WHO ARE YOU FISHING WITH?
I began fishing for muskies in 1981, and have had the good fortune to see close to 1,000 of these special fish caught and released from my boat. I am recognized as one of the top muskie anglers in Canada, and am considered one of the top producing muskie guides in Ontario by my peers. I am familiar with net, cradle, gaff, hand, and Boga Grip release methods; I currently carry a large Beckman net, Lunge Locker stainless release gaff, and Boga-Grip in my boat at all times. I am a supporter of catch & release, but also understand the right of anglers to keep record class or exceptional fish, should they choose to do so.
I am one of the few muskie anglers who regularly employs spoons for casting and trolling, and am considered one of the experts in this area. Perhaps the one thing that differentiates me from many of my peers is my constant innovations and experiments. I choose to lead, not to follow. I was one of the first muskie anglers to employ longer rods for trolling and casting (about 15-16 years ago), and continue to be an innovator in this regard. I have developed a number of trolling tactics for inland lakes that use downriggers or even ultra-short lines with rod positions, that many would consider to be bordering on the crazy. I have developed and build my own leaders, as well as my own custom over-sized spinnerbaits. I am currently experimenting with a number of salt-water baits, which are being modified for the express purpose of catching muskies.
I fish out of one of the most unique and well equipped muskie boats in North America. This “monster” is a salt-water boat that I have modified myself expressly for muskie fishing. It features night running lights, twin over-sized livewells, GPS with Navionics, a Bottomline Tournament Master HR depthfinder, a 36v 101 pound thrust foot-controlled Minn Kota trolling motor, two (2) Cannon downriggers, two Taco 15' telescoping outriggers, eight (8) Scotty Striker rod holders, an Osprey Trolling speedometer, a trolling plate, and is capable of handling almost any weather conditions due to its size, weight and depth. Don’t be surprised to see a T-Top with console lighting, and rocket launcher rod holders added in the near future!
I am now one of the longest-standing members of this organization, having joined in December 1981. I have held numerous Chapter and National Executive positions in this organization, including Release Journal newsmagazine editor (1999-2001), National Release Program Director (1985), as well as National Treasurer/Secretary, and Chapter Chairman, among others. I am a member of the Muskies Canada “50 Inch Club”. I hold a number of records within Muskies Canada: the only member to successfully reach the 500 lifetime “legal” releases level (2001); the only member to ever document 100 or more “legal” releases in a single season (2000); and the current holder of the record for most documented “legal” inches accumulated at a single Muskies Canada outing (208” – 5 fish – at the 1998 TriLakes CanAm).
I joined this group in March 2001, and have already begun making an impact here, having won the Unaffiliated Chapter Mens Divisional Release Award in 2001, 2002, and 2003.
MEDIA AND EDUCATION:
I began writing in a freelance capacity in 1985 for Ontario Fisherman magazine, and shortly after, joined the Outdoor Writers of Canada. I was later promoted to Field Editor with Ontario Fisherman in 1988, and remained on staff until the magazine was sold in 1992, and soon after ceased publication. I continued writing sporadically for several newspapers and periodicals, as well as having several articles published in Musky Hunter over the years that followed, until in 1998 – I began also participating in seminars. In 1998, I participated as a guest speaker at the Muskie Information Night (Peterborough). Aside from several club or group seminars, I was a head-line guest speaker at the Durham/Port Perry Fishing Show in 2001, and at the Toronto Spring Fishing Shows from 2000 to 2003. I also resumed writing on a more regular basis, and was named as a Senior Contributing Writer for Pike and Muskie magazine from its inception in 2000, through to its change of name to GiantFish, and subsequent cease of publication in 2002. I began writing for Esox Angler in 2001, and will be a regular staff writer for this publication as of 2003. In 2002, the Outdoor Writers of Canada awarded me the runner-up award in their Professional Writing Awards Competition in the Magazines – Fishing category for my biographical article on muskie master Len Hartman (appearing in the Winter 2001issue of Esox Angler). I appeared as a guest on the Fish ‘N Canada Radio Journal in October 2000 with Angelo Viola on FAN 590, and as a guest on the Fish ‘N Canada Television Show with Pete Bowman in March 2003. I have also begun to be seen and heard on the Internet, with articles appearing on the ontariofishing.net site. As well, I am a pro-staff member for both muskieFIRST.com and muskies101.com. I am currently working with STV Solutions, on a series of commercial videos related to muskie fishing, which will be the first Canadian releases of their kind.
I take my work with regards to conservation very seriously. Whether it is promoting catch & release, identification of muskies versus pike, or work on other species, I believe it is important to give something back for future generations to enjoy. Aside from my work at Muskies Canada or at seminars, I coordinated the final phase of the Lake Wilcox pike spawning area in Oak Ridges (1988/1989) with the York Central Anglers & Hunters Association. I also converted that organization’s annual catch & kill multi-species fishing tournaments, into catch & release events, and was subsequently awarded their Redmond-Young Memorial Award in 1989 as the member that best supported the aims of conservation. I was a volunteer participant on the Ontario M.N.R. Kawartha Panfish Advisory Committee. I co-founded and am a Past President of the Scugog Chapter of the Kawartha Fisheries Association. In early 2000, I was approached by the M.N.R., to coordinate a multi-year muskie tagging project on Lake Scugog. I accepted this position in a volunteer capacity, and continue to coordinate the anglers, data collection, and media information on behalf of and through my MNR contacts, including writing the MNR public information pamphlet for this CFIP funded project. This project remains ongoing. I've also assisted the M.N.R. with tagging, measuring, and scanning fish in the Osler Marsh as part of the Lake Simcoe Restoration Project.
Because of my long-standing involvement and reputation in this industry, I have established a very lengthy list of full or partial sponsors. These include the following:
Angler Boats, Penn Tackle Company, Computrol (manufacturers of Bottomline depthfinders and Cannon downriggers), Eppinger, Scotty Rod Holders, Cortland (manufacturers of Musky Master), Musky Mania Tackle, Wolverine Tackle, Drifter Tackle, Western Filament (manufacturers of TUF and TUF XP line), Beckman Nets, Gibbs/Nortac, Moor Electronics (manufacturer of the Osprey Trolling Speedometer), Minn Kota, Rapala, and JasLures.
Unlike some of my peers, I will not accept sponsorships from companies whose products I do not use and fully believe in for the sake of claiming a sponsorship. In fact, many of these products I have used for many years, long before I was offered a sponsorship opportunity. In many cases, it was this experience that ultimately led to the sponsorship opportunity.
OTHER AWARDS / RECOGNITION:
I hold In-Fisherman Master Angler status for muskie, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass. I was the Muskie Division Grand Champion of the Port Perry Star Lake Scugog Fishing Contest from 1998 to 2000, and held the runner-up position in 1997. I won a series of Spring and Fall multi-species fishing tournaments with the York Central Anglers and Hunters from 1987 to 1989 on Sparrow Lake. I was the winner of the Coca-Cola Employee Fishing Tournament (all Ontario) in 1990 on Lake Kashagawigamog.
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