Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is Your Personal Hunting and Fishing Data At Risk?

There is one issue of particular concern to me right now, it is our right to privacy when dealing with government departments and institutions. Yes, I know that governments are entitled to use our personal information for their own purposes, but we have never given them a mandate to share personal information with a foreign government. There is a real potential for that to happen now that the Ontario Government has contracted the management of our fish and game licensing system to an American firm.

The database of all Ontario fish and game licensing records now resides in Nashville, Tennessee. There was little fanfare or flag waving on the part of the provincial government regarding the issue, as is the norm when governments of all levels want to show that they have created efficiencies that will save money. So I have to wonder if this is simply an exercise in “creative accounting” rather than a matter of true cost reduction or improved efficiency. I’m sure that government representatives and bureaucrats have an iron-clad contract stating that all records are the property of the Ontario Government and as such are proprietary, confidential, and in compliance with our Privacy Protection Act, but if you think that U.S. Homeland Security won’t trump the Ontario Government when information is in the hands of a U.S. company, think again.

Contracting out by governments may be the right thing to do in some instances, but not when individual privacy is at risk; so two thumbs down to the McGuinty government on this one.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Take a Kid Fishing in Southern Ontario

Squeals of laughter and beaming faces full of wonder, there are few delights in the outdoors that can match the look on the face of a youngster with a fish throbbing on the end of a line.  Fishing with kids is the time to put your own needs aside; teach them, learn from them, watch them, and enjoy them.

The mistake that many adults make when taking kids fishing is expecting them to act, and react, as we would.  I often hear parents berating a child for throwing stones in the water, poking at the worms, not paying attention to their line, or making too much noise.  Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought the goal was to have fun.  Keep that in mind and a magical bond will form that lasts a lifetime.  You’ll find that even fishing with your older kids opens the door to a world that only you can share. 

Make safety your number one concern.  Every year children die unnecessarily because they have been put in unsafe conditions or because adults are focused on their own enjoyment instead of enjoying the kids.  Even when fishing in a small pond it is a good idea to ensure that small children wear a lifejacket.  It is even more important when fishing from a boat.  Children move fast and constant supervision is a must.

Ever see the guy holding the $300 fishing combo that somehow thinks the five dollar cartoon character special is good enough for the kids.  If you wouldn’t fish with a particular piece of equipment chances are the kids won’t enjoy it either.  Broken rods, reels, and tangled line is not the best way to introduce a youngster to the enjoyment of fishing.  Kids get distracted easily, they also get turned off easily if equipment doesn’t work properly.  Fishing with poor quality equipment certainly isn’t fun.  Shop for value; not just price.

Kids – especially young kids – just want to catch fish.  They don’t care if it’s a rainbow trout or a rock bass and it shouldn’t matter to the adults either.  A kid sitting on the bank reeling in bluegill one after another is sure to equate fun with fishing.  On the other hand sitting in a boat for hours on end in the rain trolling for musky is a sure way to turn them off.  Fishing is an evolution and the bottom rung of the ladder is to have fun.  There is plenty of time to teach children the intricacies of fishing when they get a bit older and begin to look for more of a challenge.

A weekend trip to a cottage or campground can be a great way to introduce youngsters to the joys of fishing.  However, it likely isn’t a good idea to drag kids along on a daytrip that requires several hours in the car.  Take them on a short trip to the local reservoir, stream, or river.  You’ll keep their attention and you’ll both have a great time.  That being said, pick a time when you’re both in a good mood and ready to share an adventure.  If you’re already stressed from work or little Johnny has a cold and is in a bad mood, leave fishing for another day.  Remember that fun is the first criteria and if one of you isn’t in the mood to have fun it may be better to do something else.  I often found that spontaneous fishing trips with my two boys were the most memorable.

Dress for the weather – and bug – conditions.  Layered clothes are a good idea, especially if you are starting out earlier in the morning and expecting the day to warm up.  Throw some rainwear in as well, just in case.  If the day is bright and sunny, sunscreen and a hat with a broad brim is an necessity.  It is essential to ensure that everyone is comfortable and to ensure this defense against the great northern mosquito hoards is also a necessity.  Many a great fishing trip has been completely ruined by black flies, deer flies, and mosquitoes.  There are a great many products on the market and let your own feelings towards the use of products containing “deet”.  Products with lower concentrations of “deet” are available for young children as are many products that do not contain “deet”.  Whatever your preference be sure you have some along.  A bug jacket is also a good idea.  They’re inexpensive, light weight, and they work.  Don’t forget to pack some drinks and snacks, in fact some “surprise” snacks, that the kids don’t often get at home will add the experience.

So touch a worm, toss a rock, and have the time of their life.

10 Rules of Fishing with Kids

1.    Let them have fun
2.    Be sure they wear a lifejacket (not a bad idea to wear yours too) and are well supervised.
3.    Buy good quality equipment.
4.    Kids want quantity not quality.
5.    Go someplace close, avoid long drives for a few hours of fishing.
6.    Listen to what they have to say and share their experiences
7.    Make suggestions, not demands and explain why.
8.    Take lots of bug spray, sunscreen, and wear a hat.
9.    Pack some drinks and snacks.
10. Show…don’t tell…them that fishing is fun!

©2011 Lloyd Fridenburg – All rights reserved click here for copyright permissions

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Pure Fishing® products claimed five individual awards at this year’s ICAST show in Las Vegas, Nev. Winning products include Berkley® NanoFil®, the Abu Garcia® Revo® MGX™, Sebile® D&S Crank and the Shakespeare® Casting Game and Sound Kits.

NanoFil added to a long list of awards by claiming the Best of Show and Best New Line award. Berkley NanoFil has been on many award lists, winning the Innovation Of The Year Award at Europe’s EFTTEX Show.

The Abu Garcia Revo MGX is the lightest baitcast reel on the market at a mere 5.4 ounces. The Revo MGX was recognized by the voters as the top new freshwater reel for 2012.

Sebile’s D&S Crank has already won the 2011 NANTES (Europe) Best Hard Lure and Best of Show. The D&S Crank was awarded the Best Hard Lure at ICAST. The unique shape of the D&S Crank makes this lure a favorite when fishing deep waters or where there is lots of structure.

Not to be outdone, the Shakespeare Sound Fishing Kits were awarded with the Best Kids Tackle at this year’s show. These unique kits are highly interactive, which gives young anglers the opportunity to have more fun while learning the sport of fishing.

The awards are given each year to the best products in each category, which is voted on by select ICAST attendees that includes active editorial journalists and retailers.

Thanks to Chris Hockley, Pure Fishing’s Canadian Marketing Manager

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rivermouth Bows

It's mid-March and the spring runoff is in full swing. Those currents surging into the lakes from the river mouths is sure to get those early spring run rainbows racing up the rivers. Here in Southern Ontario we're blessed with a multitude of venues for early spring fishing long before the regular season opens at the end of April.

One thing to consider before you head out is that the water will be cold, in fact the water will only be a few degrees above freezing. A fall into those temperatures can immobilize your legs in seconds and the cold water shock can even stop your heart. Never venture near early spring rivers or lakes without some type of floatation. If you're on the rocks use a floater suit; if you're wadding use a convenient lightweight inflatable life jacket. Safety is number one; don't become a statistic.

Be sure to check your local regulations but here's a few that might be worth trying over the next few weeks:

Meaford Harbour – The sheltered harbor and extensive break-wall provide a perfect opportunity to fish for early season bows without even getting your feet wet.

Owen Sound Harbour – Fishing along the outer harbor walls, near where the Chi-Cheemaun docks for the winter can produce some great early season action.

Saugeen River – There is a significant stretch of river in Southampton that is open to year-round fishing. Check the regs because the actual year-round area has changed on occasion. This river can be treacherous in the spring so be extremely careful is you choose to wade.

You can check out these an more Southern Ontario fishing destination on the Southern Ontario Outdoors website.

Whenever you have a chance to get out, Southern Ontario rivers are the place to do it. And remember the old adage "A bad day fishing is better than a good day at the office anytime!"

©2011 Lloyd Fridenburg – All rights reserved click here for copyright permissions

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

“Ice Fishing, The Ultimate Guide”

The Ink is Dry, Actually Frozen on "Ice Fishing, The Ultimate Guide"

New ice fishing book is turning heads like tripped tip-ups in a mob of anxious anglers

Ottawa, OntarioIce Fishing –The Ultimate Guide is the edgiest and most comprehensive guide to help ice fishing enthusiasts catch more and bigger fish. Winter fishing

technology and strategies are advancing at a blistering pace and this new 214-page book covers everything from timeless ice fishing basics to the latest techniques.

"Whether you are an ice fishing novice or pro, there is something in this book for you," says Bob Izumi, host of The Real Fishing Show.

Inside, readers will be enchanted by over 200 full-color photos that portray the spirit and science of modern ice fishing. Part reference guide, part coffee table book, Ice Fishing – The Ultimate Guide is the perfect Christmas gift for any angler, and "a great tool for the modern ice angler," says Brian "Bro" Brosdahl, ice fishing pioneer and iconic northwoods guide.

Written by outdoors author/photographer and ice-fishing fanatic, Tim Allard, Ice Fishing – The Ultimate Guide talks the talk and walks the walk on contemporary ice fishing clothing, electronics, on-the-ice safety, seasonal techniques, the newest gear, and chapter after chapter of species-specific coverage of North America's most sought after fish. Readers will also appreciate the contributions from over 20 of North America's most respected hardwater experts, such as Gord Ellis, Noel Vick, Dave Genz, not to mention the signature quality publishing that is The Heliconia Press.

To see a sample from the book online click here.

Purchasing Information

$24.95 US/CDN

ISBN number: 978-1-896980-49-2

Available direct from Heliconia (click here), at national book chains like Amazon, Chapters, Barnes & Noble; and specialty outdoor stores.

For wholesale inquiries or to request a media review copy contact: or call toll free 888-582-2001

About Tim Allard:

Tim Allard is a full-time outdoor journalist and a regular contributor to numerous North American publications, visit

Friday, July 9, 2010

Floating Down the River – 10 Tips for Relaxing Drift Fishing

The rain has started to fall and we just hit the tail end of the first true heat wave of our Southern Ontario Summer. We're also nearly at the end of National Fishing Week. This year Ontario extended the license-free fishing period from just a weekend to the whole week, giving newcomers to this great outdoors activity a chance to explore Ontario's vast fishing resources without the need to purchase a license. This program has become a true success story and is sure to keep growing in popularity.

A great way to enjoy these hot hazy days of summer is the float trip. I know that to some the term may conjure up images of drift boats and guides but it wasn't always that way. Although the services of a guide makes for a pleasant outing and you're almost guaranteed to get into some quality fish if you follow the suggestions of your guide, the float fishing I'm talking about is about a relaxing drift down a lazy river and being happy to catch whatever happens to tug on your line. In Southern Ontario this can be anything from bass and walleye to creek chub, suckers, catfish, and carp.

There is no need for fancy equipment, a couple of lures or a hook and can of worms, and some means of transportation (canoe, kayak, inflatable, etc.) is all you need. If you plan on drifting a significant distance it is advisable to take two cars: leave one at your destination – typically near a bridge that crosses the river; and drive the other one and the canoe upstream to your starting point.

Now you're set for a day of relaxation with no timeframe, just a relaxing drift down the river to your takeout point. You can cast lures into deeper pools along the shoreline or drift with worms through deeper runs, and you'll never know what you might latch onto. A couple of years ago my buddy latched onto a huge carp that actually pulled our canoe a good distance back upstream.

Here are a few tips to make your Southern Ontario drift safe and enjoyable:

  1. Wear your life jacket!
  2. No alcohol; but do take plenty of liquid refreshment on a hot day.
  3. Wear waterproof footwear like sandals or water slippers. Water levels can be low during mid-summer and you will likely have to walk through short shallow stretches on most Southern Ontario rivers.
  4. Pack a lunch or snacks…make a day of it and don't rush.
  5. Watch the weather. If rain or, especially thunder storms are imminent you might want to shoot for another day.
  6. Wear a hat that will shade your face and neck. And don't forget the sunscreen and packing some insect repellent might be a good idea.
  7. Did I mention Wear your Lifejacket?
  8. If you are alone or only have one car it's best to head upstream first and then drift back to your starting point.
  9. Check a map and be aware of the actual distance you plan to travel. Many Southern Ontario Rivers have huge oxbow bends in them; it may be only a couple of kilometers between bridges by car, but the actual distance on the river can easily be several kilometers.
  10. Be sure someone knows where you're going and when you plan to be back. Take your cell phone but keep it in a waterproof container or plastic bag.

I hope you get a chance to try this relaxing effortless way to explore Southern Ontario's rivers this summer. Leave a comment on our blog and tell us about your adventures. Have a safe enjoyable summer.

©2010 Lloyd Fridenburg – All rights reserved click here for copyright permissions