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Callander’s Legion prepares for fishing fundraiser

Popular ice fishing derby returns February 18
USED 2019-01-31goodmorning  5  Ice fishing village. Photo by Brenda Turl for BayToday.
Ice fishing village. Photo by Brenda Turl for BayToday.

The Callander Legion is once again hosting the Bruce Rodgers Memorial Ice Fishing Derby, so prepare to sink your lines on Saturday, February 18th. All funds raised go towards running the Legion, and there will be prizes for the biggest fish.

The event falls on Family Day weekend, a time during which the provincial government allows you to fish without a licence. So if you want to hit the ice, but don’t have the paper, you’re good to go for this derby.

There are categories for adults and children, and tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for kids under 10. If you’re an angling family, you can pick up a family pass for two adults and two kids for $35. Once you have a ticket, you’ll be registered to participate and have a shot at those prizes. Tickets are available at the Legion, at 345 Lansdowne Street in Callander.

Plus, the ticket also includes a pasta dinner at the Legion, served from 5 to 7 p.m. After dinner, around 7, the prizes will be doled out. However, arrive at dinner no later than 6 if you have a catch to measure, otherwise, judges may not include it in the contest.

Anglers can fish on Lake Nipissing or Lake Nosbonsing, explained event organizer, Sherry Culling, and it’s important to note the fish are measured for length, not weighed, so the longest fish will take home prizes. There are categories for pike, pickerel, and perch.

The Legion has received a few prizes, although more are welcome, Culling noted. These can be dropped off at the Legion before the big event. Prizes for the adults are needed, although the ones they have lined up so far should inspire anglers to drop a few lines. Organizers have an ice-auger, a Coleman stove, a pop-up ice fishing tent, and a few others prizes ready to go.

The kids’ prizes are covered, Culling explained, noting one generous resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, donated many toys for the cause—“an enormous amount,” Cullen noted. “I can’t believe all of the toys they’ve donated for us.”

“It’s nice to be able to do it again,” Culling said, since the annual event has been postponed for the past winters due to Covid restrictions. The derby was founded by Bruce Rodgers in 1992, who was also a 36-year member of the Legion and served as vice president of the Callander branch as well. When he passed away seven years ago, the decision was made to carry on the event in Rodger’s memory.

And people love coming out, Culling noted, adding that in most years “the main hall is filled” for dinner after a day on the ice.

On derby day, anglers can stop by the Legion to pick up some free minnows as well, courtesy of Billy Bob’s Bait. Culling will be there from 8 a.m. onward, so if you still need to register, you can do so on derby day.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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