Tales from the Road
Bob Izumi's Real Fishing|Winter 2020
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.
Bob Izumi

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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