HuntFishMB – Eric Labaupa
Bill Bannock Classic Ice Fishing Derby
Ice fishing derbies may be winding down in the southern half of the province, but we are just entering prime time in the Northern Region of Manitoba. One of the largest events of its kind takes place on April 7, 2018 on Clearwater Lake near The Pas. This competition sees hundreds and hundreds of ice anglers take part with everyone aiming to taking home the $25,000 first place prize.
The 24th annual Bill Bannock Classic Ice Fishing Derby is a well-run event organized by the Rotary Club of The Pas. Anglers attend from all over the province and from across the border in Saskatchewan to compete. All proceeds from this much anticipated derby are donated to charity.
Uniquely this derby has lake trout as the main target species. Clearwater Lake is famous for being home to monster lakers and the derby site just north of the ‘pump house’ sits over one of the prime areas to hook one in the winter.
This is no standard hole grid derby either. The Bill Bannock Classic offers what they call Super Holes which are sections of holes isolated from the rest of the giant wheel spoke grid. Those who compete in ice fishing derbies know well that being on the edge or being in an area with less lines is a huge advantage. These are allocated by early bird draw and those lucky enough to get an assigned set of holes don’t have to join the typical mad rush once the gates open.
A new option for 2018 is Group ticket sales. A minimum of two to a maximum of ten people can buy tickets as a group and will be drawn for a group set of Super Holes. Joining a group is possible up until the Early Bird deadline of March 21, 2018. Tickets can be purchased online at Bill Bannock Tickets and in person in The Pas at Pete’s Pro Tackle, Kleen All, Micheal’s Corner Store, and Wally’s Place in the Wescana Inn.
Also note that the Flinty Ice Fishing Derby takes place the very next day on April 8th, 2018 out of Baker’s Narrows on Lake Athapap. There are incentives and prizes available by fishing both events.
For more information on the Bill Bannock Classic Ice Fishing Derby click here.