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Passing down tradition at the Kahnawake ice-fishing derby


Kahnawake's annual winter carnival has reached its midway point, with one of the main events on Saturday: the ice fishing derby.

More than a dozen took part in the family-friendly tournament, gunning for the longest catch.

For organizer Kirby Joe Diabo, it was his first time drilling into the ice this season.

"We didn't have a lot of ice. We weren't sure if it was going to work, but it's been cold out, and the ice is ready -- we're good," said Diabo, who runs the REEL UM IN bait shop.

The popular winter sport is a lifestyle for many families in Kahnawake.

Diabo's father taught him how to fish, and then he taught his own boys.

The avid fisherman also builds traditional ice-fishing "tip-ups," based on his father's original design.

"It's good to share the knowledge, but it's awesome. We don't just fish; we do a lot of teaching, too," said Diabo.

The device works like a see-saw: when fish bite, the tip goes up and down.

There's a lot of patience involved -- but when something's at the end of the line, it's worth the wait... no matter the size.

"It's the adrenalin rush, I guess, because you wait for so long, and then finally something happens where you're going to catch a fish," said Diabo's son, Kaymen Diabo. "That's the excitement." Top Stories


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