We do this every season, just for fun. It's a panoramic view of the ice fishing village in Baitshop Bay. We only take one photo a season but it's usually at the peak of the ice fishing season when there is a lot of activity on the ice. It's just a candid snapshot of a moment in time on the ice at Petrie.
Okay, so we do it the old way with a Fujipix 100 digital camera and 6 year old software but we still love the result. Check out this year's panorama of Petrie Island and others going back 5 years on our Petrie Island 360 page.
In short, probably not, but it was the thickest we have seen in at least 20 years. We were introduced to a new meteorological term this season, something called a "Polar Vortex". We're not going to get into weather definitions here, so let's just say that we had a very cold winter.
The 2014 Polar Vortex caused record cold temperatures all over North America with the coldest temperatures seen in the eastern half of the continent. Niagara Falls almost froze solid and ice cover on the Great Lakes reached its second highest on record at 91%. That's the highest ice coverage since 1979, when the ice cover peaked at 94%.
That brings us to Baitshop Bay and Petrie Island where the average ice thickness peaked at 41 inches. Some tell us that the ice was thicker than that with a measured 46 inches in the center of the Bay. Forty-one inches or forty-six inches was enough to put most ice augers at their limit.
So yes, the ice thickness was thicker this season than any of us have ever seen and will not likely be repeated in our lifetime.
Experts are saying that the 2015 season will likely be shorter and see less than average ice thickness as another El Nino is predicted.
The fishing was fantastic! Lots of people were able to get out to the drop-off earlier this season where we saw lots of nice walleye and some were huge. It all came screeching to a stop at the drop-off when the walleye stopped biting early in February.
Fishing was also good in and around the ice hut village, where we saw lots of nice walleye and pike. We did hear the sad story of a guy who has been at Petrie Island for two years and never caught a fish. We don't know how that's possible but needless to say, someone will give some pointers in 2015.
The 2014 season started early and went right up the March 15 deadline as set by the Ministry of Natural Resources. It will be remembered for the unusually thick ice, the great fishing and all the great times shared with our buddies on the ice. Have a great summer.
Yves Grandmaitre, owner of the Oziles baitshop went out of his way to get some unique views of the Baitshop Bay ice fishing village.
First up in January was a visit from the people from Google. They brought their Street View cam on the ice and now our ice fishing village is part of Google Street View. We will not post link here just because we thought it would be fun to discover it yourself. Go to Google Street View and enter the address of the Oziles baitshop: 1009 Trim Road, Ottawa, Ontario.
When there, you will see the bait shop. Go through the gate and just like that, summer turns into winter! Continue down the road and head on to the ice. You will be able to walk through part of the village, see some of our most popular characters and even go inside a couple of ice huts! It's totally amazing!
This is something that should be on Google Street View for a long time. Great thinking Yves!
Next up, Olizes got someone to fly over the ice fishing village with a quadcopter equipped with a GoPro camera. The video was taken at the peak of the Petrie Island ice fishing derby on February 15. It's an amazing view of the ice fishing village. After seeing this video, you might be tempted to run out and buy a quadcopter! Check out this amazing video on YouTube. Thanks to Mathieu Grandmaitre for uploading it.
It was what some would call a perfect winter day, and a perfect day for an ice fishing derby. All kinds of folks hit the ice at Petrie Island for the annual Ice Fishing Derby on family day weekend. the details of the 2014 Petrie Island ice fishing derby.
There were actually 3 derbies held during the day: a kids derby; a hut owners derby, and an open derby in the South Channel.
As with any ice fishing derby at Petrie Island, there was be tons of prizes with the profits going to a good cause.
Twenty-three kids participated in the kids derby; twenty-seven people participated in the open derby and 37 huts registered for the hut owners derby in Baitshop Bay.
Winners of the derby were Jean Raymond with a 35" northern pike; Aston Vanderburgg with a 12" walleye and there was a tie for the smallest fish. Mario Croft and Mario Leroux split the prize, each pulling in 6" perch.
There were lots of other prizes. Notables were Christian Racine who won the Rapala Nitro auger and Clay Young who won $158.00 in the 50/50 draw.
Thanks to everyone who made the day happen including Yves Grandmaitre and the boys in the baitshop; The Scouts who raised $120 from the hotdog sale; The Undead Bureaucrats for putting on a great show after the derby and the many sponsors who chipped in.
We're getting some great photos from the ice fishermen of Baitshop Bay but we want more photos for our 2014 Anglers Gallery. How was your week-end? These people had a great time. We wanna see your photos!!! Send us your best pics using the email link at the bottom of the page.