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Fishing in Perspective
So grateful that Ontario's Dave C took some time from fishing on his family vacation to talk about a number of different topics. The one, and perhaps the most important, is his reminder about proper sun protection for everyone who gets out on the water. Here is what he shared.
GFN: You lead your Twitter profile with "Fighter of Melanoma". Do you mind sharing what that is all about?
I was first diagnosed with advanced melanoma in January 2014. An abnormal mole on my knee was biopsied at the urging of my wife and the results confirmed cancer. I've been through 3 surgeries and 2 different forms of treatment since. I can't say enough about the great support I've had and continue to receive. That goes a long way in keeping the mental strength up. I'm not sure what the future holds but I just live life and try not to dwell on things as much. Fishing is a big part of the escape.
GFN: Fishing has come along way in sun protection outdoor gear. What gear do you use when out fishing?
Obviously, sun protection gear has become a big part of my life. Anyone spending time outdoors should have some form of outdoor wear to protect themselves. I wear Skoll Gear hats, shirts and neck/face protection whenever I'm spending time on the water, whether sunny or cloudy. Most people don't realize that the suns rays penetrate the cloud layer, so sunburn is still a risk on overcast days. I love Skoll Gear because it's Canadian owned and operated, lightweight and comfortable, moisture wicking and comes at a great price point compared to other companies offerings. Owners Shelley and Keith Langley understand what people are looking for when it comes to modern sun protection and have been affected by cancer in their own family.
GFN: You are answering this email while vacationing at the cottage. Where is the cottage? And what are you fishing for this week?
The family is just outside Bancroft, Ontario this week. The lake has an abundance of smallmouth and largemouth bass, plus pickerel and plenty of sunfish for the kids.
GFN: If you were allowed only three Ontario waters to fish, which three would you choose and why?
I'm a smallmouth freak and that's a great question! I think I'd have to choose, in no particular order; Lake Erie, the St. Lawrence and Lake Simcoe. All three are renowned smallmouth fisheries and on any given day, can produce a world class fishing experience.
GFN: How long have you been fishing and who had the biggest influence on your fishing?
Not as long as I'd like! I was introduced to fishing by my wife's uncle a few years back. What started with a loaned spinning rig has exploded into what I'd call an obsession. After my groin dissection surgery, I was bedridden for almost 8 weeks, so social media became a source of some great friends and lots of fishing knowledge. It would be difficult to name one person, so I'll give a shout out to Chris, Darryn and Keith - plus most of my Twitter followers. That should cover it!!
GFN: What lessons have you learned from being a fisherman that you would like to pass on to your children?
I think fishing teaches you an abundance of patience and to respect the outdoors and its resources. I'm hoping that my four children will continue to explore the outdoors and fishing as they get older.
GFN: I am doing an upcoming interview with one of your sponsors Mega Jigs. Tell me more about how you fish Mega Jigs, when you fish them and what makes them your go to jig?
Depending on the body of water, I'll use the Mega Jigs tube, swim, wacky, football or stand up jigs. I've used the big box store products in the past but they never seemed to make the cut in terms of quality and durability. Tube jigs I'll use most on Lake Erie, either dragging and popping off the bottom or casting and popping, depending on the wind conditions. The swim jigs I'll use over weed beds, shoals or in shallower water, paired with a smaller paddle tail style bait. Wacky jigs I'll fish just about anywhere, but in particular near boat docks and other structures. These have been really productive this week!!! I've used the football jigs in any area where I can roll and drag the jig back to the boat - I usually look for a good sloping drop off to hit for best results. Finally, with the stand up jigs, I like to use a fork tailed worm which I can pop every so often, just to give it that rise and fall motion.
GFN: Who are the rest of your sponsors and what do you like about them?
I'm really fortunate to be able to work with Mega Jigs and Skoll Gear, but also Liquid Mayhem, Bombshell Lures and Exist to Fish Canada. They're all companies and teams that I believe in and honestly believe are some of the best in the business.
Liquid Mayhem makes what is in my opinion the best attractant on the market, hands down. The product has a huge following and the staff team shares a passion for helping others and spreading the word to prospective buyers.
Bombshell Lures, part of Castalia Outdoors, has a great line of soft plastics, made for fresh and saltwater anglers alike. Their hybrid turtle is a great, versatile bait that can be fished a number of ways. Turtles are a natural predator that raid bass nests, so I really like the bait as an option on drop shot, shaky head or weighted hook.
Exist to Fish is a great team, made up of passionate and avid anglers. The team frequently has articles and product reviews featured on other sites, which in turn helps and informs a wider fishing audience.
In summary, all of the teams I work with share a common passion. I like these companies because I honestly believe in their products; sounds obvious, but that should be the prime reason of working with any company. They not only have products they sell and review, but they also place a high value on the people on their staff.
Thank you Dave for everything you shared. I love getting to meet good people through doing this blog. I am so happy to add Dave to that list. Appreciate very much his candor to help all of us understand the importance of skin protection when fishing. Follow him as @LimeyBasstard on Twitter.