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Fishing the North: Crusading for starving children

Scottie Martin of the Canadian Fishing Network is helping to raise funds for the Feed My Starving Children charity
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Last week, I received a message from Scottie Martin of the Canadian Fishing Network asking me if I could set something up along the lines of a meet and greet for fellow angler James Mathias. The meet and greet was to help draw attention to a crusade James Mathias was going on this year to help raise money for the Feed My Hungry Children charity.

Normally, most people will give you a couple months heads-up about doing something like this. However, I guess Scottie likes to throw you right in the ring – the message came late Friday night.

The goal was to set something up at an outdoor store with some anglers attending for Monday morning. After looking over what James’ crusade was all about, how could I not try to put something together for them. After sending a couple messages back and forth with Ken Perreault of Albert's Sports and Work Wear Ltd., and to some local anglers, I managed to have a place for the meet and some local everyday/weekend anglers agreed to meet Monday morning at Albert's for the greet.

I meet up with James in Timmins Sunday evening at Tim Hortons were local anglers Bill Mafturack and Marc Mayer joined us shortly afterwards for coffee. Both Bill and Marc donated a box each of fishing tackle for James to send to Scottie Martin to auction off to help raise funds for Feed My Starving Children.

To explain what some of James goals, I asked him some questions to help people understand what his crusade is all about. First, lets take a peek at how James Mathias got hooked on fishing before taking a look at what his crusade is all about.

When did you start fishing?

I started fishing when I was about knee high to a grasshopper. I remember on many occasions growing up in the city of Toronto when my father would ask me what I wanted to do on a weekend for a father-son outing, and my answer on so many occasions would be to go fishing. He would take me either to a river that runs along Canal Rd. just North of Toronto approximately half way between Toronto and Barrie, Ont. Here, we would catch mud cat or the odd bass, I think. Or he would find some trout fish farm where he had to pay a substantial amount. I think it was by the pound for fish harvested. I was happy either way as long as I was fishing.

What factors lead you into doing this crusade?

Well, CFN (the Canadian Fishing Network) is always looking for content for their webinars/shows, social media accounts etc... I had gotten a position for this summer at Slippery Winds Wilderness Lodge (slipperywinds.com ), so I approached Scottie Martin of CFN and asked him if I filmed a few episodes worth of footage in Northern Ontario at this Lodge would he like to use it for his Facebook show called Walleye Wednesday.

Walleye Wednesday is a short production that Scottie Martin puts on his social media accounts every Wednesday over the past year or so. Once he was interested in this small project, I then expanded it to go as far as Calgary after my stint at the lodge for the summer, and I would add a couple areas across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta for extra content that would help gain some provincial exposure, not just for myself, but for CFN as well.

About a week after I brought this to Scottie’s attention, CFN aired a live broadcast about AFL (Angling For Life) and how they have a fishing tournament every year to help raise money for a charity called Feed My Starving Children. During the broadcast, Scottie was asking people for donations to help with AFL raise funds for this cause. I immediately went to Scottie and asked him if we could amalgamate my project, but instead of just going as far as Calgary, I would continue to the west coast of Vancouver. I suggested that instead of showcasing my fishing excursion, that we showcase each individual angler’s fishing opportunity that they have to offer in their neck of the woods, so to speak.

Scottie thought I was crazy. However, I think to amuse me, he agreed that it would be a good idea. This is how the start of the project happened. Since there is so much more I could say about this crusade, we are hoping as my journey continues, that more and more people will start following my adventure all summer long and possibly into the fall as well.

When will your crusade/fundraiser begin (from where) and end (where)?

The crusade has already begun. I started really over a month ago when I went on Lake Ontario with Kevin Gibson for lake trout. After that, I went to Walkerton, Ont. to meet up with Richard Elliot. While there, we filmed some footage that has yet to aired. I do not want to say what it was all about, however, I promise it’s going to be a good video.

From there, I hooked up with Andrew Scarr in the Clarington, Ont. area where he took me to float fish for steelhead. My next stop was with Chad Harrington for crappie, then Todd Beckstead for carp. May the 7th, I met up with Anthony Stevenson, a local guide, where he took me for rainbow trout from shore. Anthony was an absolute blast and it was a great experience to say the least. I cant wait to see the video from that day.

After leaving Anthony, I drove to Timmins where I meet up with some local anglers for coffee. The next morning I visited Albert's Sports and Work Wear for coffee and doughnuts. While at Albert’s, I was able to get some photos with some of the local anglers that came out on such short notice, and shoot some footage that will be aired shortly on the Canadian Fishing Network FaceBook page, so be on the look out for it.

From Timmins, I stopped at Typer's Live Bait in Hearst for a brief visit as I was heading to meet up with Gord Ellis. The next morning I met up with Gord Ellis. Gord Ellis was kind enough to take some time to interview me on CBC Radio in Thunder Bay to shed some light to our Coast to Coast Crusade for Feed My Starving Children charity.

As for where the crusade will end up, I am anticipating it to end sometime in October on the East Coast of Canada.

What are some of the goals you hope to achieve during your crusade?

My goals are simple, really. First and foremost, I would like to be able to get the word of this crusade out across the country so that people are aware of the end result of trying to raise money for the charity called Feed My Starving Children. I have no goal as for the amount we would like to raise.

Secondly, I would like to simply showcase some of the many different kinds of fishing opportunities that Canada has to offer, along with some of people and places that Canada has to offer anglers and visitors to our beautiful country.

Thirdly, I would like to get some exposure for CFN, Angling for Life, and our charity, Feed My Starving Children. I would like to inform people that they do not have to donate through CFN or Angling for Life. If they wish, they may donate directly to Feed My Starving Children's organization through their website

Last and not lest, I would love to simply meet anglers throughout the country just to chat and share stories. I find people's stories fascinating and I think people may be able to relive some of their stories. As anglers we all like a good fish story, so I am hoping they would like to share them with the rest of the country through myself and CFN. This crusade has many purposes and added benefits to many people out there. But most of all, it helps to save the lives of starving kids world-wide.

How can someone donate for your crusade?

People may donate through CFN's website. Just find the link that says coast to coast donation page and it will take you to a link. You can make your donation with credit card, Pay Pal, or send your cheques to CFN.

If a manufacture or business was interested in donating to your crusade/fundraiser, how would they go about it?

Manufactures would need to get in touch with Scottie Martin or Red Andal at Canadian Fishing Network for more information on charitable donation receipts.

Will you be stopping at some of the bait and tackle stores along your journey for photo shoots?

Yes. People will be able follow me on both CFN and my Facebook page to stay up-to-date on where we will be next. We do have a bit of time to get things a bit more organized as I will be guiding at Slippery Winds Lodge over the next four months and wont be going anywhere from there until the end of August. I'm sure by then I will have a much better detailed account on my schedule and will resume posting through our social media pages.

If a bait and tackle store would like you to stop by, how could they get ahold of you?

Almost everything is being done through Facebook, and Instagram. And again, both CFN and my Sea's The Day fishing page. If I'm going through an area that you live in and would like me to stop for a picture or meet and greet, this would be the way to get a hold of us/me.

Will you be doing some filming along your journey with some of the anglers you meet?

Absolutely. We are pretty much filming every part of this crusade. I already have enough footage for approximately nine short episodes, so make sure to follow Canadian Fishing Network on Facebook and Sea's The Day Fishing Adventures page to view the videos and keep up-to-date on my crusade.

Here is something I found very interesting from CFN’s Scottie Martin about James and the Canadian Fishing Network on their commitment to making this crusade not only work but to be a success – James Mathias was just recently approached by Habitat for Humanity to apply for the chance to become the owner of a house. James currently rents an old chapel out in the country that has been converted into a modern home on the inside. James and his family have never been financially able to own their own house, but have always dreamed of it one day. Habitat for Humanity works on the premise that you can own a home as long as you meet certain criteria, one of which is the amount of combined hours you put forth to build your own house, as well as others requirements.

James and his family recently found out that they were the ones chosen and Habitat for Humanity is currently looking at a suitable property to begin building their dream home. Now here's where it gets interesting... James has put forth some hours already before leaving for his summer job north of Fort Frances as a guide for Slippery Winds Fish and Hunt Camp. James has also committed to the CFN Coast To Coast Crusade and – in typical James fashion – he remains loyal to the cause. However, who's going to build James's house for his family?

This is where CFN comes in. Red and I are planning to go down and volunteer our services on behalf of James in his absence. We have contacted Moose Bertew from OFC, the Ontario Fishing Club, to help put together a group to volunteer in James's absence. As you can see, this is turning into quite the crusade for James, so be sure to follow him along his journey on the Canadian Fishing Network.

James, Scottie, Red, along with myself would like to thank both Chantal Cauchon, owner of Albert's Sports and Work Wear, and Ken Perreault for taking the time to open up their doors earlier Monday morning to do this photo shoot and for being apart of the filming segment part with James for his crusade. If you happen to see James along his crusade, be sure to ask him to take a picture with you or do a short segment of filming with him. And please remember to ask him why Red hates walleyes.

Time is running out, so if you haven't already registered for the Mattagami First Nation Spring Walleye, be sure you do before there is no more room left.

Whether you're an angler or hunter; a camp, lodge, resort owner; or just holding an outdoor event and would like some exposure, please feel free to email us at bungee001@gmail.com.



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