BPSA and SSA raise the big tent – Let the fishing begin!

The largest event of the year in Grey-Bruce is underway on the Owen Sound waterfront.

The 2019 OWEN SOUND SALMON SPECTACULAR Fishing Derby now celebrating its 32nd year, kicked off at 12:01 am this morning. (Friday August 23rd)

The giant ten day fishing festival staged by the conservation group the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association (SSA), attracts more than four thousand anglers. It wraps up on Sunday September 1st with the derby awards. That’s when more than $150,000 in prizes including boats, motors, trailers and fishing gear will be handed out for the largest fish in several categories.

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The giant tent which is the headquarters of this joyous fishing celebration, went up Wednesday August 21st under sunny skies with light winds, in a record three hours. With direction by a manager with Big Top Tent Rentals in London Ontario, the task was completed by 30 members of the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association (BPSA) and 20 Sydenham club members. The two clubs often help each other with projects including fish stocking.

In appreciation of the help from the neighbouring club, SSA Hatchery Manager Ron Robb said, “We couldn’t do this without you. You are a huge help in kick-starting our derby preparations each year. You’re hard work is much appreciated.” It takes more than 400 volunteers to stage the Salmon Spectacular Derby.

There are large numbers associated with this derby:

  • daytime and evening concerts, fish fries and other events in the 300 foot long, 100-foot wide tent, attract 50-thousand visitors
  • in its long history more than 150-thousand anglers have competed in this derby. Last year 2,845 fish were weighed in over ten days. That’s more than one thousand more fish compared to the previous year
  • more than 300-sponsors help support what has become a major summer attraction

Every year the giant tent at the Georgian Shores Marina, turns into a village headquarters with fishing folks coming from far and wide camping nearby to be close to the water and the fishing action in southwest Georgian Bay.

Profits from the OWEN SOUND SALMON SPECTACULAR support the fish stocking and other conservation work done by the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Associations member volunteers