Gone fishing with a ‘Jet’

One of the best parts of what I do is that I get to meet all kinds of really cool people and usually I get to take them fishing.
Last week, I met up with Winnipeg Jets’ forward Nik Antropov for a day of fishing on Lake of the Woods. Nik also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for seven years, so as it turned out we had some mutual friends in southern Ontario that hooked us up.
Nik, who actually is from Kazakhstan, is in Winnipeg until June while his kids attend school before he moves back to his home in Toronto for the summer.
While we were in the boat, he explained how he got into fishing when he moved to Canada to play hockey. As a child, he attended a summer hockey school in his homeland and there was a lake near the arena, so he always would watch the people fishing.
But he never had any fishing gear, so he was not able to ever get out and try it.
When he arrived in Canada to play in the NHL, he made learning how to fish a priority and he’s now a very good angler. He even fishes in a few bass tournaments each summer in southern Ontario.
We spent the day bass fishing and had some pretty good luck, landing more than 100 fish when all the pike and bass were combined, including a couple of big bass in the four-pound range.
None of the pike were overly large, but the action was pretty good.
I had to ask him his thoughts on playing in Winnipeg during their memorable first season back as the Jets. I went to three games this past season and the experience at every game was incredible with regards to how passionate and crazy the fans were.
Nik said the experience was top-notch and that it was really fun to play every game in a sold-out, loud arena, which was a little different than what the team experienced the previous season in Atlanta.
He anticipates the Jets with be even more competitive next season and expects a playoff run to take place. He said he can’t imagine how loud the MTS Center will be when they get to play a playoff game there.
As for more fishing, Nik is planning to get back out to the Kenora area again before he heads south for the summer and he plans to bring his son out, who he said also loves to fish.
• • •
On the topic of hockey, how about the L.A. Kings! Kenora’s Mike Richards has been a stud, as he’s always been during the playoffs, and the team looks like they will be tough to beat.
All I can say is it’s been fun to watch, and I’m sure we’ll get a bunch more good entertainment over the coming weeks.
• • •
My buddy, Dave Bennett, and I are headed south this week to take part in the annual Sturgeon Bay Open bass tournament on Lake Michigan, which is happening May 18-19.
Several teams from our region are headed down as usual for this annual event, including past tournament champs Mike Salvador and Bill Godin (2008) and Troy Norman and Andrew Carlson (2010).
Unfortunately, we’re going to the miss the Sunset Country walleye opener May 19, but I’m sure I’ll catch my share when I get back and start doing some guiding.