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St. James-Assiniboia School Division
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1st Annual Manitoba High School Ice Fishing Derby: A Triumph of Community and Learning

March 15, 2024

​by J.J. Ross, Physical Education and Health Education Coordinator, SJASD

Derby_Above_smaller.jpgPlease Note: Check out videos of Derby and results of competition below.

On March 12, 2024, the icy expanse of Balsam Bay on Lake Winnipeg transformed into a bustling arena of youthful excitement and angler camaraderie as the 1st Annual Manitoba Provincial High School Ice Fishing Derby unfolded. With students hailing from 42 high schools across the province, the event promised a day of competition, learning, and unforgettable experiences. From the northern reaches of Thompson, to the southern town of Waskada, and the western community of Roblin, 700 participants converged to showcase their fishing skills and forge lasting memories. ​

Andy_drill_Insta.jpgThe atmosphere buzzed with enthusiasm as eager students prepared to wet their lines into the frozen waters. But this derby was more than just a competition—it was an opportunity for hands-on learning. Participants delved into the intricacies of fishing equipment, honing their skills in knot tying, untangling lines, and baiting hooks. Moreover, they gained valuable insights into fish species identification, enriching their understanding of the diverse aquatic life inhabiting Manitoba's lakes. 

None of this would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the event's organizers, staff members, and volunteers. Their commitment was truly commendable, as volunteers braved the predawn darkness to pre-drill 900 holes across the frozen expanse, ensuring a seamless experience for all participants. The tireless dedication from volunteers laid the foundation for a day filled with excitement and camaraderie. 

Catch_derby_Insta.jpgAs the competition heated up, participants demonstrated their prowess on the ice, eagerly vying for the title of champion angler. Amidst the thrill of the competition, 57 fish were officially caught and measured—a testament to the skill and determination of the young anglers. However, it was the students of Leo Remillard who emerged triumphant, claiming the coveted Championship Banner and etching their school's name into the annals of derby history. 

The success of the 1st Annual Manitoba High School Provincial Ice Fishing Derby is a testament to the power of community and the enduring spirit of youth. This inaugural event is destined to become a cherished tradition, fondly remembered by students for years to come. Its impact extends beyond the thrill of competition, offering invaluable opportunities for experiential learning and fostering a deeper appreciation for Manitoba's natural wonders. 

Special recognition is due to the passionate representatives of the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, whose unwavering support helped bring the derby to fruition. In particular, heartfelt thanks are extended to Dustin Bruce, John Taylor Collegiate educator and tournament organizer, whose dedication and leadership were instrumental in making this event a resounding success.

As the echoes of laughter and the thrill of competition fade into memory, one thing remains certain: the 1st Annual Manitoba High School Ice Fishing Derby has left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who participated. Here's to many more years of camaraderie, learning, and unforgettable experiences on the ice. 

By the Numbers  

  • 57 – Fish caught  
  • 42 – Manitoba high schools participated (42 or 33 based on text above?)
  • 15 – Major prizes awarded to anglers with the biggest walleye catch. 
  • 23.5" – Biggest walleye
  • 14" – Smallest walleye
  • 6 – Special “Skunked" prize packages awarded to schools for their own distribution.
  • 23" – Biggest Fish Other (Northern Pike).

Thanks to all of our volunteers who drilled holes, assisted with set up and take down, and ran the event: 

  • Dale Precourt (John Taylor Collegiate)  
  • Harlo & Harden Larkin (John Taylor Collegiate)  
  • Mario & Leo Markmann (John Taylor Collegiate)  ​
  • Loren Brown (Westgate)
  • Daniel Lehmann (Morris)
  • Dustin Bruce (John Taylor Collegiate)
  • Student volunteers from John Taylor Collegiate​

Thanks to Our Sponsors  

  • Manitoba Wildlife Federation
  • Walleye Mafia  
  • Angler's Edge Mapping  
  • Striker  
  • Lucky Strike Bait Works  
  • Gammon River East Outcamp 
  • Lunkerhunt Premium Fishing Lure  
Pictures (from top to bottom): Arial drone footage of Derby in action; SJASD teacher and volunteer Andy McKiel uses an auger to drill a hole; Student displays a catch.

Derby Videos 2024

Check out some amazing footage of the first annual Manitoba High School Ice Fishing Derby. The first shows students in action. The second captures the 900 predrilled holes just before dawn. The third is an eight minute compilation of footage from the entire event.




Full Aggregate Results

Leo Remillard 17.25 16.5 16 19.25 23.5 92.5 
John Taylor Collegiate  16 22.75 18.25 15.75 14.75 87.5 
Windsor Park  17.25 16.25 16.25 15.75 15.25 80.75 
RD Parker 20 16 16.75 20.25  73 
Killarney 15.5 15 23   53.5 
Gabrielle-Roy 23 18.75    41.75 
Stonewall  17 20    37 
Linden Christian  16.75 19.75    36.5 
Immanuel Christian 17.75 18    35.75 
River East 18.75 16.25    35 10 
Vincent Massey  16.5 17.25    33.75 11 
Beliveau  15 17.75    32.75 12 
Lac du Bonnet 15.75 16.5    32.25 13 
Pointe-des-Chenes 22     22 14 
Saint-Joachim  21.75     21.75 15 
Baldur  21.5     21.5 16 
Neepawa  21.25     21.25 17 
West Kildonan 21     21 18 
Dakota  20.25    20.25 19 
Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau  17     17 20 
Westgate 16.75     16.75 21 
Churchill  16.25     16.25 22 
Pinawa 15.75     15.75 23 
St. James 15     15 24 


Contact Us

2574 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3J 0H8 204-888-7951 204-831-0859
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