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Competitive nature has meant a good start on the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail for this angler

Wawa's Dylan Buckell joined the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail in 2017 and talks about some of his experiences along with how he got into fishing competitively
2020-05-14 Dylan Buckell Supplied
Photo supplied by Dylan Buckell

This week's angler profile is on an angler that joined the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail in 2017.

Since joining, his competitive nature has helped him rack up a couple of top 10 placings, cool under pressure awards, and qualify for both NOWT Championships.

Although he and his tournament partner Brett Robinson, haven't won a tournament yet, it's only a matter of time before they do.

As a veteran angler, I enjoy seeing young anglers honing their walleye skills by competing against some of the best walleye anglers in the NOWT.

It is my pleasure to introduce this week's angler, Dylan Buckell.

Q: Where were you born?

DB: Born and raised in Wawa, Ontario.

Q: Who played a role in getting you started in fishing?

DB: My father got me started fishing, but my grandfather, who also loved to fish, would take me out with him whenever I was available. 

Q: As a youth, where did you fish, and for what?

DB: Growing up in Wawa, where there are so many lakes and rivers, it would be tough to pick one lake in general, but walleye was the most targeted species.

Q: At what age did you start fishing?

DB: I’ve been fishing for as long as I can remember, but growing up, I played hockey in the winter and golf and baseball in the summer. At that point in my life, fishing was just a weekend hobby or something I would get out and do with family and friends whenever I had the time or the weekend off.

Q: How did you get into walleye tournament fishing and why?

DB: I've always been a very competitive athlete and person. Unfortunately, just a few years ago, I suffered a bad concussion playing hockey and I was no longer able to play competitive sports. I had a few very tough months accepting and moving on from something that was so close to my family and I. I then started to fish a lot more to get my mind off things and to get outside. I started fishing every day with my good buddy and now tournament partner Brett Robinson. My passion for fishing kept growing, and I decided to participate in some local tournaments. That’s when my competitive nature started up again, and tournament fishing was all I wanted to do.

Q: What was your most memorable fishing experience and why?

DB: My most memorable fishing experience was my first ever NOWT event in 2017. My good friend, Cameron Moore, and I partnered up for the Dubreuilville Magpie Walleye Derby, where we had a very eventful Sunday. We started the day in 3rd place, and we were having another good day. Cameron decided to measure our second over one last time. While doing so, the fish flopped and torpedoed back into the water. Somehow, Cameron was able to grab that fish and haul it back into the boat. After a few minutes of silence and shock, we decided just to run in and weigh the fish, but it wouldn't end there. As we were packing up and getting ready to leave, our boat died and would no longer run. Thankfully, Brett and Carol-Anne Robinson were in the same area and witnessed all of this chaos. Without any hesitation, they decided to end their fishing day early to help us out. With the help of the officials and the selfless act of our fellow anglers (Brett and Carol-Anne), we were able to weigh in our bag of fish, and we ended up finishing in 2nd place overall. That day was not only a fantastic memory but also taught me a lot as an angler and as a person.

Q: List any anglers that helped you learn more about fishing over the years.

DB: There is no doubt that many anglers have helped me learn more about fishing over the years. First off, my dad, Chris Buckell, who started me out and allowed me to get out and learn all about the sport at a young age. Secondly, it would be my partner, Brett Robinson, who is an amazing angler and friend. Brett has shown me so much over the years and taught me all about tournament fishing. Another angler who has helped me along the way would be my brother-in-law, Joel Dechamplain, who is also very passionate about fishing and who I enjoy being out on the water with. Finally, I would be naive not to mention Jamie Robinson and Terry Bernath, who we camp with during the NOWT season and who are always there to help us out and give us feedback whenever we need it. 

Q: List sponsors and tournament finishes.

DB: A few sponsors that have helped me out during my nine NOWT tournaments have been Reghold Trucking, Youngs General Store, and Ashley HomeStore Hearst.
Best finishes: 2017 DMWD (2nd place); 2019 KRWT (7th place)

Q: What are some of your favorite fish you like to fish for, and why? 

DB: My favorite fish to chase is walleye, no question about it.

Q: What is your favorite fishing technique(s) for walleyes?

DB: Fishing different bodies of water during different times of the year has taught me a lot about different techniques for catching walleye. My favorite method would probably be what I grew up doing, pitching jigs at shorelines and structures. I also love a good reaction bite, and ripping jigging raps wouldn’t be far behind.

Q: Why do you fish walleye tournaments?

DB: I’ve always been a very competitive person, and fishing is one of my favorite things to do, so for me being able to compete while fishing, there is nothing quite like it. Apart from the competitive aspect of tournaments, the socializing and being around other anglers is something that I enjoy.

Q: Why did you agree to have your bio done?

DB: I agreed to have my bio done to tell my story and hopefully trigger other anglers to join the NOWT and grow this sport that we all love.

Q: Any tips you would give to a new walleye angler looking at fishing the NOWT?

DB: My tip to any new tournament angler is to always stay positive and patient during a day of fishing. One bite can change your whole weekend.

Q: What would be some of your most significant accomplishments over the years?

DB: Since Brett and I have started fishing tournaments, we have struggled with putting back to back good days of fishing together. It is easy to lose focus and get discouraged after a bad first day out on the water. One of my most significant accomplishments would be, being awarded the “cool under pressure award” in two tournaments last season. This award is for the team that makes the most significant jump in the standings on day two from day one. Although it is never fun to have a bad start in a tournament, the fact that we did not give up and kept our focus for day two is something I am very proud of.

I want to thank Dylan for taking the time to have his anglers profile done.

Remember this season, whether you are fishing from shore, launching your boat, or fishing on one of those backwood lakes to continue practicing social distancing. We need to keep doing our part and not just a few, so we will be able to continue to enjoy our passion.