One of the largest ice fishing derbies in Canada is set to happen on March 16 this year! Over 2000 competitors make their way out to Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park each year for the Falcon Lake Winter-Fish Off. This annual heaviest fish ice fishing competition awards a top prize of $15,000! Be sure to get your tickets and take part in one of the best-run events of the winter.
The 2018 derby awarded over $120,000 in cash and prizes to lucky participants. In addition to the giant first place prize, the list of awards just like this year goes all the way down to the fiftieth heaviest fish. The hidden weight prize was awarded for the first time with the winner going home with a $60,000 Alumacraft boat package, all for weighing in a 1.66lb northern pike! And the 50/50 draw winner took home a whopping $11,000! This is not to mention all of the swag and free prizes that get thrown out to the crowd and awarded at the weigh tent every year.
This year’s event is even bigger with over $140,000 in cash and prizes available to be won! $15,000 first place, 2019 Can-Am Outlander ATV to second, Alumacraft boat, Mercury motor, and trailer goes to third, and so on. Early bird draw top prize is $1000 cash! Hidden Weight is once again an Alumacraft 185 Competitor boat package.
Update: We all know that we have had a ton of snow cover on the province’s lakes this winter. Falcon Lake has been no different, and as such the local snowmobile club has been gracious enough to help out by agreeing to groom the entire derby site this year. Holes are also continuing to get drilled all over the site at the lake’s east end to help mitigate potential slush pockets on derby day.
The Early Bird draw deadline, and $60 ticket price is March 6th. Entry tickets are $80 after that and can be purchased at various retailers listed on the poster until March 14th. Derby tickets can also be purchased on the derby site on the day of. Second hole tickets can be purchased for $30. Kids tickets (15 & under) are $30. The Year Round Tagged Fish Contest is a cool promotion that has thousands of dollars of tagged fish swimming around Falcon Lake including derby day. Tickets are $20 or free with the purchase of a Derby and either a Second Hole or Kids Ticket.
The Falcon Lake Winter Fish-Off raises a huge amount of funds for the St. Amant Foundation. A not-for-profit organization that provides a comprehensive resource for Manitobans with developmental disabilities and autism. Over $18,000 was donated in 2018!
Tips for competitors:
-The winning fish has always been a decent sized northern pike. Go big or go home applies here if you have your eyes set on the $15,000 first place cash prize.
-Portable shacks are permitted but cannot be erected until the derby start time of 11:00am
-The winning fish has been caught in different areas and all depths of the derby grid over the years. The west end is generally shallower with the eastern edge being deeper.
-Concessions, beer garden, raffle draws, and a huge 50/50 are available on site. Bring some cash with you.
For more information go to winterfishoff.com