The Bay of Quinte is world renowned for its great open water fishing which includes incredible spring & fall walleye and summer bass fishing. But look out because winter ice fishing is becoming increasingly popular! Anglers can catch jumbo perch, pike and walleye throughout the ice fishing season which usually starts mid-January and goes strong until the end of February depending on winter temperatures and ice conditions.
For the past eight years, Merland Park Cottages has hosted an Ice Fishing Derby, on the Bay, at the end of January or beginning of February. With the help of local business and sponsors, we are able to award over $10,000 in prizes and have raised almost $15,000 which has been donated to the Kiwanis’ Terrific Kids Program.
The derby consists of two nights where people come from all over Ontario, Quebec and the United States. The weekend is jam-packed with fishing, fun games, lots of delicious food and some great laughs.
Picton Bay, where the event is held, is ideal for the ice derby not only because perch are plentiful but because of the excellent conditions it offers. There is very little current which allows the open water to freeze a good eight to ten inches by the end of January and makes the ice thickness very safe to travel and fish on.