Ontario has an abundance of clean and accessible lakes for your family to explore. Our family loves to get outside and will take any excuse to get out and take it all in. Fishing is a family favourite. My husband fishes in a couple of tournaments which is inevitably followed by a chorus of “But Moooooom, I want to fish in a tournament just like Daddy!” Well kids, you’re in luck. There is a perfect fishing tournament just for the little ones and BONUS, it’s right in our back yard in beautiful Trent Lakes.
Pirate’s Cove is an unassuming country store that is anything but ordinary. They stock everything from quality fishing gear for adults and kids, freezies, cheese curds, butter tarts, bread, milk and other pantry staples and water guns! It’s a one-stop-shop on your way to the cottage and likely have whatever it is you forgot on the counter at home. You can even buy your fishing license, hunting license and fishing adventure maps on site. There is a chip truck with poutine made with real cheese curds along with all of the usual chip truck fare. Mmmmmmmm…
Best of all is the delightful kids fishing tournament they host for kids age 1-12. The owners, Tracy and Paul, work their tails off every year securing sponsors to ensure that every child entered goes home with a prize. Plus there are trophies and prizes for various categories. We’ve been able to attend a few times and last year Isaac walked away with a trophy and prize pack including a tackle box with tackle and a Shakespeare brand Batman fishing pole for “Smallest Fish”. He was over-the-moon, full of pride and still has the trophy displayed prominently on his dresser. Lunch and Timbits are included for the kids and proceeds from the purchase of adult meals go directly towards next year’s event. Kids love the exciting water gun fight! The volunteer fire fighters even arrive with a fire truck and fire hoses for the battle. It’s a thrill for the kids! It’s being held on July 3rd this year which is the Canada Day long weekend. The registration fee is a whopping $5.00. They usually book up completely so register as early as you can. All you need to bring is a fishing pole, life jacket and water gun and you will be well on your way for family fishing fun.
If you are unable to make it to Trent Lakes, there are many fishing tournaments just for kids and likely not too far from your home or the cottage. Ontario Family Fishing has compiled a list of some of the events around Ontario. Keep in mind that July 2-10 is free family fishing! No fishing license required. The rest of the summer the adults will require a license, even if your child is the only one fishing.
Don’t make it too complicated. Just get outside and have fun. Kids are generally as excited catching and releasing sunfish as they would be if they landed Moby Dick himself. So gather your fishing pole, worms and life jackets and get out there because kids never remember their best day of television but a day by the lake creates sweet, lasting memories that they will carry with them forever.