‘Drill and Chill:’ Fort Frances hosting virtual ice fishing tournament

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

The Rainy River Future Development Corporation (RRFDC) has announced a virtual fishing tournament to take place this February.

The Rainy Lake Drill and Chill Fishing Derby will run from 6:00 a.m. on Feb. 19 until Feb. 27 at 6:00 p.m.

The derby is open to any one fishing on the Canadian part of Rainy Lake during those dates. Prizes will be awarded for the longest Walleye and the longest Northern Pike, with each winner receiving $1,000.

“With many families staying local this winter, the Rainy Lake Drill and Chill fishing Derby will be a fantastic way to get outside and have a mini break,” said fishing derby committee member Dale Fortes.

More information about the fishing derby will be available on the Destination Fort Frances Facebook page or by contacting Chantel at 274-3276.

RRFDC is also partnering with the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce to offer a few family events around the week of the tournament and Family Day. Chamber Director Heather Johnson says they hope to have something for lots of people to get involved with but everything will depend on the status of COVID-19 restrictions at the time.

For adults the plan is to hold a medallion hunt.

“We’re going to do a Drill and Chill Medallion Hunt. So we’ll have a little medallion that we’ll hide in a local business,” Johnson said.

Clues to the medallion’s location will be given out each day for seven days or until someone finds it.

When somebody does find the medallion after they read the clues, whoever finds it will win a gift basket,” Johnson said. “I haven’t quite decided what the gift basket will be yet, but it’ll be something from our local businesses.”

The Chamber also hopes to have a variety of events and things for kids to do as well, again, depending on the COVID-19 restrictions at the time so nothing is for certain at this time.

“Winter’s kind of long, and now [kids] have been doing homeschooling again,” Johnson said. “So this is a chance to get them out and to see some of the things that we have to offer.”

Johnson is working with the Fort Frances Library Technology Centre to put together something for kids to come and pick up to bring home or potentially do at the library. Johnson said she’s also hoping to partner with the Fort Frances Museum on something for kids as well.

“We want some outside events as well,” Johnson said. “Maybe skating or something that kids can go to and spend some time outside.”

She also added that they hope to offer a chance to try ice fishing, so kids who haven’t had the opportunity to try before can try their hand.

Johnson is also hoping to be able to host a movie night at the Memorial Sports Complex and also noted that the Town of Fort Frances usually hosts skating and swimming for families as well but also emphasized again that this will all likely depend on the restriction level at the time.

“We’re just going to work with the restrictions as much as we can,” Johnson said. “We’ll see what we can do about getting some fun things for kids to do, and make winter seem a little less long.”

More information will be released as the dates draw closer. Anyone who would like to add an event to the week is asked to call Chantel, at the RRFDC, 274-3276.