Parents Hold Fishing Derby as Fundraiser for Daughter’s ‘Jingle Dress Special’ – Interesting Characters Met

Damon Hunter - Jazlyn Fishing Derby - Feb 2300011
Raven Crow with Jyles Copenace weighing a pike catch Jazlyn Fishing Derby (Photo Credit: Damon Hunter)

By: Damon Hunter

On Saturday 19, a local family had gathered a total sum of 39 participants to partake in a fishing derby. The derby was appropriately situated on the frozen Lobstick Bay ice road. With 19 teams of 2 and a large sum of money as the prize, it was reportedly an especially suspenseful event – as suspenseful as the sport of ice fishing can get.

The derby’s organizers, Jyles Copenace and Jolene Fontaine, said they particularly want to fund their daughter Jazlyn’s “Junior Jingle Dress Special”, which has the intended use of honouring her for how far she’s come in life.

Furthermore, the special is expected to be a large gathering which will hopefully help Jazlyn visualize the wide range of supporters surrounding her.

The special is set to happen at the Manito Ahbee Festival between the days of May 15-19, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“She’s going to be a young woman pretty soon”, says Jyles. “The people that are going to be helping her with this special are [also] going to be the people that keep helping her through[out] her life. So that’s kind of our way of honouring her at this young age”.

The derby had additionally been held to show respect and acknowledgement for the shockingly recent victims of Canada’s residential schools, especially the ones that prematurely passed.

Due to largely undocumented history, the current statistic is no more than an educated guess. The current estimate for student deaths within residential schools is, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, somewhere in the 3,200-6,000 range. To scale, there were over 150,000 Indigenous persons who attended residential school – many of whom had endured multiple forms of abuse.

To this day, some local elders and adults still recall certain events from these schools. One person, in particular, Jolene Fontaine’s mother, recalls the recurring average of 2 pupils per month going missing, according to Jolene.

“I want to honour the ones that passed on, [the ones] that didn’t get to go home”, Jolene recalls daughter Jazlyn saying.

The event had garnered enough attention that, through word of mouth, found its way to Gindon, who has only been a permanent resident of Canada for 10 years.

Originally from the Philippines, he’s now found joy in fishing. He says he was invited to the event by his friend, Jeff Qi from the Bimose Tribal Council situated in Kenora.

Filleting a fish just metres away was Bill Girard, from Northwest Angle #33. In conversation, Bill revealed that because of his parent’s interracial marriage, he had in turn, lost his Indian status.

It wasn’t until April 1985 that the Canadian government passed Bill C-31, effectively ending the inequality set before indigenous peoples.

He claims to have thankfully never attended a residential school or was ever expected to – a fortunate loophole.

On the flipside, his only education was at a university level, which he claims to have obtained through an indigenous-supportive program. He says he regrets never having a formal education.

At one point in his life, Bill says he worked as a tour guide for people from all corners of the globe. He once spent a day with Wayne Gretzky, touring and cooking for him. This was the highlight of his career, he states.

He also has experience in the traditional powwow scene. He proudly volunteered to work in the Pow Wow Committee for approximately 10 years, he claims. Alongside this, he also claims to have served as an Education Board member for about a decade as well.

Damon Hunter - Jazlyn Fishing Derby - Feb 2300012
Jazlyn Copenace Fishing Derby along the Lopstick Bay Ice Road(Photo Credit: Damon Hunter)

All in all, the event was a commendable and diverse get-together with an intriguing idea supporting it.

The winners are as follows:
1st – Tag and Jammice Joseph
2nd – Shannon Rochelle/Dale Cowley
3rd – Terence Gordon Sandy and Samantha Cowley
4th – Murphy Kakeeway and Raven Crow
5th – Fred Morrison
Subcategory winners:
Mystery Weight – Murphy Kakeeway
50/50 – Megan Cowley
Skunk Pot – Marcel Bill Girard

X Damon Hunter - Jazlyn Fishing Derby - Feb 2300013
Starting young:Jazlyn Fundraiser Fishing Derby – Feb 23 (Photo Credit: Damon Hunter)
Advertisements

Ice Fishing for Beginners

By: Calvin Joseph

 Ice fishing is one of many ways to enjoy the great outdoors during the winter months.  Let’s face it, winter is and will always be part of our life for five months out of the year.  In years past, we’ve enjoyed mild winters and have also had to contend with this thing they call the Polar Vortex – Yigh!

One of many ways I like to enjoy the outdoors is to go ice fishing on the many lakes that are within our area.  There are so many ways to do this and still enjoy it to the fullest. Whether it is renting an ice shack for the day or using a portable ice hut, we can still enjoy the outdoors with the comforts of heat, especially during those cold days on the lake.

 There are so many products on the market today that can make the day that much more enjoyable.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming on shopping for such items, especially with all that they have on the market.  For the beginner ice fishermen, there are certain tools and supplies that you will need to get started. Here are some of the essentials that you will most likely need:

 

  1. Ice Fishing Rod/Reel Combo – A spinning outfit is probably the way to go, a medium 26 – 28” rod spooled with 8lb. test fishing line.  This set up is ideal because it is versatile in a sense that you can catch the smallest Crappie to catching Walleyes and the fair sized Lake Trout that are abundant on the beautiful Lake of the Woods.

 

  1.      Manual Auger – I started out with a Bologna powered Auger, which is fine nowadays.  They make them so well and so sharp without having to dish out loads of money for a gas powered or even electric powered auger.  A manual auger is an inexpensive item that is essential to this sport. A 6” to 8“ auger is ideal because it is a practical size for pulling pan sized fish to trophy sized fish through the hole.  You can find these at the local sporting goods store anywhere from $40 – $100.

 

  1.      Tackle – There are so many options out there that it becomes overwhelming in making the right purchase.  I will break it down based on the three main sought after fish that can be caught on this lake:

Walleye – ¼ oz. Jig with any type of colour choice tipped with a live minnow; good for  shallow or deep water fishing.  A bright coloured Jigging Spoon ¼ oz. to 3/8 oz. tipped with a Minnow Head based on preference and water depth.   You will mostly find these fish in 20 to 40 feet of water. Straight to the bottom is the way to go.

Crappie – 1/16 oz. Coloured Jig tipped with a live minnow or a micro tungsten coloured jig tipped with a live or plastic 2” mimic minnow.  You can also use smaller jigging spoons as well. These fish can be found in back bays finding the deepest bowl of the bay in 10 – 30 feet of water.

Trout – A silver or gold coloured Spoon sized ¼ oz to 3/8 oz. is ideal, these fish are found in deeper water so it is a must to fish heavier type tackle.  A white or pearl coloured plastic tube bait with a ¼ oz. to ½ oz. jig is an absolute must in trying to catch a Lake Trout, these fish are often fooled by this particular hook because of its erratic movement in the water column.  These fish can be found in 20 to 100 feet of water, they suspend so they can be caught throughout all depths of the water column.

    

  1. Ice Hut – This is optional, of course!  If you plan on enjoying the heat of a portable heater or bringing kids to this adventure, then it is always good to have a portable ice hut.  Whether it is a place to warm up or fish stationary, the luxury of heat on those particular days makes the day much more enjoyable for you, the wife and the kids.  Try to go as big as your budget can go. A 3-4 person ice hut is size enough for your gear and visitors.

 

  1.      Be Safe – Always let others know where you’ll be fishing and what time you’ll be back.  There are areas out there that are unsafe for fishing. Tag along with someone who knows the lake and you’ll find out right quick the knowledge to understand the importance of being safe on the ice.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the lake, they have apps that you can purchase on the smartphone – Navionics and Lakemaster are the ones primarily used in our area that will show the contours and depths of our lake and where you can locate some of the target species.

 

February 18, 2019 is Family Day, the community will often host a family Fish Derby during this day; they usually have awesome prizes and categories to the winners so be on the lookout for posters as this is a family affair. Try your luck and I’ll guarantee you will have fun doing so.  Good luck, be safe and good fishing.

Calvin Joseph is currently the guidance counsellor at Baibombeh Anishinaabe School.