I know it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. The past couple years has been… well full of adventures, exciting, exhausting, chaotic, and down right life changing to say the least.
Since my last post back in May of 2019 my life has basically been turned upside down.
My life started to change when I had done some serious self evaluations and realized in March of 2019 that I had to make some serious changes. The fact was I simply, was not happy in my life, and I was spiralling into a deep depression.
I had made the very hard decision to leave my wife of nearly 20 years. Now my ex wife was and is an amazing individual it’s just we seemed to have grown apart. I guess this happens sometimes. And as unfortunate as the circumstances were at the time I feel that this was the best decision I could have made, not only for me, but also for my children and my ex wife.
Today my kids are doing very well, we have a much better relationship, I feel they don’t walk on eggshells around me and when I’m over visiting they are engaged in conversation, well most of the time anyway, lol, and spend their time with me, instead of locked up in their rooms playing video games. I’m not saying that never happens of course but at least they are paying attention to their father and vise versa more often than when I lived there. And we are doing things together more too.
My ex has a great guy she has been seeing for over a year and seems to have a bit of pep in her step lol. In other words she seems to be loving life again for the most part. I think the only stresses she has in her life still has to do with some loose ends she and I had yet to sort out lol.
And I have moved on with a relationship as well with the love Of my life Erin. Since I started dating Erin in September of 2019, I have discovered new hobbies and interests in my life that have kept me/us very busy, These are common interests both Erin and I share together which has been such wonderful experience to share with a partner.
Erin and I both have a love of being on the water, infact both our careers involve being on the water. We both work for the MTO working on separate passenger Ferry vessels in the KFL&A region.
In our spare time during the summer we spend the majority of our time on our sailing boat exploring Lake Ontario, The Bay of Quint, and the St Lawrence River throughout the 1000 islands .
During the past year, trying to work through and deal with the challenging times of Covid, Life still proves to be active and very interesting.
Of course because of Covid most of us have been unable to spend time with many of our loved ones like family, for me I have not been able to spend time with my parents, or sister and her family as well, I have now missed out on seeing them for 2 Christmas years and my nephew and niece are growing up and I miss them dearly, this type of thing has been hard on so many of us I know. I hope things get back to some normality soon so we can all get together again.
At work both Erin and I have realized that We have been very lucky to have the jobs that we do. Despite the everyday challenges of the working environment, if I sit back and think about life on the boat, it really is very interesting and I know I am super lucky to have a position in a company and in the industry I have come to love and have a passion for.
It’s funny when I chat to many of our passengers and just people I know in general, about my specific job, I get similar interpretations of what people think life on the ferry is like, in other words I get asked regularly if my job is boring?, they say it can’t possibly be to stimulating to run the same half mile stretch day in, and day out? Well, I say to most people, although they are not wrong about sometimes it can get a bit monotonous just running the same stretch everyday, what many people don’t see is what makes the job interesting.
What could that be you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked? Lol. You see, the fact is, that this job isn’t just running back and forth the same half mile everyday parking cars. This job requires that everyone is certified in some respect. From a deckhand to Captain we all require certification that enables us to work on the vessel, and at different positions, such as Marine first aid requirements, firefighting, operator certification, marine radio licenses, we all must have medical updates to maintain a specific level of health, ok sure so we need to be certified, but there’s much more to it than that.
You see we are a customer service type of service, answering people’s inquiries about the area, we give recommendations for local restaurants and sites to visit, wineries to try, we are a human version of Google maps for the area giving passengers directions, I personally on several occasions have helped law enforcement or ambulances do emergency runs across the bay, in other words, we are public servants. We have been front line worker’s throughout the covid pandemic with little to no recognition really a thankless job. So what makes a job like this so great?
Well other than the obvious about being a government job, with so many benefits to that alone. There is the fact that we work outdoors, YES, the winter can be a bit Harsh at times with extreme cold, or heat waves in the summer of course, but for the most part the winters aren’t too bad as long as you dress for it, and really I am Canadian so what are we gonna do, complain ? Ha ha ha. But there are some really great things about working in the winter too. For one, when all the bodies of water are frozen in the area, the ferry creates an open track (as pictured above), the local fire department sometimes does open water ice rescue training right in our path which was really great to witness.
This track we keep open during the winter also allows wildlife to congregate so they have fresh water to drink, it provides a hunting ground for birds, so we get a vast array of bird life to watch during the winter months from ducks, and swans, to owls and Bald eagles.
The sun rises are absolutely stunning. You can never get tired of watching the sun rise or set over the bay when it’s covered in a blanket of ice and snow.
During the Spring all the way to end of Fall, watching the magnificent boats of all sizes and classes pass by our position is fascinating. From fishing boats, yaughts & sail boats to big Lakers. They all pass by and I think about where they are all going and where they came from.
The scenery on the water is constantly changing and it’s absolutely mesmerizing. The Bay is my office and it a view that is constantly changing. Even if it is only a 1 half mile stretch of water.
Every day is just a little different, sure sometimes things go wrong, but tell me a job where nothing has ever gone wrong, it’s all about what’s going right that one should focus on. So for me it’s obviously the scenery and atmosphere, the people I get to work with, and the people you meet. I met my future wife at this job, so that should tell you it’s a pretty awesome place to be lol.
So that is just a few of the good points of how life working on a ferry boat is for me lol. There have been so many other changes in my life over the past 2 years but I’ll leave that for another blog (soon to come)
Hi folks I wanted to let my followers know that most of my ne content can be seen on my new blog site. Follow the link to see it and press the follow link to get updates on my newest blogs. Any fishing related future blogs will continue on this site.
Hello everyone. I have been off writing lately since the fiasco that happened with my charter vessel in 2017.
Last year had an interesting start for my family and I. As most of you that follow my blog posts may remember, my family and I had a crazy season in 2017. I was away from them for most of the year while I guided up in Northern Ontario at a fly-in fishing resort called Slippery Winds. I then embarked on a cross country adventure fishing from province to province to help raise money for a great charity called, Feed My Starving Children. Once that was done in late August to early September I headed home to help on the build site of our new home as our family was chosen to partner up with Habitat for Humanity earlier on in the year.
Then, in the Fall of 2017, I started chatting with the CEO of St Lawrence cruise lines about working on the ship I worked on back in 2016, ( The Canadian Empress) As some of you may recall the blogs I had written about working on the Canadian Empress back in 2016, I wrote a short 5 part series. If you would like to recap about my adventures? Then before reading any further then please go ahead and read the series again and come back to this blog for the continuation LOL. they start at the following link.
in January of (2018) I had been in contact with St Lawrence Cruise Lines about a possible job position and returning to the company for that up coming season. After respectfully declining a position offered to me to come back to the ship as a deckhand I was presented an offer I felt was hard to refuse. Mr Clark had offered me the position of First Mate/1st Officer putting the stripes on my arm I had hoped for when I left the ship in 2016. under a few conditions, 1st I must complete the courses required over the winter months in a timely manner. these courses were as follows,
1- Marine First Aid , SEN-1 or Simulated Electronic Navigation, MED-A2, 2 written tests from Transport Canada, A Collisions regulations Exam, and a Seamanship Exam. after that I had to Take a Medical by a physician where I had to perform the dreaded “COUGH” test LOL, now once I completed all this I was still 3 months short on my local sea-time so I was forced to find the captain I had worked for, (over 20 years ago) out of Aberdeen Scotland, and get him to sign proper documentation called, a testimony of Sea service. This is required by Transport Canada in order to have enough sea time required to be able to take the position in the first place. NO PROBLEM LOL.
Let me back up a bit as per the regulations in order to run a commercial charter fishing business, in Ontario, I needed several courses in order to become the captain of a small vessel and be able to take paying clientele out on water for excursions. I was under the assumption that some of the courses I already had would have sufficed for the position I was now looking to fill, however I was very wrong, I needed upgrades to my MED certificate, an upgrade to my First Aid certificate, and other than my marine radio license I did not have 1 correct certificate for the position. Nor did the 6 years of experience running a commercial fishing charter business on Lake Ontario and the Bay Of Quinte go towards any of my documented and registered sea-time that Transport Canada would consider to be good enough for the position I was now faced with.
Transport Canada would only take sea-time if the vessel I worked on was over a specific size and or weight. I had received testimonials from several separate commercial fishing boat captains within Canadian waters however Transport Canada would not recognize them as registered sea-time because the vessels were just shy of the minimum tonnage required. This left only 1 more option for me to be able to get my registered time required, in order to accept the position for the 2018 season on the Canadian Empress. I needed the testimonial of a captain I worked for over 20 years ago in Aberdeen Scotland. when I was approx 20 years of age.
In March 1997 I found myself travelling around Europe, I was in Aberdeen Scotland at the time, and was on the last of the money I had to my name, I was down on my luck, broke, and homeless. I decided to spend the last of my funds on a half decent hotel, then as I passed a street kid on my way into town to get a bite to eat, I thought to my self, should I give this pan handler the rest of my cash for what would I do with 20 quid ($35 Canadian dollars) anyway? Then It hit me, I’d offer the guy a meal instead.
I remember taking the stranger to get a Burger-King meal and then to a pub to share a couple pints with him. After that I would not even have enough for a meal the following day. I remember telling the man that I would be seeing him the next day on the streets and asked him if he had any tips for me on how to beg for money, remember I was going to be a newbe LOL.
I remember the bewildered look on the mans face as he couldn’t help but to ask, why had I spent the last of my funds on him? I remember telling him that I truly believe in this saying, “what goes around, comes around”, meaning if I helped him ( a man down on his luck) that someone may do the same for me as I was surly going to need a miracle soon if I were to get out of my current situation, LOL.
As it turns out, the next morning I woke up , it was my 18th birthday, and it was early, around 4am (ish). To this day I wonder why I spent the last of my cash on a hotel if I was just going to wake up so early and leave the hotel anyway’s. I remember a good friend Of mine that told me when he was desparate for cash he would go to the fishing boats and look for work. he told me it was such a crummy job that they were usually short handed and would take new guys all the time.
I decided to head down to the local wharf to see if anyone was willing to take an “inexperienced” young man to sea with them? That morning I had no luck getting a job, however, the last boat I had asked also said they were not looking for help either, so I asked him if I could just come aboard for the experience? The Captain said “sure why not”, and on the ship I got with my nap sack full of all my belongings and an ever slowly growing hunger.
the day was a fast wake up call, the sea was angry, the boat tossed like a kids toy in a bath tub. the catch was small, not too many boxes in the hold. I could feel the tension and the stress of the Captain. he was not willing to chat too much and gave very short answers to any questions I had, if I was lucky enough to even get an answer, most of the time it was a short grunt under his breath. I decided to try and give a hand in gutting and sorting fish throughout the day on deck as the captains helper seemed much more willing to chat.
On the way home to port we were listening to vessels over the radio being asked to anchor outside the harbor as the seas were too rough for them to enter. I was getting excited that we might have to spend the night on the water as I had no place to go to anyway, and it might be an opportunity to lay my head down for the night. Well no such luck, My captain was too experienced, the harbor master gave the OK for Captain Gordon Penny of the BOY GORDON, to make his way through the seas into the harbor. all I remember is looking out the windows holding on to whatever wouldn’t move and seeing nothing but Sky, then nothing but SEA, as we rode each wave up and down getting closer to the entrance to the harbor. Now for the most exciting part, and really this is where the rest of my memory gets a bit hazy, but as we were abreast of the Lighthouse just entering the harbor walls to either side of us, a Gigantic swell picked up the 30 plus tonne vessel as if it was as light as a feather and we rode that wave in like a surfboard until we were several hundred meters into the harbor and back in protected waters. I looked at the Captain and asked if that was a normal day on the water? I got another grunt and we went to his slip, tied off the ship and we were done for the day.
realizing all of a sudden that I was in the same situation I had been in that morning with no money, food, or a place to sleep, a miracle did happen.
As the day was coming to a close and I was helping the deckhand (a 45 year old gentleman), clean the remainder of the days catch. I told him my story and what I was doing in Scotland and that this had been a perfect way to spend my 18th birthday. The deckhand read between the lines of my story and then he offered me a place to stay for the night, at his flat, that he shared with 2 other roommates. Of course I took him up on his offer and went home with the guy LOL.
Over the night the deckhand, myself and the one of his roommates sat down, shared some stories, and drank some suds. By morning I got woken up by the deckhand of the Boy Gordon He asked me if I wanted his job. A bit confused, and still half tipsy from the night before, he told me if I wanted it then I’d have to get my rear end to the boat ASAP, he had a bicycle for me to use and after the day’s work I could come back to the flat and could continue to use the room they had empty until HIS other roommate comes back from working on an off shore drilling rig in a week or so.
It was too good to be true, or at least it seemed. I hopped on the guys bike and rode to the Boat to let the Captain know that his deckhand would not be joining him that day, and if he wanted a hand that I would be more than happy to give it to him. The Captain stuck for help told me to get in and we quickly untied the vessel and headed out to sea once again.
Now I stayed with this captain for the next 9 months before I decided it was time for me to get back to Canada and start my next adventure in life, Of course I have many a story to tell about the days on a fishing trawler in Scotland however that is for another blog. (LOL)
Any way the point to this story is this, Now this past spring it took everything I had to try and find this captain I had once worked for all those years ago. The Captain responsible for my first introduction not only to commercial fishing, but my first introduction to a life at sea.
I started by calling the port authority’s in Aberdeen, they gave me the name of the captain I was looking for however they gave me no other information. I started looking at all the Gordon Penny’s I could find on line and called every one of them until I eventually got a hit and found the right individual I had worked for on the old Boy Gordon over 22 years ago.
now after explaining my situation to my old Skipper he agreed to sign the document I desperately needed for my new position for the 2018 season aboard the Canadian Empress. now I’m not going to pretend there wern’t any problems with this plan, like trying to get an old fishing captain to give a s_it about a deckhand he had over 20 years prior, or the fact that the Captain was a busy individual still fishing and really wasn’t too into modern technology to figure out how to fax a document to me, that’s right we did this the old fashioned way, Air-mail. I sent him the document, and he signed it (eventually ) and then took a picture of it and sent it to me through messenger. LOL. I actually took the photo to the ministry and told them the original was on its way, they said when they got the original that I would finally get the registered time I needed. all sounds great right? well I did not take into count that my old captain thought the picture was good enough and did not actually send the original backto me.
A few weeks went by I called the ex captain again and asked where the original Document was? and without hesitation he said quite happily ” it was somewhere on his desk”. might I mention that our season was to start in a week from this time.
anyway long story short(end), the document arrived approx 1 week after the start to our season here in Ontario and lucky for me that The St Lawrence Cruise Lines had enough faith in me that they held my position open for me until I had all my papers in order, but until then I would not have my stripes.
After the papers were in order and a thorough walk around and practical examination on board the Empress performed by Transport Canada, I received my Mates Limited over 60 Tonne Licence and was ready to accept my stripes as a new 1st Mate aboard the Canadian Empress. Just in time too for the 3rd trip of the season was commencing and it was my scheduled time to be on board.
So the year has been an eye opener to say the least. As a deckhand I was not aware of the management side of the opperation so this season has been a bit of a shocker LOL, nothing I can’t seem to handle mind you but a wake up call for sure. Now I have been a manager of a large organization in the past and had over 30 employees under my watch. I have run my own landscaping company in a busy city environment with over 8 people to oversee at one time, so I did not think that Managing 2 deckhands of a vessel would pose much of a problem if I were to be completely honest. Well it took its toll on me to say the least lol.
Working on the water is much different than being on land and being on a vessel away from home for a week at a time isn’t for everyone, thats for sure. so to go over some of the challenges at sea on a small cruise line just to paint a picture for you.
1st even though most of the individuals hired (not only on this cruise line but on most I’m sure), have some great experience in their respected fields, it can be a much different experience when you go to sea. What people don’t take into account when applying for and accepting these types of jobs are as follows.
1st you basically live at work for the period of time that your trip is designated for, in our case it is usually 1 week at a time before you get a week off. this means at the start of the season you are essentially living with strangers in a very confined space with nowhere to escape to. secondly – time off, or off duty time, means you are still at work with no personal space to unwind before the start of your next shift, 3rd – basically if your eyes are open, and you are on the boat, then you are effectively – ON DUTY. Off duty time only happens if there are no real apparent problems happening and is a shceduled time off for the individual, or you are sleeping.
Now there are many other Items I could list to take into account before you take a job position on a cruise ship but It would be a very long list lol.
Now moving forward into 2019. Although I had plans of returning to the Canadian Empress this year, it seems once again I have made a move and changed jobs once again. At least this time I believe I have made a lateral change and started a position on the Glenora Ferry out of Picton Ontario as a 1st mate once again.
This is a government position and the vessel runs year round and is not just a seasonal boat.
Stay tuned for more story telling adventures as I move forward as a mariner in southeastern Ontario.
So I know I have not written anything for a while, my apologies for this, however as you are about to find out, my 2017 season has been extremely busy. I have caught so many fish on my bucket list this year its not funny, You will see that I have broken many of my own personal best records and some that may be very hard to beat for years to come.
Just over 1 year ago to date I got a phone call that was absolutely devastating to me. I received a call from the Picton Harbor Marina in Picton Ontario that my boat, ( the boat which was my livelihood,and how I put food on my family’s table ), was taking on water and sinking fast. Right at the harbor, My boat had been parked there for about a week with no problems awaiting my first clients of the 2016 Bay Of Quinte Fall season. After a quick investigation I realized that someone had most definitely tampered with the vessel and tried to sink it. The Live well hose had been taken from its regular resting place, and put into my battery box, the scuppers were plugged with garbage so as not to let any water out and the pump to my live well hose was turned on. The vessel filled up with water, damaging all my electronics, camera gear, wiring, and many other costly items. This would prove disastrous for the continuation of Sea’s The Day Fishing Charters, or at least during the fall of 2016, essentially shutting business down for.
The next few months were hard for me as I was contemplating on how to either fix my boat and get back on the water or figure out what was next for me in this adventure called life.
I tried to figure out how to motivate myself as winter neared. I have always thought that the measure of a man is not judged by how hard he gets hit or how many time he gets knocked down, but instead how he can deal with the hits and how he can keep striving to keep getting back up and moving forward.
After last fall, (a hard lesson to get over for sure), the following is how I played the cards I was dealt.
After not being much of a man at all for the first 2 months (after the sinking). In December I finally decided that it was time to get back on my feet. I needed to figure out what it was that I had going for me. 1st and foremost was my family. My wife and kids have always supported me and my crazy ideas. 2nd I was starting to form a great relationship with the fellas of the Canadian Fishing Network (AKA, CFN), Mr Scottie Martin , and Mr Red Andal. I had a couple great sponsors behind me and my fishing career such as, SeaFour Lures, Liquid Mayhem, and Fish-Bum Outfitters Apparel, and now Okuma/Savage Gear has picked me up as a sponsor as well.
It was at this time that I decided to try and get the things that were going for me and put them to good use. I started making calls to previous clients, and started organizing trips for Ice fishing Adventures. once I had a good base of clients booked for ice fishing and I realized that I can still make a go of fishing over the winter months. I decided that I would fish harder that season than ever before, basically telling the moron that sunk my boat, that he, CAN-NOT, KEEP ME DOWN.
I made a call to Scottie and Red of CFN to come out during the winter and try showcasing an ice fishing episode for walleye Wednesday, (A weekly social media short film that showcases fisherman all over the country). I explained I would put on a hell of a show for them and I had something special planned. They replied they would do one better and bring Filipino TV with them to film the show, then they would air it on their network. this would be the 2nd time in my career I would be featured on a television network for fishing , I was stoked. This was the push I needed to keep the dream of fishing for a living alive. Now I have been on the water as a fisherman making my living on and off for over 20 years but doing it this way with rod and reel is my dream job.
Filipino TV and CFN came out in January of 2017 for what was nothing short of an incredible weekend of multi-species fishing at its best. we showcased women’s angling, getting kids fishing, fishing for the hardest of hardcore anglers for some back lakes Brook trout, Family Fishing opportunities. you name it we crammed it into a full weekend of fishing mayhem.
Next, during the first 4 months of 2017, between January to April I fished hard with clients, and friends, putting over 40 days of fishing on ice. I started utilizing my social media accounts more proficiently for the purpose of getting the name of my fishing business out, and a bit more widespread. I made sure to help out my sponsors where I could by attending sportsman shows across southern Ontario to help represent their products. Scottie Martin had also invited me down to his secret spot to help out with a day of late season ice fishing where he hosted a fishing club group of children from Holy Cross High school out of Kingston Ontario. This was a special day for them (and for me) because Scottie had a surprise for us. The fishing legend himself, Mr Italo Labignan was also there to share the day with the kids while he was also shooing an episode of winter walleye using a new product called the TipN’ Jig.
Fishing as hard as I did was not without purpose. I had 2 main goals in mind, the 1st was, that when I finally am able to get a boat back in the water, my name will not have been dormant for the period of time for which I am down. The 2nd and may be a bit vindictive but was to show the person responsible for the destruction of my vessel again, that he can knock me down but, don’t EVER count me out.
Now during the Winter months I had of course started thinking ahead to the summer and knew that I was not in a position to be able to purchase a boat any time soon but still wanted to be guiding. I looked for weeks, online, and cold called some northern Fishing lodges to see if they would be in need of a guide for the coming season. In March I had finally landed a guiding gig in Northern Ontario, at a place called Slippery Winds Wilderness Resort.
I would highly recommend the resort as a great place to visit, the fishing wasphenomenal and the guests were a blast. Even though there were some good size fish being caught, I would not call this a trophy fish area, however for great quantity of decent fish I would recommend it to anyone. I got to meet and fish with some truly remarkable people. from the Governor of Kansas (Uncle Sam), and Rodger Comier the host of Midwest Outdoors TV, Don Lamont of Hooked Magazine, Tim Holschlag small-mouth angler and fly fisherman Author, It was an experience that will be hard to beat.
fist Laker caught
Now, once I knew I was going out in northern Ontario, I called Scottie and Red of CFN, told them the news and shortly there after (without getting into too much detail ) The Coast To Coast Crusade was born. For those of you that do not know what the Crusade was, or was about. This summer after my stint at Slippery Winds Lodge, I decided to travel across the country to help raise awareness for a great cause. Feed My Starving Children was the organization. The idea behind the crusade was to help showcase great fishing opportunities across the country showcasing the people that support CFN across the Nation and put them in front of the camera. we had so much support from small businesses across the country that we made a jersey to support them by putting their Logo’s on it and I would wear it on every episode created.
(Jersey Sponsors were: Yvonne Brown of Ontario Women Anglers, Sea-Four Lures (also the company that actually made the jersey), Fisherman’s Edge, Creek Candy, CFN, Sea’s The Day Fishing Charters, Chasin Eyes Fishing Charters, Cliff Chinook Charters, Great Canadian Female Anglers or ( GCFA), Red Shiner Fishing Destinations, Up North and Outdoors, Artrageous Promotions, Gremlins Baits, Ontario Fishing Club or (OFC),)
Each of the sponsors, plus an array of other businesses, put together so many donations of product towards the cause that there was an online auction held through CFN to try and raise money for the Feed My Starving Children organization. Although the amount of money raised could have been a bit better (in our eyes), it was still a great success and people from all over tuned in to watch the crusade unfold.
It was here during this crusade that I started to understand that my direction in the industry was beginning to change and mold into something I never would have imagined. Thanks to CFN and the anglers Of Canada that were involved across the country, I started to really enjoy the sport of fishing again, I started to understand the true magic of what fishing can mean. It was bringing a community of people across an entire Nation together. I was not just showcasing an individuals spot in one province or another, but people from all over the country were tuning in to watch the average weekend warrior showcase a fishing opportunity within our country, something that has never quite been done before. This fascinated me more than I thought it would have to be completely honest.
here are just a few of some great people I met across the country
EElizabeth (Slippery Winds)
Me Gord Ellis North Bay (ON)
Brian Button (SK)
Lyndon Remple (SK)
Sean from Timmins (ON)
Terry Snyder (ON)
Not only were we doing a great thing for a great cause, and meeting some incredible people but I was making a memory of a lifetime by going after some of the most sought after game fish in the country and knocking down my personal bucket list considerably.
While I was away on this Crusade, back at home in Napanee Ontario, my family and I were on a completely separate life changing adventure ourselves. My family was apart of something very cool this year. We finally became home owners thanks to Habitat For Humanity. Just prior to leaving in the spring My wife, children, and I had put in an application to purchase a home through Habitat For Humanity. This was a very intense application process and we honestly thought that there was no chance for us to be one of the families chosen to become a habitat home owner. Never the less, I believe it was the week before I was leaving to head out to Slippery Winds Lodge, I received a phone call around 8pm at night. It was Habitat and their comity letting us know that we had finally been selected as the Napanee Ontario’s family for this years build. This phone call seemed like I had just won the lottery, even though each family is required to purchase the house that is built, my wife and I would not have been in a position to have purchased this home for some time without the efforts of Habitat.
Anyway while I was away, my wife Rachel had picked out a lot, where our soon to be home would eventually be built. Rachel tried to keep the location a secret from me at first but Habitat had an article in our local paper which was sent to me from a friend, while I was at slippery winds. I soon knew the address and location, thanks to google (LOL).
It did not seem long and time was flying by when Habitat announced the ground breaking for our new home to begin the build. it was suppose to start the first week of July so I had booked a flight home on the 7th so that not only would I be able to get my hands dirty starting the build of our new home, but I would also be home for my wifes birthday as well, knocking off 2 birds with 1 stone. When I got home, unfortunately Habitat had run into a couple delays getting permits, and they would not be starting the build until the middle of July instead. not to worry I was still there to visit my wife and children before heading back into the bush for the remainder of my time at Slippery winds.
After Leaving the lodge, I worked my way throughout each province and I was able to catch species I thought I would never have the chance to target in this life time. I managed to go for rainbow on the Bow river in Calgary, Cutthroat trout in the mountains of Alberta, a very cool little fish indeed. Pink Salmon in Squamish, Chinook Salmon on Vancouver island, with Cliffs Chinook Charters, and the ever famous Fraser river where I got my personal best fish ever, let alone on a rod and reel, a Sturgeon, 8 ft approx 330,lbs of absolute power. I must give credit to Capt Robert of Kilby Lodge Fishing Charters and B&B. Then I was on route back home in September back to the family and to help out finally with the build of our soon to be, new home.
I would not make it home before I ended up with a few more fishing stops and another personal best channel cat fish which happened on the Red River with Capt Kyle Gizowski of Wind-river Professional Guide Service, a beast at 34.1/2 inch of muscle. what a great experience for sure.
after some more stops along the way home, such as, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Perry Sound, Toronto, I was finally home, back with the family. I spent almost every day of September and into October on the build site accept for a week where I was back on the old Canadian Empress with the St Lawrence Cruise Lines because they were short handed and needed the help. the house was finally done by the end of October accept for the hydro, Propane installed, and the boiler still needed to be hooked up. Our family moved into the house officially on November 26th 2017.
Since being home I have gotten back out fishing on my own waters, the infamous the Bay Of Quinte, in search of the elusive giant Quinte gold Nugget, “(or Walleye)”. This year has been extremely successful with so many giants being caught. I have fished with so many great anglers this year and this fall did not disappoint either. I was able fish with Mr Greg Amiel who is a very accomplished tournament angler and someone I have looked up to in the industry for many years , and good friend Kevin Gibson. I have fished with kevin on several occasions over the past couple seasons, however this last time was a bit special as I managed to get my new personal best open water walleye. a very special moment for me indeed. She was a 14lbs giant, something not too many walleye anglers get the chance to witness in their entire lives.
So in conclusion to this Long blog of mine. I wish to thank a slew of people for the success of my 2017 season from everyone already mentioned in the blog above, and all the people not mentioned that has been a huge part of this years successes, for example,
With over 160 days on the ice and open water during 2017 I wish to thank the following. Brian Dickenson of Calgary thanks for a place to bunker while I was in or even near Calgary for that period of time, David Nagel of Whistler BC, you certainly know how to treat a guy and show him a good time in whistler, Richard Dunlop of Seafour Lures, Ted Doberstein, for getting CFN involved in a great charity, Donald Stokes thanks for getting my vehicle fixed while on my visit in BC, Bill Mafturack, Gord Ellis in Thunderbay (ill never forget sharing a Persian with you LOL, next time, I hope to wet a line with you), Ed Mckenzie and Kevin Gibson, I have learned so much from both of you and you are 2 great guys, I enjoy every minute we have spent on and off the water together, and the people of Timmins for certainly making me feel welcome and being a huge part of the crusade, and huge supporters of CFN, and of course CFN’s Scottie and Red, you guys have been a huge part of making this season as successful as it was I have now been featured, mentioned, and showcased in over 38 episodes of CFN social media platforms, from 20 episodes of the CFN coast to coast crusade, 15 of your 100 episodes of Walleye Wednesday’s, 3 episodes of Filipino TV shows, and of course countless of other mentions and photos featured on your social media accounts. thank you so much for helping me to remember what fishing is, and always really has been, and will be about. making friendships, creating memories and adventures, and enjoying the time spent on the water.
lastly I would like to thank the person responsible for sinking my boat last year. seems crazy right? well if it weren’t for that individual(s) I would not have had the season I had this year. Nor would I have found different directions within the industry to become a part of, and I may still just be going through the motions of fishing but not enjoying it like I started to again this year.
Now next season is sure to be full of exciting adventures for sure. It is even starting to take shape into something new, but that is for another bolg.
So remember when life knocks you down, its all about how you get back up?
Hi everyone, my name is James Mathias I have taken a job with Slippery Winds this summer. My position here is fishing guide/ shore hand. I have decided to write about some of the adventures that I have had already and will continue throughout the season to write about my experiences here at the lodge.
I will begin with a short story about a few day out on the water. Well, I suppose I should back it up just a bit for a moment. This season started off with a good couple of weeks of getting to know the staff here at Slippery Winds. Lori our Manager / Chef, Elizabeth and Paulene, our waitresses and house cleaning staff, Rick our mechanic/maintenance and a bit of everything handyman, Sam, our 2nd guide and shore hand helper, Stormy and Aaron, our helpers that came up just to help open up the lodge for the season, and of course our fearless leader himself Mr Randy Duvell. Getting to know these people over the first few weeks of the summer has been a pleasure. everyone has put in a lot of hard work to get the lodge ready for guests to come and relax on a fishing vacation they will not soon forget.
Our first guests arrived on the 19th of May. with cold-front cold wet conditions, the fishing was proving a bit tough to figure out, it wasn’t just our guests either that were finding things tough but our guides too, especially myself, I was finding it very difficult to get even enough fish to have a decent shore lunch. On day 3, two of our guests decided to break down and hire a lodge guide I was the man for the job. I took a fantastic couple of guys from Texas out for the day. In the morning we hooked into several Largemouth and smallmouth bass and then got into a few northern pike. As the walleye decided to go to a bay we didn’t hit yet I had made the decision to keep a few of the smaller pike to keep for shore lunch. Lunch was a hit. The almost traditional Canadian shore lunch which consisted of fried tomato pork beans, canned corn, homemade hash-browns, fried onions and, well, in this case instead of walleye it was northern pike seasoned with the slippery Winds top secret seasoning and properly filleted and deep fried over an open fire in the pouring rain. Our clients seemed very happy with the day as they hooked more fish than they were expecting by days end.
Over the next few day’s I was on the water daily, Guiding some outstanding fellas from Wisconsin. For the first 2 days, the fishing was outstanding, hitting over 35 Bass landed and around 15 pike on both days. My clients seemed super excited when both of them on each of their trips with me while fishing for some walleye in the later part of the afternoon, had the privilege of being able to have the feeling of what it feels like to have a very large musky on the end of their lines. It was a good thing neither of them had actually landed the beastly fish as the musky are not actually in season as of yet.
On their 3rd day of guided trips, the same Wisconson clients wanted to go to a back lake to try their hand at some lake trout. I mentioned that they may wish for a 2nd guide for the back lakes as the boats on those Lakes are a bit on the small side and wanted them to be as comfortable as possible. Sammy, (our 2nd guide) was out with the group for this next adventure. We decided to hike into a lake called Bluff Point. Bluff Point is definitely known for its lake trout fishery and the clients soon found out just how good it was. Sammy hooked into over 10 lakers, 3 or 4 Pike and a few Bass in 2.5 hours and I had around the same number of Bass and Pike but a few less Lakers than Sammy. The competition was fierce in the morning between the 2 boats before a great packed lunch on a majestic island in the middle of the lake. After lunch, everyone had decided to pack it in to get to another lake to try our hand at some more bass fishing. I myself made up for the friendly competition loss in the morning by getting over 25 Bass in the afternoon. once again the clients seemed very happy with the result of their trip and I manage to get myself some great rest before tomorrow’s next fishing adventure.
I hope you have enjoyed this little story about fishing here at Slippery Winds this past week and stay tuned, I will tell the stories of my fishing adventures here at Slippery winds throughout this 2017 season.