Hooked on fishing derbies

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It’s fishing derby season across Nunavut and lines are dropping into the icy waters in numerous communities.

Naisana Qamaniq with his bounty of fish, which won him the “most fish” category in the Iglulik fishing derby on May 23. He also took first place in the iqalulikuluk (little lake fish) category.
photo courtesy of Jose Quezada

In Cambridge Bay, Evelyn Kitigon, Rick Lauer and Rosabelle Klengenberg took it upon themselves to organize a contest to honour the memory of local fisher Ambrose Aknavigak and resulted in the catches being donated to the community’s food bank.

The contest was only going to run for a couple of days last week, but the closing date kept getting extended due to prize donations continuing to pour in, Kitigon said.

“It’s at any lake you want, or even at the ocean – any cod, any lake trout, any Arctic char,” she said, adding that the heaviest fish and smallest fish would earn prizes.

Eddie Hatok Mala wound up winning the $800 for largest trout.

In Iglulik, close to 50 people turned out for the May 23 fishing derby, organized by the hamlet’s recreation department. A total of $2,000 in prizes was up for grabs. First place, worth $300, in the cod fish category went to Louis Immaroitok while Lisa Qamukaq took the $200 second prize.

Nicholas Akittirq prevailed in the sculpin division and Lisa Qamukaq was again second.

In the iqalulikuluk (little lake fish) category, Naisana Qamaniq came out on top with Martha N. Qattalik capturing second place.

Naisana Qamaniq also took the “most fish” category, which came with a $500 payout.

In Hall Beach, it was Naomie Allianaq who hauled in the $3,000 top prize by landing an 86.8 cm trout on May 22. Second place went to Ruthie Irqittuq (85.9 cm). Abraham Olaalaa (85.7 cm) took third, Mary Kuppaq (84.5 cm) finished fourth and Jason Ikeperiar wound up fifth (82.1 cm).