In Town and Out

CBC Radio One asked if I would talk about fishing the morning of the family free fishing day in Ontario. The following is the audio recording from the In Town and Out episode that aired the morning of July 2, 2016.

The interview was recorded along the shore of the Rideau River, a favorite place for Moby and I to go and very near our home.

I think this producer / radio host really got what I’m trying to get across to the public, which is sustainable fishing. The message is a positive one and really shows anglers as ready and willing to approach their sport in an ethical way – one that’s respectful of the resource, and one that will help ensure the practice of fishing and harvesting wild fish will continue for many future generations.

Feel the Bite Fishing Videos and Accessible Media Inc.

Accessible Media Inc. broadcasts over cable TV and satellite into over 5-million Canadian households. Andrew Morris, one of AMI’s young innovative producers, contacted me and asked if I would film a series of 2-4 minute TV interstitials for AMI TV. Interstitials are like commercials in that they are played between regular program offerings, but different in that they are primarily for conveying information and not to sell. I agreed, and came up with 20 possible options. We settled on 14.

Over a period of six days I filmed 14 Feel the Bite interstitials – often as many as three in a day. Each interstitial includes me and my guide dog Moby exploring a different way of fishing for a variety of fish species, and conveying general information about fish, their biology and habitat, and environmental pressures that are impacting on their viability. We also included stewardship tips.

The interstitials are now available for your viewing pleasure via YouTube. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did doing the researching, writing and filming. Visit www.LawrenceGunther.com to access the shows directly, or search on YouTube.

AMI TV and Feel the Bite teamed up to produce 14 TV shorts focussing on sustainable fishing using every type of watercraft imaginable

AMI TV and Feel the Bite teamed up to produce 14 TV shorts focussing on sustainable fishing using every type of watercraft imaginable

Blue Fish Radio Now on iTunes!

Some time ago I made the decision to let others take the credit for bringing Blue Fish Radio to the listening audience. I realized that while I could research, organize, record and edit each episode, there were others out there who could do a much better job at promoting the show. These broadcast channels include:

Broadcasters:

WRVO Reno Viola Outdoor Radio

WRVO Radio

WRVO Reno Viola Outdoor Radio

WRVO is a 24-7-365 web streaming service that features over 35 independent producers that all have the outdoors in common. Reno Viola himself has a show. The service can be found on most I-Tune and other podcast internet delivery channels such as Tune in Radio. Blue Fish is repeated four times each week to around 10,000 listeners. For more information about WRVO please visit:

www.renoviolaoutdoors.com

Accessible Media Inc. Audio

AMI Audio

Accessible Media Inc. Audio

AMI Audio broadcasts over cable TV, XM-Sirius, I-Tunes and the web to over 5-million Canadian households and numerous other on-line listeners. They also transcribe Blue Fish Radio episodes for the deaf, and make available the audio programming through a special on-line audio player designed specifically for the blind. Blue Fish can be heard four times each week on AMI Audio. For more information please visit:

www.ami.ca

Outdoor Canada Magazine

Outdoor Canada Magazine

Outdoor Canada Magazine

Outdoor Canada Magazine is Canada’s premier national magazine with a focus on fishing, hunting and conservation. The magazine also operates a popular on-line forum, on-line magazine, and is big into social media. Every two weeks Outdoor Canada features a Blue Fish Radio episode on their website, Facebook page and to over 40,000 Twitter followers, that on average gets re-Tweeted to 100,000 followers. For more information about Outdoor Canada Magazine please visit:

www.outdoorcanada.ca

Spreaker.com

Spreaker

Spreaker

Spreaker.com is the on-line streaming site where all Blue Fish Radio episodes are housed. You can download the episodes as MP3 files, stream live, or establish player links on your own website to individual episodes. More details or episodes can be found at:

www.spreaker.com/show/the_blue_fish_radio_show

iTunes


iTunes

iTunes now features the Blue Fish Radio Show. It’s in Apple format, but the HumanWare Stream portable player has no trouble downloading episodes.

Sponsors

Blue Fish Radio is fortunate to be sponsored by a number of quality companies. It’s with their support that I’m able to produce Blue Fish Radio. A complete list of sponsors can be found at:

www.BlueFishRadio.com

Host/Lawrence Gunther


As the host, it’s my honor and privilege to speak and often meet with many of the brightest minds in the field of sustainable fishing, and fish and water science. I try to bring my own experience and expertise to play during each interview, and my goal is to not get too detailed on any one subject since additional details can always be found on the internet. Rather, I try to keep each interview moving forward and diverse so that it’s both informative and entertaining. For more about me please visit:

www.lawrencegunther.com

BlueFishRadio.com


www.BlueFishRadio.com is where you can access the latest shows, go back through the archives, and download MP3 files for your listening pleasure. Descriptions of each episode are provided along with helpful links.

12th Ottawa Girls Guides go Fishing with the Ottawa BASS Masters

A 24-hour rain delay didn’t stop 48 members of the 12th Ottawa Girl Guides ranging in age from 5-16 from taking part in a shoreline fishing event I organized with the support of the Ottawa Valley South Bass Masters. The girls were equipped with rods, floats and tiny jigs, and were taught the fishing basics by 12 fellow Bass Master club members.

The bite was hot and it didn’t take long to go through Five boxes of 18 large worms. All manner of panfish were caught and released along with a half-dozen or so catfish. It may have lasted 1.5 hours , but plenty long enough for each and every girl to catch fish — many a half dozen or so each.

I led a short Q/A session at the end that was quite lively with the girls sharing their experiences and observations. Club members Tony and Julie Morin organized a prize table that included five rod-reel combos, three tackle packs and a bunch of hats. Each girl also left with a pack of miniature tube jigs and an original Eagle Claw cork float.

Thanks go out to the Ottawa Bass Masters for making this event a success, and to the Dows Lake Pavilion for the use of their shoreline and discounted parking passes.

Girl Guides Go Fishing!

Part of my role as the Conservation Director for the Ottawa Valley South Bass Masters club is to find ways to pass on knowledge to others on fishing sustainably. What better way to accomplish this than to bring 38 Girl Guides ranging in age from 5 to 17 shore fishing after school.

Management at the Dows Lake Pavilion generously offered up a sizeable discount on the parking next to their facility located on the shores of a small inner city lake, which was formed as a result of the creation of the Rideau Canal system. Sail outdoors offered up the worms, and a dozen OVSBM club members volunteered their time, expertise and a half dozen or so fishing rods each. Species being targeted were panfish, and the technique was float fishing.

Fishing was fast and furious. Each and every girl caught at least one fish, with most catching five or more. 100 night crawlers divided into quarters lasted just long enough – we just had enough.

Mid-way through the event we took a short break from the fishing so we could cover off the instructional component of the evening. I provided a short presentation on the type of fish we were catching and where they fit into the ecosystem. Tips on fish handling were given, and then I turned it over to Julie Charen, a competitive well sponsored member of our club. Julie entertained and informed the girls with stories and explanations of the various types of fishing gear and techniques she uses to catch fish, and provided demonstrations and samples to make the presentation that much more engaging.

The evening fish was the last event of the year for the Girl Guides, and when the parents showed up around 8: p.m. to take them home, it was interesting to hear just how many girls were able to astonish their parents with their impressive catch reports. I have no doubt a number of those parents will be picking up fishing supplies this summer to satisfy their daughter’s requests to go fishing.

A big thanks to Sandra Kuchta and the rest of the Girl Guide leaders for facilitating things at their end. The girls were just a pleasure to fish with. Their enthusiasm for the sport was truly impressive.

CTV’s Amazing People

Following the evening news on CTV there’s a segment called “Amazing People” hosted by Kimothy Walker. Candidates are nominated by the viewing audience. Kimothy and her producer then select stories of people they think might inspire others. In February a formal celebration dinner is hosted by CTV at which time the top amazing person of the year is named.

I was both surprised and fortunate to have been nominated and selected as a CTV Amazing Person. The following link will take you to the segment produced by Kimothy and her crew at CTV, filmed on a lake not far from Ottawa:

http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/features/amazing-people

2013 Speaking / Show Events

The past couple months were nuts as usual, but thankfully outdoor show season is coming to an end.

My presentations have ranged from speaking about the different senses fish use to find food, to Minn Kota’s I-Pilot technology.

When you have the privilege of sharing booth space with a Ranger Fisherman 619 and HobieCat’s new 12’ Pro Angler kayak, you can feel pretty confident that you have some of the best eye-candy at the show. My new guide dog Moby did great filling in old Maestro’s big Mutluks too.

With open water around the corner there is still much planning, organizing, preparing and doing ahead. Blind Fishing Kayak Tournament, Blind Fishing Adventure, Girl Guide Fishing Adventure, CNIB Lake Joseph Centre Blind Fishing Program, St. Lawrence River Institute Conference Presentation, ump-teen fishing tournaments, and so much more…

Berkley B1 Bass 2012 Tournament

For the 4th year in a row Berkley, along with a host of other premier sponsors, staged the Berkley B1 Bass tournament.  The event was held on the St. Lawrence River out of Valleyfield Quebec, a section of the St. Lawrence famous for incredibly large and strong Smallmouth Bass.  The event itself has been a sold-out affair since its conception by its founder Ben Woo, and is arguably the largest Bass tournament on Canadian waters with 150 teams competing. It’s not only the largest, but some might argue the most challenging.  However, the rewards more than make up for the effort with a brand new Bass boat and 200hp E-Tec going to the winning team.This year I had the pleasure of being joined aboard my Ranger 619 Fisherman powered with a 225hp E-Tec by my good friend Scott Campbell.  Both Scott and I fully appreciate the enormous task trying to find where the Smallmouth are staging on this huge stretch of water, and our goal for the day was to turn in a respectable finish.

Ste. Francis was formed as part of the St Lawrence Seaway project in the 1960’s when large sections of the river were flooded to allow ocean-going ships to pass between the Atlantic Ocean and North America’s Great Lakes.  Ships are restricted to a relatively narrow channel that ranges in depth from 20 to 60 feet, and is bordered by vast stretches of shallow water ribboned with shoals that come within inches of the surface.

Bass on Ste Francis can either be found in water less than 6 feet in depth, (Largemouth), or over 20 feet deep, (Smallmouth).  This means the remaining 99% of Ste Francis’s vast acreage is relatively devoid of fish.  Additionally, it’s not all waters below 20 feet that hold the monster Smallmouth.  This productive territory too is limited to only those sections of the channel noted for fast current and structure.  Knowing where these spots within the spots are situated comes only with countless hours of pre-fishing.

O.K., now that I’ve set the stage, it’s time to bring on the main characters.  One would assume this would consist of the 149 other teams Scott and I were competing against, but not on this day.  Front and centre were winds of 30km/h gusting to 50 out of the north-west, swinging around to the south-east by noon.  Unfortunately, neither of the two weather patterns made the drive to and from our chosen fishing grounds pleasant.

We exited the Valleyfield harbour with the idea of running for 30 minutes up towards Cornwall; however, the mounting waves turned this into a run of almost an hour and a half.  Coming back was no easier.  Thankfully, the hull design of Ranger Fisherman multi-species boats are designed to handle rough water by permitting their operator’s to maintain sufficient speed to skip from one wave top to another.  Too much or too little speed would have the boat landing on either the face or back of waves, making crisp throttle control and engine response paramount.

Scott was up to the challenge and brought us safely through the worst of the rough seas un-scathed. Unfortunately for many of our competitors this wasn’t the case, with numerous boats experiencing breakdowns on the water, including damage to their lower ends while attempting to skirt around the waves by following the shoreline. Many other teams who did make it back on their own power reported having speared waves resulting in rods and sonar units being washed overboard.

Rather than waiting aboard our boat to weigh in after day one, Scot and I realized our bag of fish wasn’t going to put us in the money. We elected instead to get the Ranger up on to the trailer before things got hectic at the launch.  Having the Ranger safely stowed also allowed us to show support for the remaining competitors as they weighed in their catches.  A 25lb bag of Smallmouth was the top catch for the day.

With weather conditions for day two not looking any better, tournament organizers decided instead to avoid sending competitors out for another round of pounding from the elements.  There’s no doubt that Ste Francis is a large body of water, but even if you have the right equipment and experience, it isn’t always enough.

Big thanks to Ben, Vicky and all their team for staging another great event.  Thanks too to my sponsors for making it possible for me to compete in tournaments such as this with a fishing boat package that keeps me high and dry.

5th Annual Ranger & Stratos Fishing Invitational

Once again I took part in the Ranger – Stratos Invitational Bass Tournament.  The charity fund raiser is organized each year by Orleans Boat World.  This year saw 52 teams competing on the Ottawa River out of Rockland Ontario.

Weather for the day was gray with light drizzle – perfect for Smallies.  My partner, Myles West, and I blasted off as team #32 aboard my 2012 Ranger 619 Fisherman powered with a 225 hp E-Tec from Evinrude.

We started by working weed lines along the openings of bays and picked up three quick keepers.  However, when we started throwing cranks around a stone retaining wall all heck broke loose.  A 4lb Largie was quickly followed up with numerous 3lb+ Smallies. By 10: we had culled ourselves into a fairly decent bag.

Our second largest fish of the day didn’t seem to be fairing all too well so we decided to release it back into the river.  It was a 3.5lb Smallie, but thankfully, we caught a suitable replacement.

With five hours to go, we switched up baits with the hopes of landing a real kicker.  The Ottawa River is known for some amazingly big Bass – they have to be if they want to avoid being Eaton by the numerous super-sized Musky that make this river their home.  Unfortunately, other than some amazingly large Catfish and Northern Pike, we just weren’t able to bring aboard a kicker to finish off the day.

Our weight of 14.75lbs was enough to earn Miles and I 7th place over-all and a cheque for our efforts.  19lbs took first place.  The weigh-in was orchestrated by Renegade Bass folks using Shimano’s live release system, and the BBQ and prize bags were sponsored by Ranger Boats, Evinrude, First Mate Lures, and last but certainly not least, Orleans Boat World.  Most importantly, a sizeable chunk of cash was raised for charity.

Renegade Pro-Am 2012

Each year eastern Ontario’s premier tournament Bass fishing organization, Renegade, hosts a pro-am event pairing renegade pros with potential newcomers to tournament Bass fishing.  This year’s event took place once again on Mississippi Lake just outside Carlton Place Ontario, and involved 27 teams.  I was fortunate to be partnered with Claude Bergeron, proprietor of “Bergeron School of Karate”.  We fished from my 2012 ranger 619 Fisherman.I learned a lot about the merits of slowing things down.  Claude’s a firm believer that a spot that has proven itself in the past will always produce; it’s often just a matter of waiting while maintaining a positive mental attitude.  No doubt, Claude’s level seven black belt has honed his ability to stay focused.  His approach bore fruit as we commenced culling by 11: in spite of our going without a serious bite for the first two hours.

The 225hp E-TEC ran twice that day – five minutes leaving the start, and another five getting back.  Otherwise, we spent the day moving around a large weed flat using the Minn Kota Terrova with plenty of occasions holding stationary with the Terrova’s I-Pilot anchor lock feature.  Claude himself uses a Minn Kota Talon to achieve a fixed anchored position necessary to dead-stick soft plastics at the end of long casts.

Claude is a huge proponent of fishing Senkos wacky style unweighted using octopus style hooks.  By noon that’s pretty much exactly what I was throwing too.  Instead of an octopus hook however, I elected instead to use a weedless wacky hook, but on reflection, I don’t think I was that much better off in terms of keeping weeds off my line.

Claude’s method is to make long casts into gaps between the weeds and simply wait.  He’ll give the Senko a few twitches once it’s resting on the bottom, and sometimes let it sit for as long as a minute before quickly reeling in.  We both picked up weeds on the retrieves which meant we only actually fished the spots where our baits initially landed.

Claude’s slow and systematic style of fishing has paid off on many occasions.  He and his partner finish routinely near or at the top.  It also confirms what many of us already suspect but often have difficulty putting into inaction.  It isn’t necessary to be in constant motion to find fish.  Even if the fish aren’t biting now, at some point in the day, they will feed.

Funny enough, when comparing notes at the end of the day with the other anglers, many reported catching most of their fish in the first 2-3 hours – the same time period Claude and I caught nothing.  Conversely, when Claude and I started catching Bass, the bite for many of the other competitors dropped off.

Claude and I may not have won the event that day, but what I learned was invaluable.  Slow down, and catch more fish.

Big thanks to the Renegade organization for allowing me to participate in the event, to the volunteers who assisted with launching boats and hosting the free BBQ, and to Renegade’s 2012 MC Big Jim McLaughlin for making us all feel like winners.  Shimano, Berkley, Paddle tails and Bennett’s also stepped up to the plate in big ways to reward each and every amateur – an over-all experience that’s well worth the investment.