Those missing the camaraderie of an ice fishing derby and the challenge of competition can mark the Shake Off The Blues ice fishing tournament on their calendars.
Organized by Anglers Atlas and sponsored by Northern BC MLAs, including Mike Bernier and Dan Davies, the tournament will take place virtually across the province from February 13 to March 7.
Participants can submit fish caught during that time anywhere within the five participating provincial ridings: Peace River South, Peace River North, Prince George-Mackenzie, Prince George-Valemount, and Cariboo North. A small fee is required to enter, and competitors can sign up for the tournament here.
From there, download the My Catch phone app, take a picture of your catch next to a measuring device, and submit your fish through the app. At the end of the competition, cash prizes will be handed out to the top three finishers in each of the four categories. However, what makes the Shake Off The Blues tournament different is it’s a competition between ridings.
“We are excited to work with our MLAs on this event. We’re all looking for new ways to stay active and engaged with our community during this pandemic,” said Sean Simmons, president of Anglers’ Atlas.
“We’ll have a leaderboard for riding scores based on the number of people that participate in each one, and we’ll see who gets crowned the ice fishing capital of B.C.”
The winning riding will receive 50 percent of the proceeds, to donate to the charity of their choice.
Simmons said that there was nothing political about partnering with the MLAs, and the event is about finding a way to bring people together during the pandemic to enjoy ice fishing.
“As an outdoors person myself, I encourage everyone to experience the gift of BC’s biodiversity while enjoying this competition,” said MLA Mike Morris
Anglers’ Atlas started running similar virtual fishing tournaments last summer as an option for covid-friendly recreation. They have held 14 across the country, but this, along with one taking place in Ontario, are the first two ice fishing tournaments, and the first to include ridings squaring off against each other.
To sign up check out - www.anglersatlas.com/tournament/469/shake-off-the-blues-2021