Fishing BIG water Lake Ontario CLOSA derby

If you have never had the chance to get out and fish The BIG water in Lake Ontario it is an activity I would highly suggest giving a try. I was able to have the opportunity over this past weekend to participate in the CLOSA club fishing derby, this is a 2 day event, each boat was allowed to weigh in 4 fish per day, and your 4 biggest fish counted towards the boats total weight. The boat with the most weight of your 4 best fish over the 2 days won the $$$.

Day 1 of the Derby we landed 5 Kings and 2 bows, not knowing what the other boats had we headed back to the dock in Wellington to weigh in. Wendy (the owner of The Reel Thing Tackle store was waiting there volunteering for the event to help weigh in all the fisherman’s catches,  At 3PM the first day we were told that we were sitting in 1st place with 29.5 lbs of Chinook salmon, 8 other boats had already weighed in, but there were still 9 or 10 boats that had not.


Day 2 was a slow start for us we started on the water by 5am and by 9am the radio was nothing but chatter of guys telling of all the great fish they were catching that morning, we had nothing in our box  as of yet. Frustrated with all the radio chatter we turned down the noise and started changing up our presentations, trying to figure out what we were doing wrong? at 9:30Am we had our first hit of the day. was a good fish but it felt a lot bigger than it was.  I think it weighed about 6 or 7 lbs. then another hour went by so now it was approx 10:30AM  and we had about an hour and a half until we had to head in for the final weigh in time.

Now getting worried about finishing strong, around 10:45 one of our down riggers triggered and the line started to pull back. I took the rod and felt that there was quite a bit of weight to this one so I handed the rod to my partner Kevin and told him “I think this is a decent fish”. The fish had a sudden burst of energy and just took off,  Kevin did everything he could to just hold onto the rod as the fish tore out approx 1100 ft of line, definitely a big king. I had run to the back of the boat to bring the kicker motor to an almost stop in desparation to help stop the fish from spooling Kevin’s reel, then I proceeded to reel in every other line that we had in the water as they may all start to get tangled up if I didn’t, my arms hurt after that lol.


In the mean time Kevin was doing everything in his power to make sure the fish didn’t take all the line off the reel he put extra pressure on the reel with his thumb, essentially burning him, because the line was turning so fast in the reel that the friction burnt his thumb. then Kevin had no choice but to grab the line its self and start pulling it back in manually, or he would loose the fish. he pulled just enough line back on the spool so he could start reeling it in again.


It took about 45 minutes to land this monster King salmon, we weighed it in and it was just over 20 lbs, We really thought this one was much larger. I’ve fought a 32 lbs king that didn’t put up half the fight of this beast. With about a half hour to go we then caught another 2 fish and lost another 3 before the 12:00pm deadline and went to weigh in our catch.


All in all the weekend was a success we weighed in over 50 lbs of fish for a 7th place finish. I want to thank the CLOSA guys for a great weekend and a great derby, as well as a great BBQ on the Sunday to finish it off with.

It takes a lot of volunteers to pull off an event like this. So I would also like to thank ALL the volunteers for their time, also a huge thanks to Wendy at the Reel Thing Tackle in Wellington for holding the weigh station and weighing in all the fish. Congratulations to Chris and Eve Brant for winning the Derby with 84+ lbs total and of course my partner Kevin Gibson for asking me to join him for this event. We may not have had the biggest fish but I think after chatting with the other anglers we may have caught the most over the weekend, and we all had a blast. too bad that didn’t count for a $$$ spot LOL.

I look forward to participating again in the future.

And of course I would like to thank my sponsors

Fishbum, thanks for always making the best looking fisherman on the water.

Liuid Mayhem that Garlic Minnow has been amazing for these awsome chinook salmon.

and Seafour Lures. Like chatching KINGS with DYNAMITE.



Getting Our Kids Involved

After several years fishing The Bay Of Quinte and studying fish behavior and habitat (mostly walleye) I have come to realize that I have been so focused on trying to create a successful guiding service, that I have almost missed out on  a very important part of my children’s education. Getting MY kids involved in the fishing world. I find it can be very rewarding, not just for them but for me as well. I wanted to talk about the pro’s of getting kids involved in the fishing world and what it means.


1 – you are connecting your children to the out doors, creating life skills and learning about our history.

By taking your children fishing you are getting them off the couch and into the outdoors. Teaching them a basic survival technique which I personally believe, all Canadians should know, and experience, at some point in ones life. Fishing is a part of our Canadian heritage and teaching a child to fish is a very natural & rewarding activity.

2 –  you teach how to appreciate others for who they are not what they achieve

It is easy for parents to be consumed with having their child playing all the sports and joining all the clubs they can to gain a competitive edge. Yes, you do spend time with your kid in the car from one club/team to the next, and they do learn valuable skills, but I don’t believe that this is quality time spent together. As a parent, you still need the one on one time with your kids, and that doesn’t mean cheering at them from the side lines, it means connectivity, 1 on 1. Giving undivided attention while waiting for that fish to bite or walking the shore, side by side, which lets your child know they didn’t have to win the game for you to be invested in them.



3-      Fishing teaches co-ordination, safety, decision making skills, and much more .

Each day is different than the last, offering a new lesson. Learning together to read weather conditions, habitat, water conditions, opens up great discussions bout lure and line selection.  Hand and eye co-ordination is strengthened when precision casting, you can visually see your improvement each time you get closer to the target you actually aimed for.  Knot tying is a wonderful skill for co-ordination and life in general. Water safety is a given, but also learning how to work safely with sharp objects.  Safety in the wilderness is a lesson that can be geared differently to different age groups. The more you and your child do all of this together the better you will become as anglers and the stronger your bond will become with your children.

4-       Teaching conservation

Teaching the importance of conservation is an imperative part of the entire fishing experience. On a basic level it is a great introduction to why society has structure, but more importantly it shows how our actions today have reactions in the future.

Teaching proper water, boat ramp, and shore fishing safety & etiquette are just as important as teaching habitat protection, waste disposal, and proper techniques on CPR (catch Photo, Release). It would be naive to think that fishing & boating does not have its impacts on its environment. I encourage everyone to take a visit to the following links so we are teaching our kids etiquette and conservation and have the answers to the questions they may come up with.

Proper handling of fish (OFAH standards)

For musky check on Facebook and type in this URL

Boating Etiquette and safety practices                          

A few do’s and do-not’s to start with

Also, remember when river fishing, if its busy around you, don’t cast over someone’s line. If someone else hooks into a fish reel up to avoid tangles and arguments.

4-  Patience

If you are introducing a youngster to the world of fishing then remember children have little patience and get board easily. So try not to over do it because YOU may want to continue fishing. If you make children fish for longer than they want to, they will loose interest quickly and will not want to go again. In our family we have two terms ‘daddy fishing’ and ‘family fishing’.  Daddy fishing equates to more then eight hours, family fishing usually tops out at three hours. You may be a patient angler but remember this skill when it comes to the children. If you are patient with them at the start, then you will have a fishing partner for life.

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If this venture sounds like it is for you and your kids, remember you do not have to spend a fortune.  It is about the time shared and the relationship you are creating. You can start at the dollar store to get your kid a little tackle box, and move to your local Canadian Tire to pick up an inexpensive rod and reel combo.  I do advise you pick up new line, as the one that is often spooled on the reel is poor quality and not worth the headache (you will also then know what is on it). Pick up some basic lures, hooks, bobbers, and sinkers and a fishing licence. Garage sales are great this time of year for cheap finds. You can minimize your purchases if you do your homework and know what type of fish is your local area.  Feel free to message me on lure ideas for specific species if you don’t know where to begin.  If you were to buy two set ups, all new, you will be investing about $80 – $150.  Then all you need to do is drive or walk to a lake nearby, walk the bank, cast a line, and watch the smiles roll in 🙂

heng and katie 2

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Video of some my May fishing trips