Your Guide to Sylvan Lake’s Big Jig Fishing Tournament, January 19 to 21

Reel in the Excitement at the Big Jig Ice Fishing Tournament

Beginners and experienced anglers welcome to participate!

Winter in Sylvan Lake can be pure magic, with crisp, snow-covered vistas and endless opportunities to get outside. BUT let’s be honest, sometimes the cold can be a bit daunting, and that warm blanket and slippers can look inviting. That’s where ice fishing comes in! With the right gear, ice fishing can be a cozy pursuit with the added thrill of the catch.

Alberta is home to some of the best ice fishing spots in the world and Sylvan Lake is no exception. There’s no shortage of excitement on the ice for all ages. With the right gear and hot drinks, you can dive into the world of ice fishing in Sylvan Lake!

If you want to add an extra challenge to your ice fishing this winter, the Big Jig Ice Fishing Tournament might be just the thing, January 19 to 21. You don’t have to be an ice fishing expert to spend three days fishing on Sylvan Lake for perch, walleye, whitefish and burbot.


Serious prizes for Big Jig Participants

The best part of the tournament?

The winter of this catch-and-release ice fishing tournament will take home a cash prize of $3,000! The grand prize is awarded for the Longest Catch of the Derby – any species. But you don’t have to win to celebrate. The tournament features over $7,500 in total prizes. It’s a Sylvan Lake event like no other.

There’s $750 for the longest catch of each species and $300 awarded for the first caught fish on each day of the tournament. There’s even five randomly drawn $100 cash prizes throughout the tournament and $100 for the longest catch in the youth category.

If that’s not enough, participants in The BIG JIG Tournament will also be entered in for random prize draws, which include gift cards and other tangible sponsored prizes. Random prize draws will be awarded randomly throughout the derby, whether the fish are biting for you or not!


Sylvan Lake is known for its stunning scenery and variety of fish species

Eligible species include Walleye, Burbot, Lake Whitefish, and Yellow Perch. Northern Pike are ineligible. If caught, release immediately – any photographs of pike submitted will result in disqualification. The maximum depth permitted to fish is 7.5 meters (24.5 feet).

The tournament is organized online through the Angler’s Atlas MyCatch App. Spend some time reading the rules carefully and bring your own gear. If you are new to the game, don’t worry. Local outfitters have you covered with rentals and tips and tricks you need to make your ice fishing trip a success.

You can find ice fishing shacks and equipment from Castaway Adventure Fishing or Sun Sport Recreation. Make sure to book as early as possible because rentals book fast!

The BIG JIG is an online tournament organized through the Angler's Atlas website and their MyCatch App. You must register to participate in the tournament in three easy steps:

  • To register for the tournament, log in or create an account online at

  • Register for The BIG JIG tournament and pay the $35 entry fee on the events page.

  • You will then receive an automatic  email confirming that you have registered for the tournament and that your payment has gone through.

  • Download the MyCatch App to your mobile phone and log in using the same information you used to register your account. You will enter your catches through the app.

    Watch this quick video for how to register and use the MyCatch App!

Ice Safety is key to Big Jig Success!

Ice safety is important for all ice fishing experiences. Practice ice safety at all times and be cautious! Sylvan Lake is a natural waterbody and affected by changing temperatures and usage. Ice quality and thickness are not monitored or maintained by the Town of Sylvan Lake. Use at your own risk. For more ice safety tips see:

My Wild Alberta Ice Safety Tips

Canadian Red Cross Ice Safety

Canadian Red Cross Ice Fishing Safety

Lifesaving Society Ice Safety Tips

Clean Up Your Garbage and Win Big!

New this year, participants can also win by cleaning up their trash. Simply clean up your winter waste and WIN.

Winter waste on the ice becomes lake litter when the snow melts. You can help protect Sylvan Lake's watershed ecosystem by picking up your trash when you're leaving the lake.

Snap a pic of yourself cleaning up your lake litter and upload it to the Winterfest x The BIG JIG Facebook event discussion for the chance to win great prizes!

So, bundle up, grab your gear, and enjoy ice fishing - a winter activity with a long history in Sylvan Lake.