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Fishing the north: 'I would fish for anything that swam'

Being competitive is what draws Steve Dorval to tournament fishing

This past Aug. 12th and 13th, while shooting promotional and demo videos with Matt Arrigo of Tackle Outdoors for the Kapukasing River Walleye Tournament Committee and the NOWT, I had a chance to talk with day one leaders Gaetan and Steve Dorval as anglers awaited for the thick blanket of fog that covered the river on day two.

As the fog started to lift, you could see their demeanour start to shift into tournament mode as they took their position to be the first boat to leave on day two.

At the end of the day two as the teams awaited for the tournament officials to post the final two-day weights of the tournament I had a chance to talk with Steve.

Here I learned that, although they had come close a couple times before, they were hoping this year would be the year they captured their first win on their home waters and on the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail.

It is my pleasure this week to introduce this years KWRT winner Steve Dorval.

Q: Where were you born?

A: I was born in Kapukasing, Ontario

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

A: My dad had the biggest role in starting me fishing for sure. He took me out every chance he could from a very young age.

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

A: As a youth, I would fish for any thing that swam. I would fish for what ever was in the water body I could get to with my pedal bike or whereever my dad would drop me off for a few hours.

Q: At what age did you start fishing?

A: I think my dad took me as early as 3- or 4-years-old.

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

A: I was always a competitive person. There was a walleye tournament in my home town and my friend and I entered it. I've been hooked since. Since then I've entered most of the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail after hearing other anglers talking about it.

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

A: My most memorable fishing experience has to be this year after winning the Kap River Walleye Tournament with my dad. This was pretty special to me. How many people can say they won a tournament on the NOWT, nevertheless winning with your dad?

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

A: Anglers that have help me over the years would be two guys that I randomly ended up rooming with at my first out of town event. Steve Gravel and Kevin Robineau.

When I met these guys I did not even no what a bottom bouncer was or a leech. I'm sure they didn't tell us everything, however what they did sure helped.

Dean Bliss has helped me with the mental part of the game for the last few years. 

Q: List your sponsors and tournament finishes.

A: My current sponsors are Gaets and Sons Repair, T & S Ranch, HOC Outfiting  and Northern Jigs.

I have a 1st , 2nd , 3rd, 6th, 7th 10th multiple top 15 fishing the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail.

Q: Biggest fishing supports over the years. example, wife, family and friend(s)?

A: My biggest fishing support over the years would be my wife Tiffany Dorval she has been unbelievable as she packs my stuff before I leave she sometimes is my partner.

When I leave home for 5 or 6 days for a tourney she stays at home taking care of the 2 kids the farm that has12 animals. When I call her at night to see how things are going, she is always in good spirits and tells me she loves me and believes in me Thanks Tiff xo.

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

A: I love fishing Walleye for sure due to the abundance of them. I also go out bass fishing once in a while. I love the fight they give. I enjoy going for Brook Trout as while.

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

A: My favourite technique for walleye would be all of them. Depending on what they want, however I prefer to bottom bouncing spinners.

Q: Why do you fish walleye tournaments?

A: I fish walleye tournaments because of the adrenaline rush I get when I do well in a tournament. Every fish is a rush of it's own and priceless.

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

A: To hopefully help convince some more anglers to join the NOWT. 

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

A: For new anglers that are just joining, it would be to be patient. It's harder way more often then it's easy. Don't be scared to try new things during their pre-fish or during the tournament.

Q: What would be some of your greatest accomplishes over the years of fishing?

A: That would be winning my 1st NOWT event.

I would like to thank Steve for agreeing to have his profile done for the Timmins Today this week and for taking the time to answer these questions for this article.

A little reminder that Mattagami First Nation Pike Derby is now taking registrations for their 2018 Winter Pike Derby in February. Anglers  can register on-line now here.

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