After his 13th place finish and winning the Big Fish category on day two with his partner at the first NOWT Walleye Tournament held on beautiful Mattagami Lake last weekend, I thought I would ask Dany Vienneau if he would like to be featured in my column.
Well, it didn't take long for Dany to reply to my email. So without any further ado, it's my pleasure to introduce this up-and-coming angler in the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail, Dany Vienneau.
Q: Where were you born?
A: I was born in Hearst, but due to my father’s employment I was raised in different communities, including Hornepayne, Gogama and Blind River.
Q: Who played a role in getting you started in fishing?
A: My father played a huge role in getting me started in fishing. I can remember as a youth spending many days in a boat or ice fishing. I would say I developed my obsession with fishing from my father. I always enjoyed the time we spent together while fishing for mostly walleye and at times for lake trout.
Q: As a youth, where did you fish and for what?
A: At an early age my father would take me out for walleye in Hornpayne. When I was 10 years old, we moved to Gogama. I can remember during the summer biking down to the MNR docks and casting, hoping to catch a big walleye. There wasn’t much to do, therefore fishing became my hobby. In my early teens, we moved to Blind River. I would say it’s there that I became a true fanatic of fishing. We were a few friends that loved fishing for bass and lake trout, and you could find us out on the lakes whenever we had the opportunity.
Q: What age did you start fishing?
A: As far as I can remember, I have always fished. My parents tell me stories that I started at the early age of one year old.
Q: How did you get into walleye tournament fishing and why?
A: In my younger years, I played a lot of competitive golf and enjoyed the competition and the challenge. An injury prevented me from continuing to compete in competitive golf. I needed to fill that void. In 2014, I participated in the Kap River Walleye Tournament. Even though it was a struggle and finished somewhere like 70th place, I had a blast. I was hooked, that’s all I talked about – the excitement from the start line, to catching a tournament limit and to actually weighing your bag of fish. The thought of competing and testing my fishing skills against top of the line anglers has filled the void of playing competitive golf. I always joke around when people ask me why I chose fishing over golf. My answer is quite simple: I’ve yet to throw a fishing rod in the water!
Q: What was your most memorial fishing experience and why?
A: I don’t think I have a most memorial fishing experience, but I have plenty of memorable ones. One of them would be watching my son catch his first fish at a very young age, of course a walleye. I still remember the look on his face. Another experience that sticks out for me would be my first tournament that my father and I competed together. We had a great day one at the KRWT and finished the tournament in 3rd place. Lastly, a most recent experience would be from just a the 2018 Mattagami First Nation Spring Walleye Tournament. We struggled day one, but never gave up. On day two we had a decent bag in the boat. At one point I told my partner we need a 26, 27 incher in order to climb the leaderboard. Sure enough not even two minutes later I hooked in to a 7.55 lb walleye. That fish allowed us to climb from 63th to 13th place overall.
Q: List any anglers that helped you learn more about fishing over the years?
A: There are many anglers who have helped me throughout the years. When someone gives me a tip or advice on a body of water, I always listen and try it out. But a couple of anglers stick out for me; one would be my father, although we don’t get to fish much together outside of tournaments. We always exchange notes and results. He actually taught me how to bottom bounce which resulted in a pure game changer for me. Another angler who had a huge impact on my progression as he is always ready to give out tips and advice is Dean Bliss. I’ve had several conversations with Dean in regards to different bodies of water, weather conditions, water temperature. Dean has always provided me with useful information which has paid off on several occasions, including this year at the Mattagami First Nation spring walleye tournament.
Q: List sponsors and tournament finishes.
A: I have several sponsors which include the following: Guiho Saw Sales and Marine, Engel Coolers, VNO Line Painting, Northern Crack Sealers, Ok Tire of Greenstone, TSM, Straight Line Plumbing, Nadeau Haulage, Dagenais Woodwork, Hearst Central Garage, PEPCO, Routhier Logging, South End Convenience, and Cameron Lake Lodge.
I have a 3rd and 26 place finish at KRWT, a 13th place finish at the 2018 MFN fishing spring, and a 45th place finish at the Geraldton Walleye Classic.
Q: Biggest fishing supports over the years? Example: wife, family and friends.
A: My biggest fishing supports have to be my wife Martine and son Jeremy. When I leave for five to six days for a tournament, they are left behind taking care of business at home. Without them filling this void, I wouldn’t be able to compete in the tournaments.
Q: What are some of your favourite fish you like to fish for and why?
A: Well obviously I enjoy to fish for walleye. I enjoy the challenge that they provide. Just when you think you have figured them out, it all changes and leaves you scratching your head. I have to admit that I’m a little obsessed with ice fishing for splake. There is just something about catching a 10 lb splake through the ice.
Q: What is your favourite fishing technique(s) for walleye?
A: I would have to say my go-to technique would be bottom bouncing, but I also enjoy jigging. I’ve had success using both techniques.
Q: Why do you fish walleye tournaments?
A: I fish walleye tournaments for the adrenaline rush, competition and the challenge. There is no better way of measuring my skills as an angler then against the talented anglers on the NOWT. I still get nervous on day one of tournaments prior to take off. But the nerves are quickly put away when my boat number is called and then the adrenaline kicks in while racing to your first spot in attempts of catching the big one. I also fish tournaments as it provides me quality time with my father who is also my partner. My love for tournament fishing had led me to be part of the organizing committee for the inaugural Longlac Walleye Masters which takes place on July 27, 28, and 29, 2018.
Q: Why did you agree to have your bio done?
A: I accepted to have my bio done in order to attract more anglers to the sport of tournament fishing in attempts to grow the NOWT. Also by getting my bio done, it provided me with the opportunity to thank all my sponsors who are a great help at the end of the day.
Q: Any tips you would give to a new walleye angler looking at fishing the NOWT?
A: My experiences with tournament fishing and the NOWT have been nothing but rewarding. I have made some strong connections with different anglers that I may not have met if it wasn’t for the NOWT. I would like to say to all anglers out there who want to compete, all I can say is that it’s anyone’s game and that anybody can win on any given weekend.
Q: What would be some of your greatest accomplishes over the years of fishing?
A: My greatest accomplishes have to be the fact that although I’m still quite new to the tournament scene. I have been able to test my skills and knowledge of fishing against top quality anglers and at times faired quite well. But one accomplishment that sticks out the most for me has to be finishing 3rd at the 2016 KRWT, which was my partner/father and I, first walleye tournament together.
I would like to thank Dany for taking the time to answer these questions as I know he is quite busy preparing for the Longlac Walleye Masters coming up on July 27, 28, and 29, 2018.
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