Are you a ‘reel’ expert? Do you get lured in by the excitement of competition? Maybe you just want to cast aside the pressures of everyday life and enjoy time on the lake. It’s possible you’re a first-time fisherman looking to get hooked on the sport. If so, why not take a trip to Island Lake for the eighth annual Bass Fishing Derby, hosted July 9 and 10 by the Friends of Island Lake.

No matter what your angle is, this year proves to be another exciting tournament. With up to 300 participants annually, the derby is a fun and family-friendly event that encourages visitors to get outdoors and enjoy one of summer’s traditional sports. The derby is open to all, with special kids’ categories. This year participants have a chance to win more than $5,000 in prizes.

Categories include big catch prizes for the top 10 bass, as well as special categories for the top pike, perch and crappie. There are separate kids categories for youth ages 11 and under, and daily ceremonies will be held to award trophies in all kids categories.  All children receive a participation ribbon too! The derby runs during Ontario Family Fishing weekend so you don’t need a license to participate.

If you’re looking for the full family experience or just want an early start to the day, why not camp at the park? Campsites are available on July 8 and 9. But it’s best to act fast because space is limited. Reservations are open to the general public, not just derby participants!

Registration includes daily admission to the park and boat launch access. Electric boat rentals, live bait and a barbeque are also available at additional cost. For details about the Island Lake Bass Derby and camping, registration and prize information, please visit

Carp-e Diem…..we love a good fish pun (just not invasives).

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