New fishing derby wants to reel you in
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | July 27, 2017|
Anglers of all ages and skills are encouraged to participate in this summer’s newest fishing derby in the county.
The Big Fish Derby, which starts in August, is a two-month catch, photograph and release event organized by the Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships Events (CNPHC Events) in cooperation with Haliburton’s Amazing Agency.
The derby is open to any lake in the Haliburton Highlands where fishing is permitted and the species caught is “in season”.
Event organizer John Teljeur says he’s floated the idea of hosting a fishing derby for years.
“I was waiting for the right opportunity and the right sponsors for this event, and pond hockey helped with that,” Teljeur said. “A lot of our pond hockey sponsors are interested in staying on with this event, and with Amazing Agency’s technical abilities, it made this whole thing work.”
It was a perfect fit for the local digital marketing company, said Jim Love, Amazing Agency’s chief content officer.
“While we work with companies large and small across Canada, our roots are firmly in Haliburton County. So what better way to share our brand story of unique content, digital distribution and local roots than this innovative, digital fishing derby?”
Anyone interested in signing up can visit bigfishderby.ca, and choose between a weekend, month or seasonal registration. A portion of proceeds will help support fish stocking programs of the Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association.
More than $5,000 in cash and prizes can be won in four species categories including Muskie, large and smallmouth bass, Walleye and Panfish.
Once participants register and create a profile on the website, they can upload a photo of their catch. Teljeur says an app is in the works as well, which will go live sometime next year.
“It will allow people to seamlessly register their profile and upload their photos in a timely manner.”
He also said it was important to not only get the green light from the outdoors association, but the ministry as well.
“We consulted with the ministry and the fish hatchery,” he said. “We wanted to make sure this was a catch and release event, and not a derby that might exert too much pressure on a single lake.”
The derby is more of a test-run this time around, Teljeur said. He wants the event to last several months in 2018, starting in the spring and wrapping up in the fall.
Ontario’s RTO 11 tourism region, which the Highlands is part of, saw more than 620,000 fishing visitors in 2014.
The derby’s registration page on its website will be live by the end of the week.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.