From the left: Claude Collette and Katola Watson are seen outside Relic Outfitters, which is located at 15010 Colonial Drive on the outskirts of Ingleside, Ontario. Thompson Goddard Photo
If you are looking for fishing or camping supplies, or perhaps a special gift for someone, then Relic Outfitters on the outskirts of Ingleside is a perfect place to shop.
In March of 2022, Katola Watson and Cindy MacIver purchased Relic Outfitters from Sandy Moon when she relocated. Watson explained when the couple heard of her plans, the decision was made to purchase the business as they were looking for a change from their current careers and lived nearby. He continued how he had always been interested in fishing and had experience in sales, so they made the purchase.
Walking through the door you are immediately aware that you are in a store that provides a one stop shopping experience for fishing and camping supplies. There are many kinds of fishing lures, fishing rods, live bait, and accessories such as firewood, snacks, and clothing.
Throughout the store, there are many gift ideas such as wood signage and walking to the rear of the building one finds a well stocked gift shop. The shop features blankets, household accessories and many locally produced items such as goat milk soap and wooden craft items.
Relic Outfitters is open year round and, in the winter, ice fishing makes for a busy time in the store. The ice fishing season begins in early January and finishes in the middle of March. Driving past Hoople’s Creek you can’t help but notice the ice fishing huts on the frozen bay. Watson mentioned the purchase of Collette’s Ice Hut Rentals from Claude Collette, for the 2023 season, has added a new dimension to the business.
The ice huts can be rented on a daily or seasonal basis, with Watson noting there seems to be a lot of interest from families about the sport. “A lot of people are starting to ask how to get into the sport without purchasing a lot of equipment,” he commented. As a result, he is investigating creating an outfitter package which will include a hut, bait, tackle, and equipment. Recently, Watson has opened a mobile store on the ice during the weekends to better serve the fishermen during the ice fishing season. For years, Collette organized a Lost Villages Ice Fishing Tournament and Watson intends to revive this winter tradition. The catch and release tournament is planned for Feb. 25 and is in collaboration with the Friends of Hoople Creek. He explained how for some time there has been concerns raised about the ability of the walleye to spawn in Hoople Creek for a variety of reasons including changes in water levels at the spawning location. Watson mentioned how the proceeds from the tournament will be put toward the purchase and release of 8,000 walleye fingerlings in Hoople’s Creek. More information on the event will be forthcoming and will be posted on their Facebook page.
Recently it was announced that Relic Outfitters was voted first place in the Retail Stores, Fishing Supplies category of CommunityVotes 2022 Cornwall.
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Carolyn Thompson Goddard, grew up in Chesterville and attended North Dundas District High School. After completing her BA in Political Science at Carleton University she has worked as a medical secretary and library technician. In 2020 she graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in Journalism and has been a reporter and column writer for The Chesterville Record for over 10 years.