COVID-19 cancels Mitchell’s Bay fishing tournament



Anglers Derrick Soulliere and John Kopocok show off some of their winning fish at Saturday’s weigh-in at the 2019 Mitchell’s Bay Open. The Windsor team won with a two-day, 10-fish total of more than 43 pounds. (David Noordhoff/ Special to The Voice)

The Canadian Tire Mitchell’s Bay Open has been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carol Ann Belanger and Tom Beaton, the tournament’s co-chairs, posted the cancellation notice on Tuesday on the Mitchell’s Bay Open fishing tournament’s web page.

The annual event, meant to celebrate angling while showcasing Mitchell’s Bay, Lake St. Clair and educate children, was scheduled to host the seventh tournament on July 3-5. They are currently focusing on resuming the event for July 2021.

” It is all that we do together that makes the tournament more than just a tournament… It is with painful regret, and after serious deliberation by, and given the current Ontario Emergency Measures Regulations due to COVID- 19, a decision has been made to cancel the 7th Annual Canadian Tire Mitchell’s Bay Open,” their statement reads.

In a recent meeting, members of the Tournament Committee found that it would be best to cancel the event altogether rather than try to reschedule last minute, at a later date.

The co-chair said they decided to prioritize the health and safety of their 50 plus volunteers, most of whom are retirees. Every year the volunteers help coordinate the Angler’s Dinner, Children’s Program, the compilation of the Tournament Booklet, photography and assistance during the event.

Many sponsors of the tournament are also facing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 related shutdowns. Given that revenues are down and employees laid off, the committee wanted to provide them with “time and space to deal with and recover from this extenuating circumstance.”

“We are very fortunate to have a sound core of enthusiastic and supportive sponsors for this event. The last thing we want to ask of you is to support us financially this year.”

Belanger and Beaton also apologized to anglers who already planned vacation and booked accommodation for the tournament.

“We felt we needed to take a proactive stand on the pressures and considerations facing you and rather than wait to make a last minute call, it was in the best interest of all to give as much notice as possible. We are saddened by the cancellation of the 2020 tournament and hope that you can understand the necessity of making this decision at the present time. We welcome any comments you may have in regards to this announcement,” they stated.

Information regarding your 2020 entry fees refund and angler’s place in the 2021 tournament will be posted shortly on the Mitchell’s Bay Open website at


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