Salmon Classic 2017

Judging by the smiles on this family’s face outside the Gore Bay weigh-in station, a good time was had by all at the Manitoulin Expositor Salmon Classic.

Features more fishing days, more prizes and new kids’ rate

MANITOULIN—There will be some notable changes to the Manitoulin Expositor Salmon Classic fishing derby for 2017—and all of them promise to be great!

First thing to note is that the $500 early bird prize is open to all comers until June 22. The early bird draw will take place at noon on June 23.

The Salmon Classic will see plenty of new prizes this season and there will be more opportunities to win, as the Salmon Classic will take place over four weeks this coming season running from July 29 until noon on August 27. Each and every day of that extended run will see a $100 prize awarded for the heaviest salmon or trout (not both) registered on that day. This is in addition to the $1,000 weekly prize for the heaviest fish registered that week.

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“We expect there will be a lot more weigh-ins this year with the $100 prize,” said Salmon Classic organizer Dave Patterson.

Also new this year is the youth prize of $500, awarded to the youth 14 years of age or younger, who pulls in the heaviest trout or salmon over the four weeks of the tournament.

“We really want this to be an event for the entire family,” said Mr. Patterson. “The kids will be eligible for not only the youth prize, but all the other prizes as well.” Just to stress that, “kids with a ticket will be eligible for all of the prizes as well,” he said. “I figure that’s a question I will be getting a lot.” Youth tickets are $35 and adult tickets are $65 and both can be purchased online at or by visiting The Expositor office in Little Current or The Recorder office in Gore Bay.

Mr. Patterson himself is an avid fisherman and he has deftly figured out a way to get in on the fun himself—no, he can’t win any prizes—but every time he goes out fishing during the Salmon Classic period, he will weigh his catch. Every time a contestant weighs in a heavier fish that day their name will go into a special draw for $500. Contestants will receive one entry into this draw every time they manage to outfish Dave. What if Dave doesn’t catch a fish? “Never going to happen dude,” retorts Mr. Patterson. Seriously though, if Dave doesn’t catch a fish than anyone who catches a fish that day will be eligible for the draw. “I probably won’t go fishing every day,” admits Mr. Patterson, before adding “but I really should.” Dave’s fish weight will be published online at

There will be a leader board published online at and the top 25 heaviest salmon/trout caught during the Salmon Classic will be eligible for prizes.

The prizes are not at all shabby, with first prize weighing in at a whopping $12,000, second prize at $4,000, third at $2,000, fourth at $1,000 and fifth at a still pretty respectable $500. Sixth through 25th place will receive sponsor prizes.

There is also a new weigh station being added this year, somewhere along the North Shore, location to be announced.

“We are also going to have a lot more merchandise this year,” added Mr. Patterson. “We had a lot of requests for ball caps, seems a lot of folks collect them from the derbies they go to. We will also have T-shirts and long sleeve shirts available for souvenirs.”

The Salmon Classic crew will be out in force this winter and spring, targeting particularly southwestern Ontario. “We went to the Toronto Sportsman Show last year and handed out thousands of copies of ‘This is Manitoulin’,” said Mr. Patterson. “We started this derby to bring more tourism to Manitoulin.

So stop by to visit online, The Expositor office at Expositor Square in Little Current or The Recorder office in Gore Bay to get your tickets in time for the early bird draw.