pounds
6th) James Beaupre & Steve Fitzpatrick (King City, Ontario): 13.090 pounds
7th) Ken Prentice & Calvin Perry (Cedar Valley/Newmarket, Ontario): 12.690 pounds
8th) John Delicata & Vlado Crljen (Innisfil/Mississauga, Ontario): 11.560 pounds
9th) Chris Ciapka & Craig Lewery (Aylmer/London, Ontario): 10.780 pounds
10th) Andrew Graham & Chris Little (Minden/Lochlin, Ontario): 10.350 pounds
As for the big fish of the tournament? That honour went to Susie Pike with her 1.33-pound jumbo. For the complete standings, click here.