It was a few years back when we did a spring walleye trip to this facility so on this two-day outing I wanted to explore the bass fishing. Long-time friend Rob Hyatt, who has guided and tournament fished over the years, joined us to fish this area on northern Lake Huron. He drove over from his home in Callander to hook up with us. We ended up catching both largemouth and smallmouth bass in our two-days of fishing these beautiful waters. Cranking a Berkley War Pig and using the Max Scent General produced for us.
Way back at the Pan American Sportfishing Bass Championship in 2018 I was asked by the “Powers That Be” to host the next Pan American event in Canada. Even though my plate is definitely overflowing with other projects, I agreed to get the event off the ground this year. There were a number of anglers that wanted to participate so we held a qualifying two-day tournament in Cornwall, on Lake St. Francis, in August. This is the same water that the actual Pan Am event would be held on in October.
Thirteen teams caught a bunch of fish during the qualifier. On day-one alone there were eight, five fish limits that went from 20-pounds to 24-pounds. By the end of the two days the top seven teams advanced to join my son Darren and I to represent Team Canada at the event.
We had a very talented group of anglers in place for the full competition. Without the help of the Canadian Sportfishing League and the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association we wouldn’t have been able to pull it off.
I had a number of business meetings that I won’t bore you with, interspersed through late summer and fall on a few other projects that I’m involved with. I guess you could say I like to keep a busy schedule.
Then it was back to shooting the show, starting with a trip to Cedar Cove Cottages on Big Rideau Lake. For years I’ve fished Big Rideau, mostly competing in bass tournaments.
Cedar Cove Cottages was definitely one of the most unique resorts I’ve stayed at. It’s a family run establishment with a half-dozen cottages on the shore of Big Rideau. What makes this getaway so special is that it’s surrounded by the family property, called Box Arrow Farms. Thoroughbred race horses and cattle are the first impressions you get as you drive into the farm.
While we were there I had the opportunity to spend some time with owner Shirley Thomas, who is a legend in the horse world. Back in her ‘teens she competed all over the world in a number of competitions, including horse jumping. She was the first woman to win the World Cup. Shirley shared some amazing and inspiring stories on our visit to her family’s property. Her family and staff were gracious hosts during our two days there.
I knew the fishing wouldn’t disappoint us as Big Rideau is an amazing lake. Even though we fished during a cold front, the fish still cooperated. My former neighbour, Mark Alford, joined us and when he wasn’t running the camera boat he enjoyed the best lake trout fishing he’s ever had. My goal was to catch as many species as I could for the show and I ended up getting lakers, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and some jumbo pumpkinseeds and bluegills.
Cedar Cove Cottages is a place where you bring your own supplies and food, as it is a housekeeping facility. We cooked at the cabin one night and went out to eat on two nights at local restaurants. It was a beautiful, private location; wonderful people and, of course, lots of fish. What more could you ask for?
My brother Wayne is involved in a company called Izumi Aquaculture that has a very interesting way of farm raising rainbow trout in reclaimed gravel pits. It’s a clean, sustainable way of producing fish for the table. Wine-maker Greg Wertsch, from Between the Lines Winery, and I did a little fish catching for some of the escapees at the facility. We shot some video and I have to confess, the fishing was pretty easy. Greg had never fished before in his life and I think he wants to take up the sport now. I just hope he isn’t disappointed if he goes out to try some real fishing down the road!
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ONTARIO FISHING ADVENTURES
Last winter we did a special feature profiling several fantastic fishing resorts in various regions of Ontario. The article was so well received that we decided to do it again, with a new group of lodges. All of this year’s destinations provide top notch fishing for multiple species, they’re relatively unpressured and they are easily accessible by car. From high-end, full service resorts to more laid-back fishing camps, each of these locations offer a unique fishing experience. If you’re thinking about where to go for your next fishing getaway the following pages feature Bob Izumi's profiles of some the trips he made last year. Hopefully they will give you some ideas on where to look for a fishing trip that is sure to meet all of your expectations.
FISHING ALGOMA COUNTRY
Wil Wegman is an award-winning outdoor writer, seminar host and tournament angler from Bradford Ontario. In 2017 Wil was recognized for his dedication to the sport by being inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame. www.wilwegman.com
Tales from the Road
As you may know I like driving, so jumping in a vehicle and doing a road trip is appealing to me. For years I would routinely do 100,000 km per year or more on the road. So this Tales starts with me heading out again, back to Brennan Harbour Resort in Spanish, Ontario. Located in Algoma Country, this friendly resort is operated by James and Casey, who are a wonderful couple.
CHAIN PICKEREL ON STRIKE
I’ve never stalked a whitetail deer, but I imagine doing so is a bit like fishing for large chain pickerel. Success is found by locating those prime areas where the big ones live, and by working those areas thoroughly and patiently with exact techniques.
Elk Tartare with Horseradish Crema
Tales From The Road
Since my last Tales article I’ve been averaging at least six days a week, sometimes seven, on the road. Road trips are, and have always been, a big part of my life. There’s just something about being on the go that I love. In fact, as I wrap up this column I’ll be hitting the road again and I can’t wait, even though I just got back a day ago. I think it’s ingrained in me so much that I don’t mind living out of a suitcase. I know it’s not for everybody, but I like it.
The MGM Fishing Trip
On the first Saturday of June 2020, a group of 20 extended family members will celebrate an amazing milestone. They will be participating in the 50th consecutive year of a family fishing trip begun by four founding members way back in 1971.
Every now and again we anglers are lucky enough to find lakes, ponds or creeks that feel so isolated from civilization that believing they are a reality is sometimes more difficult than finding them in the first place. Stumbling across, or being introduced to, a body of water with such enormous potential for catching fish is what any fishing enthusiast dreams of. Fortunately for myself, I have lucked out three times in one shot.
The black crappie is a member of the sunfish family and features the same deep, laterally compressed body shape as other sunfishes.
Fly Tricks For Fall Trout
In the fall, fly fishing changes. Not only does the weather cool, the bug activity often quiets down as well. Different techniques are needed to adapt to the rivers where fish are often looking for different food. Searching techniques and paying attention to details can improve your success.
Liz “Snorkel” Thomas HIKING ICON
Thomas has thru-hiked more than 20 long trails, including the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide and Appalachian Trails (the Triple Crown). On top of that, she set a fastest known time on the AT for an unsupported woman and has completed dozens of urban thru-hikes as well. This issue, she joins Backpacker as a contributing editor. Here’s some of Thomas’s best advice and insight fed by more than 20,000 trail miles.
Fire and Ice
Find alpine bliss halfway through this snowshoe beneath an active volcano on Artist Point Trail in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington.
How a Philanthropic Darling Became Political Scandal
A Canadian development charity courted celebrities, enlisted legions of schoolchildren to raise funds, and built a new, commerce-fueled model of philanthropy. Then a Covid relief deal got people asking who was benefiting most
Handloading Harder, Denser Shot
The Evolution of Tungsten Shot
Junco family tree
Meet the many variations of this beloved snowbird and popular wintertime visitor.
Cannabis Not to Blame For Workplace Injuries
In the recent United States election cycle, we saw even more states adopt cannabis as a legally accepted recreational substance. See our article and infographic on Page 16.
THERE'S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY
The U.S. could adopt a few easy reforms—and a few tough ones—to take the drama out of its democracy
CANADA'S FORGOTTEN CAPITAL
Beneath the streets of Old Montreal, the rubble of a short-lived Parliament building offers a glimpse into a young country’s growing pains
KITTYHAWK JUNGLE RESCUE
P-40 GETS A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
The Ultimate NOMADS
RANDOM MIGRATIONS ARE JUST ONE CROSSBILL QUIRK LEARN MORE FUN ODDITIES OF THESE WANDERING SPECIES.