Year of fishing thrills

Every day that I wake up, I always give a quick thought to how lucky I am to be able to be my own boss and make my living through all of the different fishing and outdoor activities I participate in.
Over the last few years, I’ve been able to travel all over North America to go fishing, whether it is competing in a tournament, filming a TV show, or documenting a trip through a writing project.
The fishing isn’t always amazing everywhere I go. In fact, most places make me realize how great we have it right here Northwestern Ontario, but getting to travel and visit new places always is an adventure.
Over the past year, I went fishing at some awesome places. The Walmart FLW Tour, the pro bass tournament circuit I fish in the U.S., took us to seven different bodies of water across the country, starting at Lake Okeechobee, Fla. way back in February.
Okeechobee is the largest natural lake in the U.S. and is fun because it is so unique. The entire lake is shallow; almost like a giant swamp that is loaded with bass and alligators.
It is normal to see at least a dozen ’gators every day on this pond—something that’s unique for a Canadian angler, for sure!
The bass fishing at some of these lakes is better than others, but the challenge of trying to learn a new body of water in a few days is part of what makes tournament fishing so fun. Sometimes it works out and things click; other times it’s a battle.
The whole process has become easier now that I have a few years under my belt, so hopefully I can continue to improve this coming year. I’m really excited to get on the road again in a few weeks and get my boat back in the water.
Whatever happens, I’m going to have fun fishing all of the new lakes that we’re going to visit this year.
The best trip of 2016 for me took place in September when my pal, Sean McAughey, and I travelled east to Lake Nipigon to fish for brook trout with Thunder Bay angling legend Gord Ellis, who showed us the trip-of-a-lifetime and we caught a bunch of trophy-sized natural brook trout.
Nipigon is a remote body of water with amazing scenery so that just added to the adventure. This is a trip I would recommend for everybody.
Back in August, I got to spend the better part of a week living on a houseboat on Rainy Lake with Scott Martin, a fellow FLW Tour angler and host of “The Scott Martin Challenge” TV program, the most-watched bass fishing TV show in the U.S.
His dad, famous bass angler Roland Martin, also was along on this trip along with eight or 10 other guys, and we had a blast catching smallmouths during a week of great weather.
It’s a trip I’ll remember for a long time. We filmed two shows for Scott’s program on this trip so you’ll have to watch for them this winter.
As I mentioned earlier, no matter where I go, I always look forward to coming home and going fishing in Sunset Country because nowhere else can compare when you consider the world-class, multi-species opportunities, the scenery, and wildlife that we see on a daily basis around here.
If you do get the opportunity to fish somewhere now, go for it. New adventures are always fun!