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Anglers lose their shirts fishing for fun

About 50 ice anglers had no fear and at one time, no shirts, but they and their families had plenty of fun during the second annual ice fishing derby hosted by Kevin and Jennifer Lavers, of Merland Park.

The weekend derby started Friday afternoon with a steak dinner with roasted potatoes with grilled mushrooms and onions, donated by Coach’s restaurant.  A Texas Hold-Em tournament with prizes followed dinner.
On Saturday, the ice was packed with fish huts, guys bringing in perch to be weighed for the biggest fish competition and others playing football on the ice.  Snowmobiles and ATVs were riding up and down the bay and there was a section of  ice cleared for the kids to skate and play hockey.

As a "Thank You" for the support received at their very successful Ice Fishing Derby last weekend, Kevin and Jennifer Lavers of Merland Park made a contribution the Picton Kiwanis club to help in their work for serving children. President John Langschmidt gratefully accepted the contribution.

Saturday afternoon featured three contests and awarded prizes ranging in value from $250 – $1,500.

The first contest was a Closest to the Hole golf challenge.  The guys had to swing a golf club and launch a tennis ball closest to the hole.

The second contest was the Shirt Off-Fish Off.  Holes were pre-drilled in the ice and the guys had to bait their hooks and, at the sound of the whistle, take off their shirts.  The first one to land a fish on their line won.

The final contest was a Fear Factor Challenge.  The participants had to get set up at their fishing hole, prepare their rods and then make their way to the bait station, put a minnow in their mouth and then return to their holes and bait their hook. The first one to catch a fish with the minnow still in their mouth was declared the winner.

Among the many prizes given away over the weekend, Merland Park donated a Helly Hansen survivor jacket for the Fear Factor Challenge.  Ivan Rousseau donated a $550 Salmon Fishing Charter for six and Merland Park included an Ice Fishing Package as well to the winner of the Shirt Off-Fish Off. A Scotiabank prize pack was awarded to the winner of the Closest to the Hole.

“The guys were all great sports,” the hosts report. “There was a huge cheering section with lots of laughter and good fun was had by all.  Saturday night, we hosted a fish fry with all the fixing’s up at the house feeding over 40 guests and then held another game of Texas Hold-Em.”

The tournament came to a close at 1p.m. with closing ceremonies at the house.  Prizes were awarded to the winners of the biggest fish caught for Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as biggest fish overall.  Names were pulled from a hat and everyone left with a great prize.

“We had some incredible support from the community with prizes donated by Scotiabank, Canadian Tire, Coach’s and Castles,” said Kevin. “Tim Horton’s provided hot coffee and Timbits for Saturday.   We also had awesome volunteers from the Kiwanis Club who worked hard to help us make the event a big success.”

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