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Shannonville residents Robert Shire, 54, and Paige Shire, 21, enjoy a father-daughter moment while ice fishing on the Bay of Quinte, near Point Anne, Ont., on Feb. 7, 2021.Felix Chagnon/The Globe and Mail

For the Shire family of Shannonville, Ont., ice fishing has been a tradition for generations.

“To me, being on the ice with my father gives me a deep connection to my Papa as well, who took me out in his boat every summer for one-on-one fishing time. I can see my Papa in my dad and how he keeps that tradition alive,” says Paige Shire, 21, who joins her father, Robert, 54, on his ice-fishing adventures.

In photos: In Red Deer, hundreds of people take to the ice

Having an outdoorsman as a father, Robert would follow his dad on the ice and spend countless days together. As the passion developed, it became a tradition in their relationship.

“I enjoyed all the time I had with my father and even more so the older he got,” Robert says. “You need to cherish the time you have with people and if I can still have a small piece of something he valued in my life, I will take every chance I can to go out.”

Robert and Paige carry their ice fishing gear on the Bay of Quinte. The duo has been spending every few weekends ice fishing since Paige could hold a fishing rod.Felix Chagnon/The Globe and Mail

Robert drills a hole in the ice. He learned ice fishing from his father, a tradition he now passes on to his daughter.Felix Chagnon/The Globe and Mail

Today, ice fishing has become one of the most valued family traditions for the Shires as they try to get out on the ice every two weekends or so, if conditions are good.

“It is very important to share this with my daughter because it’s time I get to spend with her, and I can tell her some stories from her grandfather and some stories from my past and have some good laughs,” Robert says. “I hope she takes away the sheer enjoyment of ice fishing. Nothing beats ice fishing. It is just fun for me.”

Robert explains his fish finding sonar to Paige. The Shires try to get out on the ice every two weekends or so, if conditions are good.Felix Chagnon/The Globe and Mail

For Paige, the fishing and the time with her dad are what she says matter most.

“My favourite times are when my dad and I go back to a certain lake and we are ice fishing for crappie. Every time you drop your line down, you catch a fish,” Paige says. “I always get this little adrenalin rush when I feel a fish on my line, and I can bring it up though the ice.”

The Bay of Quinte, considered by many as a fish factory, has become well known for ice fishing. When conditions are good, hundreds of ice-fishing tents are visible from the surrounding roads. Families and friends gather on the ice with the chance to catch some walleye and bond together.

“Every chance I get to go ice fishing I take now that I am older,” Paige says. “It will be something I hope to pass to my future children and my dad’s grandchildren.”

Paige says the fishing and the time with her dad are what matter most.Felix Chagnon/The Globe and Mail