The 18th Annual Canadian Ice Fishing Championship (CIFC) was a resounding success
Pefferlaw Ontario: The 18th Annual Canadian Ice Fishing Championship (CIFC) was a resounding success thanks to tremendous support from competing anglers, sponsors, volunteers and the local community.
Under the new ownership of Lures & Tours the event was held February 25th and 26th on the famed hard waters of Lake Simcoe. Anglers from Ontario, Quebec and Michigan arrived in the Town of Georgina. A field of 45 teams prepared to compete for the $7,500 First Place cash guaranteed by the Town of Georgina. The Town also commissioned the design of a new Championship trophy that identifies with the nature of the tournament … a gorgeous crystal like ‘ice block’. On top of the cash payout, 2012 CIFC anglers were treated to an unprecedented Prize Table that included a vast array of fishing tackle, high end watches and week long fishing trips.
The team that came out ahead was Armando Di Martino of Keswick and his brother Freddie Di Martino of Bradford, Ontario. On day one they caught 8.48 pounds with their heaviest 15 perch by using jigging raps and minnows. Day two they brought in 8.02 pounds for a total of 16.5 pounds.
Saturday proved to be one of the windiest days of the 2012 winter season, yet that did not deter almost all competing anglers from catching and weighing in a 15 perch limit. Under bright blue bird conditions the next day with barely any noticeable wind, many teams thought the fishing would be much easier … however the perch had different ideas. “Although once again most of the teams managed a limit, many of them reported the fish were very finicky and they had to outsmart their finned adversaries with many tricks to get them to bite,” said Charlie Ross – Tournament Director and co-owner of Lures & Tours.
RAISING THE BAR FOR THE FUTURE
Running the CIFC for the first time, Lures & Tours wanted to set the standard that can be expected for future years. They made a decision to demonstrate their commitment by raising the payouts from 2nd Place to 10th to amounts that were in proportion to the guaranteed First Place of $7500, adding up to $16,500 in team payouts. Product and Bonus Cash prizes worth over $17,000 brought the total value competitors went home with to over $33,500. “Those payouts were well above what would be expected if we relied solely on the registration fees this year,” said Rosa Sharpe, the other co-owner of Lures & Tours. She continued, “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.”
Top ten list with weights and home towns
|Armando Di Martino
|Freddie Di Martino
|Bay Port, Michigan/Brechin
Big Fish: Susie Pike 1.33 lb. Perch
Fenwick Contingency Prizes: Fenwick® Elite-Tech ice rod and Pflueger® Patriarch reel: Team 1 and Team 4
Bill Bond Memorial Award – An Evolving Tradition
Barbara and John Sibbald were presented with the award by one of the previous recipients, Councillor Ken Hackenbrook. The Bill Bond Memorial Award has traditionally been given to an individual who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to conserving and promoting the fishery of Lake Simcoe. For 2012, the Canadian Ice Fishing Championship is recognizing the generations of passion shown for Lake Simcoe by the Sibbald family, owners of the Briars Resort in Jackson’s Point.
The winter that almost wasn’t:
Prior to the tournament, there were many challenges from Mother Nature that were exasperated by several news reports sending misleading news that Lake Simcoe was not safe and that folks should stay off. At 725 sq kilometres in size though – the lake never freezes the same everywhere. Organizers knew this and although poor ice conditions were prominent throughout some areas of the lake, many other areas were fine. Much of the lake was covered with plenty of ice and hut operators and anglers alike were busy on the hard waters of Lake Simcoe.
As the date neared and the original location of Sibbald Point was still not building enough ice at a time when anglers were calling in to ask if the tournament was happening at all, organizers went to their optional plans to move the tournament eastward to a location with plenty of good ice in the 14-15 inch range. RMC Argo Sales & Service of Beaverton came through as always, delivering two Argo 8 wheel drive vehicles that were essential to ferry out equipment and anglers. Throughout the weekend they shuttled staff and the media crews that arrived to cover the event.
The competition format was changed from Big Fish for Day One; main lake deep water fishing for lake trout and whitefish – and Day Two of shallower water fishing for perch …. to two days of shallow water perch fishing. News articles, live radio interviews, on location TV interviews, direct email and social media distribution to the public let anglers and others know of the change well in advance of the event. “It was essential to have the confidence of the anglers that we could deliver a safe fishing zone and to inform them well enough in advance to prepare for two days of Perch fishing. Having that information was appreciated as they could then decide what gear and vehicles to bring,” said Rosa Sharpe. In conclusion, “We are grateful to Peninsula Resort who were able to accommodate our needs on short notice to allow for a successful and safe event.”
Big Fish will return
The consensus is that considering the conditions dealt to Lake Simcoe this winter, the right choices were made. Sponsors and anglers were keeping safety in mind above all else. Because of ice conditions The Big Fish Day will return in 2013, weather permitting.
The organizers are already making plans for 2013 that include more guaranteed cash payouts for several positions below First Place, which is anticipated to be raised to $10,000 next year. Tournament information can be found at the Canadian Ice Fishing Championship website: www.cifc.org
For more info please contact:
Lures & Tours Ph: 705-738-5757