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(Updated 9:30 a.m., Jan. 17)
Ice fishing enthusiasts brave the elements

By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star

(L to r) Friends James Henry, Summer Malcolm, Evan Fleck and Kayla Howard brave the elements to try their hand at ice fishing on Monday. The four friends drove all the way from Kanata for the experience. Fred Sherwin/Photo

When it comes to the winter past time of ice fishing, there is a fine line between enthusiast and fanatic and it can usually be found on a thermometer at about -20.

Even with the thermometer dipping to -25 on a crisp Sunday morning on the weekend there was a strong contingent of fishing veterans at Petrie Island along with a slew of newbies experiencing ice fishing for the first time.

Walking through the ice fishing village just off the shore form the Oziles Marina and Tackle Shop on Petrie Island it’s easy to identify those are trying the sport out for the first time from those who have seen their share of winters with a line or two in the ice.

“My buddies and I love fishing all summer so we wanted to try catching fish through the ice,” said rookie ice angler, Ray Tisoy.

Tisoy, Joe Guapo and Al Pogi went through the process of renting a shack equipped with a wood stove, firewood, and a table and chairs before officially starting their ice fishing adventure with their two allotted lines in the water.

“It’s a lot different than our regular fishing which we do from a boat and are able to move around if we want, plus its cold but we are liking it,” Tisoy explained.

Tisoy and company were basing their decision on the number of fish they were able to reel in during the day which according to the veterans in the bunch is the wrong approach or attitude to have when it comes to enjoying the “experience”.

Brendan Soucie and buddy Alex Jolin are quick to explain that ice fishing is about embracing the laid back, outdoor lifestyle that is offered at Petrie Island.

In their words, it’s not about catching fish but rather the attraction or appeal of getting away from the hubbub of the city, traffic and uptight neighbours.

“Being on the ice so peaceful and relaxing, it’s my winter paradise,” said Soucie.

During the week, the 22-year-old Orléans resident has a hectic lifestyle as a construction contractor so when the weekend rolls around he heads straight to his ice fishing shack which is comfortably equipped with a wood stove, queen size bed and stereo which runs courtesy of a solar panel on the side of his unit.

“I can get to Petrie Island in no time, I look forward to Friday night in my shack so all my friends can meet up, socialize, play cards and have a few beers.” Soucie admitted. “In the morning, I might make some bacon and eggs then put some lines in the water and wait for the fish to bite. The time passes by because all my fishing neighbours are always having a good time together talking and laughing.”

With about 120 shacks there are rules and regulations to follow plus a $50 membership fee to join the Petrie Island Ice Fisherman’s Association (PIIFA). For more information visit: www.piifa.ca

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

 

   
   

 




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