Outdoor column

Inaugural Pickle Lake Pike Derby offers big grand prize

Known as northern Ontario's last frontier, the town of Pickle Lake is getting prepared to host a new fishing tournament this spring with a unique prize for the winner.

1st place prize is a cottage lot on Pickle Lake

The Township of Pickle Lake is hosting its first Catch and Release Pike Derby on May 26. Tickets are $100 per adult and the winner will get to go home with a cottage lot right on Pickle Lake. (Township of Pickle Lake / Facebook)
There's a new fishing tournament in Pickle Lake. And as Gord Ellis explains the big prize is a cottage lot in the town. 8:03

The town of Pickle Lake is preparing to host a new fishing tournament this spring with a unique prize for the winner.

Surrounded by water and situated in the middle of the pristine and untouched wilderness at the end of Highway 599, the inaugural fishing derby in Pickle Lake is a live-release event focusing on the northern pike.

"Pike tend to give a bit of a fight when you are reeling them in and a lot of people go for that experience," said Ellen MacKenzie, the economic development officer for the town of Pickle Lake.

She said while the town is already known for its tourism and outdoor activities, the first Pickle Lake Catch and Release Pike Derby is a regional outreach that will help promote the location of Pickle Lake as well as the cottages built along the shore.

"We have 26 lots for sale and one of our grand prizes is to give away a cottage lot," MacKenzie told CBC's outdoor columnist Gord Ellis. "It's right on Pickle Lake and the view is great," she said.

"You get to see the sunrise and the sunset every morning."

Contest rules for the upcoming pike derby are similar to other fishing tournaments in the region, with a flagging system in place to make it easier for anglers to get their fishes measured and released as soon as possible.

"Once you catch a fish, you can put your flag up and some of our derby members will be floating around the lake and be checking up on everybody to make sure that their fish are doing well," MacKenzie explained.

Tickets are $100 for adults, $25 for youth aged 12 to 17 and $10 for children under 12.

"If we had about two people to a boat, that would be a great turnout," MacKenzie said, adding that "a hundred boats on Pickle Lake would be fantastic to see."

Tournament instructions and details can be found on  the Township of Pickle Lake Facebook and registration can be done over the phone or in-person at the Pickle Lake township office before May 11.