I attended the Hamilton Boat, Fishing and Outdoor Show a few weeks ago to get out of the house with the kids, and to help fuel my excitement for the coming open water fishing season. The kids had a blast, checking out every available boat that they were allowed to explore, along with a good number of camping trailers. I also had a great conversation with an outdoor writer who encouraged me to check out the Orillia Perch Festival. He suggested it was great fun for the kids, so I checked out their Facebook page (link above).
The derby is one of the largest in Canada, and runs from April 16th to May 7th. On April 30th there is a special OPP Kids day as well, so it’s a Perch Derby with a lot of other organized elements around it. There are of course early bird prizes, additional draw prizes if you catch and register a fish in good health, but the part I’m most excited about is the opportunity to further engage my kids in the sport of fishing, and the family element of it.
Normally I don’t get on the water until may, and I won’t get the kids out fishing until mid to late summer, so this provides all of us a chance for some early angling! With the derby running for multiple days, it also means that if the weather doesn’t cooperate one day, we can always re-schedule. Our hope is to get out twice, one time the first Saturday, and again for OPP Kids Day. If you are looking for some fun, it’s pretty inexpensive, and proceeds appear to go to the Chamber of Commerce. If you have fished it before, please drop me a line and let me know any tips and tricks!