STEEP ROCK — Fish wasn’t the only thing that was caught during the fourth annual Steep Rock Fishing Derby.
With the mercury rising north of 10 degrees Celsius on March 23, the event saw an increase of more than 100 fishers from last year. A total of 291 holes were drilled in the ice as people from across the northern Interlake region, Stonewall, Selkirk and Winnipeg participated in the early-spring derby.
Craig Howse, vice-president of the Steep Rock Community Club, told The Interlake Spectator they are continuing to improve the event each year, with the goal of attracting more participants to join the fun-filled family event.
“Weather played a huge factor in a higher turnout this year, as the past two years haven’t been as appealing in weather conditions,” SRCC president Bev Johnson said.
The winning fish was caught by Winnipegger Hunter McGinnis, 23, who pulled in a Burbot (locally known as a Mariah), weighing 1.576 kilograms.
There were also plenty of prizes up for grabs, with $2,705 awarded to McGinnis for reeling in the biggest fish of the day. The 50/50 draw had a payout of $1,097 and several of the raffle prizes had participants in awe. Moreover, there were over 40 door prizes that were handed out.
In total, 60% of the money raised was given back to competitors in cash and prizes. The remaining 40% will go to the SRCC, which is run by volunteers.
The success of this derby will allow the SRCC to upgrade and maintain the town’s public facilities, which include a pickleball court, walking trails and the Steep Rock Anglican Church, which in the future could have the potential to provide wedding packages.
“This is an amazing community event that brings everyone together, allows us to have a good time, while bringing in the funds that benefit the residents of the Steep Rock community and surrounding area,” Johnson said.
Although nestled on the shore of Lake Manitoba and a couple of hours north of Winnipeg, Steep Rock is a must-see tourist destination for anyone who hasn’t visited. With summer and cabin season drawing closer, Steep Rock is the place to go. Whether you are looking to relax on the lake, enjoy fishing, or want to hike through the amazing scenery and breathtaking rock formations, Steep Rock offers plenty of activities for everyone.