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Fishing the North: National Fishing Week

July 1 to the 9 kicks off the start of National Fishing Week

July 1 to the 9 kicks off the start of National Fishing Week.

Many of us that were raised back in the 50s, 60's, 70s and even 80s can recall their parents load their cars or trucks with camping gear for the weekend.

During those days we didn't have a TV or any technology gadgets to entrain us during these trips.

We learned about team work by setting up the tents, or if you were lucky, the trailer once at the lake. If you had a cottage, you still had to bring in the groceries, water and your clothes.

Back then, these trips allowed us to solve problems, develop social skills, and respect for others, nature and the great outdoors just to name a few things we learned on these outs.

A couple weeks ago, I heard about how a young angler name Brett Robinson that did a very unselfish act of sportsmanship during the Dubreuiville Magpie Walleye Derby on the Magpie River near Dubreuilville, Ont.

I was so intrigued by the story and wanted to hear more about it so I decided to reach out to Brett's' father, Jamie, with an email with some questions for Brett.

Here are the questions I posed Brett and his answers :

1) What made you decide to weigh-in earlier at the Dubreuiville Tournament on Sunday?

My friends boat was broke down and I knew they would not make it back in time to weigh-in. We were fishing the same area and I knew they had a good weight.

In order to help my friends, I would need to speak with the tournament officials to determine if I could weigh-in early, get another official to come with us in our boat in order to go back and assist them and transfer their fish into our boat.

2) What did your mom say to you when you asked her to weigh-in earlier?

My Mom agreed with my decision.

3) What reasons lead you to go help your friends out besides them being your friends.

I was willing to do this for a fellow angler. I felt that my weigh-in early was not going to change my outcome for the tournament, yet if my friends could not weigh-in their fish it could negatively impact their outcome. I felt it was the correct choice to assist under the circumstance. I would hope that if I was in a similar circumstance someone would offer to help me.

4) Would you say that being in the outdoors/fishing with your family has helped you become the young man you are today?

Yes, spending time fishing with my family has taught me many valuable life skills. I have learned that competitive can be quite exhilarating and challenging like many other sports. I have learned to be respectful and humble.

Reading Brett's answers inspired me to ask his father Jamie and Northern Ontario Walleye Trail Pros Jody Villeneuve, Andy Yu and Jason Patry some questions about how they were introduced to fishing and if fishing played a part in their families lives today.

Here is what they had say about fishing, the outdoors and the role it plays in their Families today.

Jamie Robinson from Wawa, Ont.

In 1998 Jamie and Carol-Anne were fishing the Wawa salmon and ice fishing derbies. In 2001 they started fishing the walleye tournaments throughout northeastern Ontario.

"We introduced our daughter Lindsay to the outdoors at less than 12 days old and Brett was moose hunting at 10 days old.

"As a family we continued fishing and ice fishing multiple each year. To date we still do day trips, overnights and weekend all together.

"The outdoors and fishing has given our family many wonderful and learning experience, but most importantly, time together as family that will never be forgotten."

Jody Villeneuve of Skead, Ont.

"I started fishing when I was two years old. My father and grandfather were avid anglers so Jody was brought along for the day of fishing.

"It was just something we did, all the time. I am very fortunate to been exposed to such a great pastime at an early age.
"Now that I am married, my wife Anne and I have already made many great memories with our my 3-year-old daughter Jenna, fishing and being in the outdoors.
"In a world where technology and electronics are taking over, I feel it is especially important now of days to introduce our youth to fishing and the outdoors."

Andy Yu of Timmins, Ont.

"I remember my dad waking my brother and I up at 4am. to head out fishing, however I can only remember maybe a handful of actual trips.

"Being from a Chinese heritage, back then fishing was probably more about bringing home limits so we could dine on fresh fish as we LOVE fresh fish.

"Today, I get to return the favor to my father and take him out fishing. As a family we soak in the excitement of our little boys catching fish. As a father I can observe the benefits of fishing in my children as they grow.

"It's a great thing to get them outdoors and participating in something that offers the thrill, excitement, and reward of catching their own fish.

"From the strike, the hit, to having to net it and share high-fives all around is something they're just not going to get from TV, gadgets, and technology.

"The memories really are priceless."

Jason Patry of Chelmsford, Ont.

"I was so young I can't even remember when I started fishing. But I was hooked from an early age. It's something that was passed down to me from my grandfather and father and I have passed down to my wife, son, family and friends.

"My son Jaden and I will be fishing another tournament together. The next one is on Lake Nipissing, July 8 and 9, in a double header Top 50 Pike tournament.

"It thrills me to spend quality time with him in the boat and watch him fish. I am so proud and fortunate that he enjoys it too.

"Fishing brings families closer together with the laughter and fun and all the fish tales told. These good times and many fish tales make life long memories.

"We live in a beautiful country and I am privileged to have the opportunity to revel in all nature has to offer and share it with my family.

"What more could a person want or ask for."

Although fishing by the younger generation has dropped off over the years, it's never to late to start fishing with the family and building memories with loved ones which will last a lifetime.

So put away the cell phones, video games and all other electronic devices for one day during National Fishing Week and spend some time enjoying our great outdoors with your family. I can promise you, you won't regret it.

A little reminder if you haven't already registered for Mattagami Fall Classic Walleye Tournament there is still some spots available. For more information, please contact Crystel Vallée 705-363-7024 or Jessica Naveau 705-221-4248 or visit 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