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R.R. #8
Owen Sound,Ontario
Canada, N4K 5W4

Why? Why do I always start a newsletter with that simple single word? Mainly because itís the word thatís been directed at me so many times over the years.

Those that know me personally, know also that Iíve never been classed as a politically correct individual. I published and edited the very successful Ontario Fisherman Magazine for almost two decades. One of the major reason for this publicationís success was the fact that I was not politically correct, called a spade a spade, especially when it came to my concerns on the health of the sport fishery and ruffled more than a few feathers along the way. Many times, my stand on some issues drove my sponsors over the bend. I can imagine some old timers like Dave Sutherland and Bob Outram from Outboard Marine finding it tough to sleep some nights when they received complaints from some special interest groups. More than a few times theyíd shake their heads and just ask that one word question. Why? Poor Brian McDonald put up with me for more years than most. He was a boss at Fenwick/Woodstream and then head of Pure Fishing. Over the years he never lost faith in me, but was another one of those supporters that never quit asking that question. Why?

For more than ten years I put together a series of ĎFishermanís Eveningsí that travelled from one end of the province of Ontario to the other. Every night was a sell-out, with packed houses ranging anywhere from 400 to 800 attendees. They came to view the latest in new products from the sportfishing industry. We were always ten steps ahead of any of the spring fishing shows. They came to talk shop with experts from the manufacturers. Some came for the good times. Some came for the beer and the good times. But just as interesting, many came to hear me spout off about what was on my mind. For the most part, those in the audience were thinking the same things I was thinking, except I was standing up in front of them saying it in public the way they wanted to hear it and say it themselves. One of my best friends, John McKessock, was my unofficial road manager and jack of all trades for the Fishermanís Evenings. He was another of my Ďwhyí guys. I heard that same word from him daily over and over for those ten years of travelling around the province. Iíd make my feelings known to the audience and McKessock and my sponsors would cringe at my honesty and my opinions. But they all stuck with me.
Now Iím on TV and doing the same thing Iíve always done and thatís not being politically correct. Most of my sponsors by now know what to expect from me. I still shock a few now and then, but Iíve yet to have one attempt to put a muzzle on me and that will never happen. I think when my sponsors sign on with me they already know what to expect. Campfire Comment is new to the series and weíve been getting a lot of praise for our stands on the numerous issues that face our sport fishery today. I wonít lie and say I donít get some complaints, but some are from special interest groups or viewers who donít take the time watch the talks and then figure out just what Iím saying.

Now I never got into this game to please everyone. Iím worried about what the fishery is now and what itís going to be like in the future for our kids and grand kids. Being politically incorrect has gotten me phone threats in the middle of the night, a shot across the bow of my boat one afternoon, the Ontario Provincial Police warning me to watch my back when meeting some special interest groups and some other things I donít want to even mention .. Still, I donít think Iíd change my ways.

One final comment and the question I want to put out is why?

I canít understand why others in the sport fishing industry, especially in the media end of the business arenít willing to be just a little politically incorrect when it comes to standing up and protecting the sport and the fishery that they make a livelihood from. In the television media today I can only appreciate the Viola brothers, Reno and Angelo from Fish n Canada for speaking up in the past. As for present day print, I donít even want to grade the writers, editors and publishers who say they are concerned. I honestly havenít seen anyone there that follows in the footsteps of past giants like John Power, Bob Rife or a long gone scribe by the name of Tiny Bennett. Some of the present day guys may think they swing a big stick. I just wish they would use it.

The Good
No more Good, the Bad, the Ugly at least for this newsletter. Browse back at the last newsletter and read up on the Bad and the Ugly. Those that deserved it last time still get those honours this time around.

As for the Good, I would really like to take this time to salute one of Canadaís all time great outdoor writers, John Power. Over his professional career, John was a jack of all trades in the Canadian outdoor media field. He was a great magazine contributor both here in Canada and the United States. He was a hell of an outdoor photographer. Still, his greatest fame came from his decades of outdoor columns that appeared two or three times weekly in the Toronto Star. Iíve known John for more than forty years, beginning way, way, way back when he took me under his wing and gave me more than a little direction, guidance , counseling, a few scoldings, but most of all a life long friendship. More than a few trips of ours were almost legendary to some and just tall tales to others. I prefer that saying, what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico and letís just say they were tall tales.

As a tutor though, I couldnít have had a better. I learned the secret of taking those Ďactioní fish shots, which many so-called pros try to keep secret. Letís just say on a rocky point out from Alpena, Michigan, Power had me waist deep in Lake Huron lowering and lifting a 12 pound brown trout as if it had just been caught, as he clicked away on his Canon camera. Trouble was, the old pro sold those pictures a couple of hundred times over and all I ever received was a shoulder that was stiff for a month.

I worked side by side with the Power when the Toronto Star Great Salmon Hunt really was a world class fishery. Back in those good old days thousands of boats and anglers could be counted daily enjoying the finest urban fishery in the world. It was Powerís regular columns that educated metroís population to the transplanted salmon fishery and kept them coming back for more. Power doesnít write those columns anymore and that Torontoís backdoor fishery is only a memory of the days of old.

But most of all this great man, was my idol because like me, he was never politically correct. In all the years I studied his writings he never once bowed to pressure from his bosses, politicians, big industry, special interest groups or anyone else that would adversely affect the sport fishery. He took his lumps at times, but never gave up the fight and I loved him for it.

After 31 years John walked away from the Toronto Star and I donít think it was with a willingness on his part. Publishers and editors come and go and so do the staff that work for them. Itís been a little less than a decade since John typed his last column and that paper like the Lake Ontario salmon fishery hasnít been the same since.

Surprising though, Power never was rewarded with the recognition he rightly deserves. He was a strong supporter of some of those big fishing clubs that even today like to boast about having power in numbers to protect and improve our fishery. He was the staunchest supporter of the then called Progressive Conservatives who were in power over the years when people like Bernier, Miller, Pope and Harris held the reins of the Natural Resources and fisheries and our outdoors were better supervised and protected than today. These groups and people would be wise to remember that he was always there when he was asked for help.

Outfitter & Lodge Spotlight
Sportfishing Niagara:

Spring is in the air and the waters will be warming down in the southwestern corner of Lake Ontario out from Port Dalhousie and the mouth of the Niagara River. Itís also a time to book a trip with Grant Koppers and his ( Sportfishing Niagara Charters . Now when it comes to Great Lakes salmon and trout fishing no one but no one does it better than Grant. Filming an episode of Going Fishing was simple and fast when fishing with Koppers on an early morning in May last spring. So fast in fact, we put our first bait behind a Dipsey Diver at 6 a.m. and pulled our last bait out of the water at 10 a.m. The show was complete and seventeen big chinook had been hooked and brought to the net in no time at all.

Iíve fished with Grant a half dozen times and have never been disappointed, never been skunked and never left the water without a limit of trout and salmon. At this time of the year in particular, the voraciously feeder chinook converge on the currents pouring out of the Niagara. Honestly speaking, salmon are everywhere and always ready to bite down on a hook.

Grant Koppers and his Sportfishing Niagara operation are a must for every Great Lakes salmon angler, whether youíre an experienced old pro or a newcomer to the sport. Donít miss it.
Chante Sportfishing Charters:

Like I mentioned, spring is in the air and the water is warming. Only this time letís look to the western basin of Lake Erie. A good friend of mine John Sim, while more than likely being the longest serving charter skipper on the lake is also the best in my opinion. Working out of the port of Kingsville, Sim and his Chante Sportfishing Charters ( is a guarantee for some of the best fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass and perch that you will ever experience. At this time of the year the target fish are walleye and tasty yellow perch and with this expert captain the catching is guaranteed.

Interesting also, is the fact that if you ask for it the technique can be trolling, but his records prove that 90 percent of his fishing and his catching is by the cast and retrieving or cast and jigging techniques. The waters out from Kingsville and around the shallows of Pelee Island are the fishing grounds and believe me Sim knows these haunts better than anyone and these haunts are home to some of the finest fishing found anywhere on the Great Lakes.

Looking for an experience, a great day and plenty of fish? Give John Sim a call or look him up at You wonít be sorry.
St. Johnís Lodge:

This British Columbia salmon fishing location is one Iíve honestly never been to... Yet! But boy am I biting at the bit to get up there this coming August. The name is St. JohnĎs Fishing Lodge
( and to say this lodge is typical by British Columbia fishing standards is an understatement to say the least. For starters, youíre talking about luxury afloat, 236 feet of it in fact. Itís a floating luxury liner that is always anchored in some of the best salmon grounds the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Part of the season, May thru July, sheís perfectly positioned in Caamano Sound a picturesque and protected northern paradise 440 miles north of Vancouver. Here the big kings and coho abound and when you tire of the silver fighters you can turn your attention to some of the finest bottom fishing found anywhere on the coast. From late July to September they weigh anchor and head a few miles south to the fabled waters of Milbanke Sound. Now hereís a location that Iíve visited more than a few times in the past, and believe me, it just doesnít get any better anywhere on the Pacific from Alaska all the way south to California. The salmon and big ones to boot, are always fighting to get on your hook.

Both locations are picturesque, with towering trees, snow capped mountains, soaring eagles and hordes of seals, sea lions and whales to share your adventure. And then again, thereís the St. Johnís Fishing Lodge itself to top off this perfect fishing adventure.
Noel Gygerís Guided Fishing Adventurers:

So you think youíre a river fisherman, a drift fisherman supreme? Think you can battle a 20 pound steelhead or 50 pound king salmon on light line in a big flow? How about tackling silver bright, hooked nose 20 pound coho and not just one or two in a day, but just maybe, twenty, thirty or even more. And for you open water troll specialist, want to try for those famous 50 pound plus Pacific springs? Want to play tug-of-war with a 200 pound fish thatís called a barn door by some, but just plain halibut by others. If you want to try all that and more give Noel Gyger ( a try at Noel Gygerís Guided Fishing Adventures. Noel runs one of the best outfits in the Pacific Northwest out of Terrace, B.C. For river fishing this guy offers it all. His operation guides out of fabled rivers such as the Skeena, Kalum, Nass and Kitimat to name just a few. Now this is big fish water, where 90 pound kings have been hauled ashore. Fifty pounders are common and 40 pounders donít even raise eyebrows. Steelhead fanatics will go crazy for the saltwater fresh bows that can top 30 pounds or more. Noel Gygerís Guided Fishing Adventurers also offer up some of the finest saltwater trolling found anywhere on the coast out of the ports of Prince Rupert or Kitimat If you really, and I mean really want to experience a fishermanís paradise then click on Noelís homepage or contact Noel at (250) 635-2568. Better get ready to relocate though. Once an angler visits this territory, the bug sets in real easy like. Great rivers just stuffed from bank to bank with fish, towering snow capped mountains, lush forestsÖand oh yes those Dungeness Crab, Prawns, Salmon Fillets and Halibut Steaks. Goodbye Ontario, hello British Columbia north country.

Tackle That Catches People & Fish!

First my good buddy Rick Ebisuzaki the National Sales Manager at Bushnell Outdoor Products really pulled a fast one on me. Last month he had me talking up his fantastic line of Bollť sunglasses. Actually he sent me a half dozen pairs last summer and I fell in love with all of them. Of course me, being me, I kissed a little butt in return for those glasses and did what I thought was a pretty good job of talking up the Bollťs

Now, my good buddy from Bushnell bumps into me at one of the spring outdoor shows and starts raving about his other line of great sunglasses H2Optix. The brown nosing starts and Iím granted another tryout, only this time around with the new H2Optix polarized fishing glasses. Now, no fish story, Iíve already been out early steelheading and finishing up my ice fishing and have been really giving these glasses a workout. Nice look, nice fit and believe me do they cut the glare through the water to catch site of structure and those all important fish. I have had a problem sometimes in the past with scratches and shattering of my lens. Not with these glasses. The lenses are made of polycarbonate shatter resistant material. Another interesting aspect to the lens is the hydrophobic coating they carry that allows rain or mist to sheet off the lens reducing water build up. The only trouble Iíve had so far with H2Optix is the numerous choices of frames and lenses. By the way, if you happen to be reading this Rick, thereís nothing Iíd love better to do than try out some of those other models that you havenít sent out to me yet.

Traxstech, now that to me was one weird name for a fishing tackle company. This company use to go under the name Pursuit. But remember that word Traxstech ( Itís going to be a very popular name in the near future. Traxstech is a world class fishing system for marine and fishing use. Okay, so what is Traxstech? For starters, itís a very simple mounting system. One minute you can have a step pad to save wear and tear on the gunnels of your boat. A simple twist of a couple of screws and the internal pad (insert) slides out of the mounting track and you can slide in a downrigger, a rod holder, a series of rod holders, a downrigger and a rod holder, swivel bases for your downrigger, a universal bracket for fishfinders and speed /temp trolls or adjustable tie down clamps. Now here the beauty of the whole system. Take all that equipment back off with a couple of twists of the screw and you simply slide the step pads back into the tracks and presto..your boat is glamorous again and your fishing gear can be locked safely away somewhere. Oh and there are a couple of other items that might interest you open water fishermen. Traxstech manufacture some fantastic Dual Adjustable Planer Masts and Clamp on Planer Reels. Once again, easy screw on and screw off. Nothing has to be left on the boat permanently. Traxstech you just have to love it.
Berkley Chigger Craw Power Bait:

Looking for the ultimate in a fishing lure, then look no further than the all new Berkley Chigger Craw. Hereís a bait that can be fished Texas Rig, Carolina Rig, behind a jig or just dragged and bounced along bottom. Take the time to watch this craw swim wildly back and forth along that same lake bottom. The bass do and they canít resist them.
Berkley Wacky Crawler Power Bait:

Then again thereís that Wacky Crawler from Berkley. You say the fish wonít bite? Then vary that presentation with the perfect bait, the Berkley Wacky Crawler. Throw it out into the lake. Let is sink and then hold on tight. Bounce it off bottom or try twitching this presentation over a brush pile. Itís all in the texture, or at least thatís what the folks at Berkley say about that makes for the best swimming action a soft plastic bait can have. And donít forget, itís one of those legendary baits that fish just wonít let go.
Fat Dover Crawler Power Bait:

This one I just had to add. Itís called the Fat Dover Crawler. There isnít a bass alive that will pass up on this finesse worm. Fine detailed texture and the life-like features that would fool the wariest of largemouth and smallmouth. Finesse fishing is a simple, easy technique, but with this bait it just got a whole lot simpler and a whole lot easier.

Remember, donít go out on the water without these three new Berkley Power Baits. Theyíre proven winners.
Spin Doctor Flasher, by Dream Weaver:

It use to be that all dodgers and flashers were made on the west coast of British Columbia, Oregon, Washington and California. Not any more though and look out you western tackle manufacturers, thereís a Great Lakes tackle company out of Michigan ( that is ready to kick butt with a series of flies, spoons and in particular flashers. Itís a flasher called the Spin Doctor that has the Great Lakes sportfishery in a tizzy. Available in 6, 8 and 10 inch models and upwards of more than forty colour combinations. These attractors rotate, dip and dive like nothing Iíve set behind a cannonball, Dipsey Diver or Deeper Diver. The can pull a spoon or fly and believe me they attract and account for more fish than any other attractor Iíve used. Itís a combination of shape, fins and colours that make these Spin Doctors the talk of the Great Lakes. Oh, and by the way, you Pacific boat fishermen really are missing the boat if you donít have some of these on board.
Mepps Little Wolf:

Iíve been waiting for this bait to come along for a long, long time. As a matter of fact I think that the folks at Breckís Canada ( and Mepps did as well. This spoon was not released until more than three years of testing had gone in to the finished product. Hereís a bait thatís available in two sizes and eight fish catching colours. Thereís no doubt about it, the Little Wolf by Mepps belongs in the tackle box of every Canadian Fisherman. Itís a spoon that will attract everything from brook trout, all the way up to the every hungry chinook and coho salmon. Itís got the wobble and the looks to trick the wariest of fish. Look out for the Little Wolf and donít leave home without it.
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