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Fishing the North: In conversation with Jonathan Morin

Since Jonathan has always done well at the Mattagami Fall Classic Walleye Tournament, David figured it only fitting to feature Jonathan in this week's angler profile
Jonathan Morin
Jonathan Morin. Photo provided

The weekend of Sept. 8, 9 and 10, anglers will head to compete in the fifth event on the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail, the Mattagami Fall Classic Walleye Tournament.

One angler that has been consistent over the years on this body of water is NOWT Pro Jonathan Morin.

Since Jonathan has always done well at this event, I figured it only fitting to feature Jonathan in this week's angler profile as we head into the tournament.

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

A: My parents definitely got me into fishing at a young age, mostly shore and ice fishing until my dad bought our first boat (a Lund of course!) when I was around 10 years old.

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

A: Mostly walleye with the odd pike here and there. Every May run we would fish the Oba River for some unbelievable walleye fishing, then we would spend some time on Fushimi Lake which also offers some very good fishing. I returned there last summer after a 20-year hiatus on the lake and was quite pleased to see that it is still an amazing walleye fishery.

Q: What age did you start fishing?

A: As long as I can remember. As mentioned above, my dad bought our first boat when I was about 10 years old, but before that I would fish from shore any chance I could or hop in with a family member any chance I could.

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

A: Only when I moved to Timmins years back. I bought my first tournament-worthy boat and started fishing with a few friends that fished the NOWT that I really got the itch to try out a tournament.

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

A: It's more of a nightmare that haunts me to this day. My first NOWT tournament, I decided to ask my brother-in-law to join me as I needed a partner since the decision to fish the Cache Fall tournament was a last minute one. On day two, I hooked into and fought a big walleye for a good 10 minutes, brought it to the boat and as I instructed my partner to net it, he goes for the fish tail first (error 1) and of course it wouldn't fit in the net (it was HUGE! My guess is easily 10-12 lbs) and instead of scooping the fish in the boat, he yanked the net from under the fish (error 2) and it fell right back in the water with the hook out of it's mouth. It slowly (it felt like an hour) swam back for the depths of Kenogamissi Lake. Well, we still managed to finish in 14th place... let's just say that that fish would've changed the game.

Even if this was a traumatizing experience, I was hooked. Those that know me, also know that my landing net is ridiculously huge. Now you know.

I also have the most fun fishing the AYA with my two boys, there is just something special about fishing a tournament with these two.

Q: Are there any anglers that helped you learn more about fishing over the years?

A: There are many since I have learnt a lot from many anglers, but from a tournament standpoint and if I had one name to pick, John Labine is the name that stands out the most for me.  When I first moved to Timmins in 2003, we would go out on Kenogamissi on his Lund (yup, Lund) where I got hooked right away and bought my first tournament boat the following year. We also have a yearly ice fishing trip to the Bay of Quinte that has become a yearly tradition.

Q: List sponsors and tournament finishes.

A: Shimano Prostaff, Albert's Sports and Workwear Prostaff, Lecours Motor Sales (sponsor).

NOWT finishes in the last six years:
Mattagami Spring 2011: Second
Mattagami Spring 2014: Fourth
Mattagami Fall 2016: Fourth
Mattagami Spring 2015: Tenth
Mattagami Spring 2016: Tenth
Kapuskasing River 2016: Eleventh
Mattagami Spring 2017: Fourth

Q: Who have been your biggest fishing supports over the years? Example, wife, family and friend(s).

A: Without a doubt my wife. A lot of time spent on the water, and just a little bit of money spent as well. Just a little.

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

A: Walleye. Is there any other species?

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

A: Nothing beats catching a big walleye on a spinning outfit while jigging!

Q: Why do you fish walleye tournaments ?

A: Just the thrill of it all, competing while doing what you love doing best. Learning something new every time, may it be while pre-fishing or during the tournament itself, always thrilling.

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

A: Go out there with an open mind, adapt and fish for fish – not people.

I would like to take a moment to thank Jonathan for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to have his profile done.

With the long range forecast calling for nice weather Sept. 8, 9, and 10, if you haven't already registered for the Mattagami Fall Classic Walleye Tournament, please contact Crystel Vallée at 705-363-7024, Jessica Naveau at 705-221-4248, or visit the tournament website.

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