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Annual Rankin Inlet fishing derby goes well despite storm

The annual Rankin Inlet Fishing Derby went off without a major hitch from May 15-18, despite a different approach due to restrictions in connection with the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

Nathaniel Kaludjak holds up the whopper his son, Troy (Pung Pung) Kaludjak, landed to take top spot in the fishing derby in Rankin Inlet on measuring day, May 19.
Photo courtesy Susan Hickes

Young fisher Troy Ka1udjak took top spot and its $10,000 prize for his catch measuring 45.5 inches, while Solomon Ford and Iris Tatty-Tanuyak tied for second ($7,000 each) with their catches of 44 7/8 inches and Oscar Airut claimed fourth place ($5,000) at 44 5/8 inches.

Rounding out the winners were Amber Irwin in fifth place ($4,000) at 44.5 inches, Nathaniel Kaludjak in sixth ($3,000) at 44 inches, Richard Nattar in seventh ($2,000) at 43 13/16 inches, and Chris Eccles in eighth place ($1,000) at 43 1/8 inches.

Derby committee member Susan Hickes said the derby went well despite a blizzard keeping fishers in their tents for most of Saturday, May 16, while out on the land at their favourite fishing holes.

She said the prize presentations took a lot less time than they did in previous years.

“We usually have an annual gathering at the Singiittuq Complex to award all the prizes, but we couldn’t do that due to Covid-19 this year,” said Hickes.

“We did all the prize presentations via Facebook live and over local radio this year and it went really, really fast.

“It usually takes a couple of hours to present all the prizes during the gathering but, this year, with only four of us there, the winner would come, claim their prize, have a picture taken, be congratulated and leave.

“So it only took us about 45 minute this year.”

Hickes said the measuring also went quite fast this year, despite the weather being awful.

She said everything moved along smoothly with no crowds gathered around the measuring tables.

“People would just pull up, have their fish measured and go, so it certainly seemed to be a lot faster.

“Everyone seemed really happy with how it all went except for the blizzard on Saturday.

“We were out at Peter Lake and we couldn’t see anything. We were stuck in our tent all morning and a bit in the afternoon.

“It was pretty much over by suppertime and after that the weather was beautiful for the rest of the derby.”