1st Place – Jim Mistol – $10,000 – combined total of 236.6cm To his left is Mayor Craig Copeland and to his right is Coun. Ryan Bailey. Photo courtesy of city of Cold lake Facebook.Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Although the second day was cancelled due to windy weather concerns, the participants still made impressive catches and took home prizes. 

Organizer Katie Pankhurst explained the unique process of the derby.  

“They send pictures of the fish on the bump boards and then it gets uploaded to the MyCatch app, which is through Angler’s Atlas, and then it tracks all of the information through there. So, there’s a leaderboard, it’s live, so we can actually see who’s on there.” 

This year’s derby attracted 300 participants, with Pankhurst noting, “We typically sell out every year.” 

Pankhurst highlighted the variety of prizes.  

“We have lots of prizes. First place is $10,000 so it’s a nice big chunk there. And then we have longest fish day one, longest fish day two, so that’s a $1,000 prize for that one as well.” 

While the competition was fierce, participants adhered to strict rules to ensure fair play.  

“I work with Anglers Atlas and I apply for a fishing license through the government and it’s like a competitive fishing license, so then everybody has to have that number on their boat with them… they submit their photos with their fish on the bump boards and then the Anglers Atlas people approve it or decline it because you’re not allowed to have your hand in the gill,” explains Pankhurst. 

Participants travelled from far and wide to compete, bringing business to town, Pankhurst noted. “We have a lot of people that come in from Saskatchewan, even as far as I know there’s people from Manitoba, Okotoks… It kind of brings people from all over… People travel around. It’s a big deal, most of them do all the tournaments in Canada… So it just brings a lot of people here from out of town.” 

For the first time, uniform bump boards were introduced to ensure consistency in measurements.  

“This year we did make a change. I purchased a bunch of bump boards, which are the measuring devices for the fish. We just sometimes run into problems that not every single measuring device is the same. So we tried to make it more uniform this year… I want to say most people are really happy with them so far.” 

Although day two of the derby was cancelled due to gusty weather, the first day saw some impressive catches.  


1st Place: Jim Mistol – $10,000 – combined total of 236.6cm 

2nd Place: Jeremy Harris – $7,500 – combined total of 230cm 

3rd Place: Gary Padlesky – $5,000 – combined total of 228cm 

4th Place: Merv Suski – $3,500 – combined total of 227.6cm 

5th Place: Joseph Taylor – $2,500 – combined total of 226cm 

Longest Fish – Day One: Merv Suski – $1,000 – 88.9cm 

Longest Fish – Day Two: Random draw from all participants – Steve Meredith – $1,000 

By Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 01, 2024 at 08:54

This item reprinted with permission from   Lakeland This Week   Bonnyville, Alberta

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