Fishing Derby and Fish Fry

On October 1st, 2023 we had our first ever fishing derby at Jocko Lake. Members of our team and their friends and family came out for a great day of fishing followed by a delicious fish fry. Over the last few years we’ve discovered that we have several lakes that are completely over populated with Bass. For beginner fishermen this is great, because you are almost sure to catch at least one (if not several) fish. However, this isn’t so great for the ecology of the lake and the food supply for the bass themselves becomes stressed. Having too much of anything isn’t great, and low diversity of fish species can lead to further problems.

In support of our fishery management strategy, we are reducing our bass populations to help other species thrive. So we decided to hold a fishing derby to reduce the number of bass in the lake. It turned out to be a beautiful day. It was surprisingly warm for October 1st, reaching over 25 degrees!

The day started with everyone hiking (or getting shuttled) down to campsite 181 on Jocko Lake. This campsite is a favourite for beginner campers because of how easy it is to access – only 1km from the parking lot. The campsite itself is lovely. It’s sitting up on some rocks above the water, with a fire pit overlooking the lake. It slopes down to a rocky shore where you can easily launch a canoe or fish from the shore. We had gathered 10 of our orange Nova Craft canoes and some people brought their own canoes or more high-tech fishing kayaks.

Before we knew it, everyone was out on the lake with their rod and shortly after that, our bucket of fish was filling up. We had let everyone know that there may be some prizes awarded at the end of the day, so the competition was on!

As the day went on, the sun got warmer. Everyone was stripping off layers and even seeking shade because it was actually hot out! All around us the fall colours were at their peak. Beautiful reds and oranges lined the bright blue waters of the lake. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better day.

As the fish came in, out came the measuring stick and an entry on the scoreboard. Then several people got to work cleaning and frying them. Along with some great sides prepared by the team at Viamede resort it was shaping up to be an incredible lunch. For those that have never tried fresh fish, fried over a fire by the lake – it is something you must try at least once. The fish tasted incredible! And there was no shortage of availability. Everyone was able to load up their plates with plenty of freshly fried fish to fill our bellies after a hard day’s work of fishing in beautiful weather.

As the day came to a close it was time to award the prizes. There was a prize for the largest fish, for the most fish caught between two people in a boat and the honest fisherman prize – for the pair that must have had some bad luck and weren’t able to catch a single fish all day. There were also several children participating, and they were awarded with some prizes for their catches too.

This was an amazing event and we hope that it becomes an annual tradition for us in years to come!



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