Category Archives: Lures

Life’s Adventures, & Working ON A Ferry. (update)

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.

Owl watching me from a near by building
A bald eagle waiting for the propellers of the ferry to churn the water and send up a meal to the surface of the water

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.

Sunset over Picton cement plant
Sun rise on the Adolphus side of the river

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)

First Couple Of Weeks At Slippery Winds Lodge.

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.

Lets Celebrate CANADA

Hi everyone,

 I am reaching out to my friends, family, and people I have on my contact list that I have not spoken to in a while. In an attempt to try and get support with a project I am working on this year. Before you read further into this e-mail, you should know, I am looking to raise money for a charity called ( Feed My Starving Children). 

OK now that we have gotten rid of the folk that are not interested in helping to feed starving kids , lets move on LOL.

 I am not sure if you are aware of the project I am getting involved with yet so I am writing this to fill you in. 

I have Partnered up with CFN ( Canadian Fishing Network) this season to help raise money for an incredible charity.  I believe WE have come up with a unique way to involve the fishing community across the entire country.  Although this is designed to involve the fishing community Canada wide, It does not exclude anyone to help out. Also if anyone feels they could contribute in any other ways not suggested below please feel free to message me your thoughts, and ideas. 

As to the details of to what is happening and I’ll try to be brief ( Although if you know my writing style, then you know this won’t be brief) LOL.  Basically it’s like this.

In Celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary this year, CFN and myself came up with an idea on how we would like to Celebrate.

The idea is as follows,  in conjunction with Angling For Life, (another social media fishing group)  we are trying to raise money for charity, the charity is called “Feed My Starving Children“. This charity has, in over 70 Countries world wide, helped to feed starving kids that are MOST in need, & again this is “world wide“.

So we are reaching out across Canada to all Anglers, that wish to showcase their favorite fishing experiences through CFN. and anyone willing to help out, here is how it will work.

 I will go to them, (the anglers), Canada wide (and yes, you read that right). I, will, come, to, you.  We are doing this to help showcase YOU, and your fishing opportunities. We will do this by filming a day, or half day, of what each angler wishes to have showcased. once filmed I will send the video clips to CFN (Canadian Fishing Network) and they will edit it and show it through their ever growing and extensive social media platforms. (https://www.facebook.com/canadianfishingnetwork/ )

The hope is to have people gain an awareness of of the charity and hopefully get  them involved. As well as showcasing some of Canada’s amazing fishing opportunities, and of course the vast landscape this incredible country has.

Of course we can’t get to everyone throughout the country, so we are hand picking out some of the fisherman/woman and trying to fit them in to my schedule or time frame.

 People that are interested in getting showcased need to send me a story about what their opportunity is, and why they would like to be featured. They must like both  CFN’s Facebook page and my Sea’s The Day Fishing Adventures Facebook page in order to qualify. We are not necessarily looking for the best or most luxurious places, because that is not what CFN is about. CFN is about the everyday angler,  the weekend Warrior’s,   professional anglers alike, its about CPR ( Catch, Photo, Release), and conservation,  And it’s about the passion of the Canadian fisherman and women of this country.

So in the hopes of raising money, CFN will be holding an auction throughout the summer where we have already received some amazing donations form our sponsors, from products and or services, to volunteering, to cash donations. Everyone can help by donating, Money. Or  services or products to our online auction.

If you wish to donate money then you can do this easily by following the link  below

I am not asking for much by the way. Just so you are aware, just $1.00 helps a great deal.

http://www.canadianfishingnetwork.com/donations/canada-150-adventure/

If you wish to help by donating services, or product then please get a hold of me through e-mail or you can call me at 1-343-333-2800 to discuss.

or maybe you have a great place you would like to have featured along my journey. Again get a hold of me to discuss.

So to summarize lol

In the hopes of getting anglers together Nationwide, and showcasing fishing opportunities through CFN, and with an auction with the help of our sponsors, we hope to raise money for A great charity (Feed My Starving Children), and showcase fishing opportunities, and this incredible country’s vast landscape, and this is how CFN and myself would like to Celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Filming of this project has already started. we have filmed 2 episodes already and we plan on doing approx 34 separate locations throughout the country, between now and the end of October 2017. If you so choose you will be able to watch these episodes weekly starting by mid may 2017. on CFN facebook page at the following address.

https://www.facebook.com/canadianfishingnetwork/  (if we are able to showcase it in other formats then I would keep you informed of course.)

All of our sponsors will be mentioned often throughout the journey as often as we can. We will be tagging sponsors in as many posts as we can throughout many social media platforms weekly if not daily.  I figured why not start right now. I would encourage everyone to have a look at the following sponsors and see the type of people that care about this great cause.

here are the sponsors facebook pages, and/or websites, we currently have on board at the moment.

SeaFour Lures http://www.seafourlures.com 

Souljah Fishing Apparel  https://www.facebook.com/souljahfishingapparel/

Fisherman’ Edge https://www.facebook.com/fishermansedge/

Creek Candy, http://www.creekcandybeadcompany.com/

Cliff Chinook Charters, https://www.facebook.com/cccharters.ca/

Up North & Outdoors, https://www.facebook.com/UpNorthandOutdoors/

Ontario Women’s angler 101, https://www.facebook.com/OntarioWomenAnglers/ and http://www.fishing101forwomen.ca/

Gremlins Baits, https://www.facebook.com/gremlinscustombaits/

OFC, https://www.facebook.com/groups/Ontariofishingclub.ca/

Red Shiner, https://www.facebook.com/redshiner/?hc_ref=SEARCH and https://redshiner.ca/

Chasin Eye’s charters, https://www.facebook.com/Chasin-Eyes-Charters-244564345616385/ and http://www.chasineyes.com/

Fishing Icon’s fishing apparel, https://www.facebook.com/fishingicons/ and http://www.fishingicons.com/

Sea’s The Day Fishing Adventures, https://fishingquinte.com/  we have a bunch more that have said they will be contributing to the cause as well shortly.

 

exposure through this venture will be incredible. I hope you find yourself able to contribute in any way you can.

If you think you would like to help with this cause then please message me back and we can discuss how you think you would like to help out.

Thank you.

James Mathias

Video of some my May fishing trips