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For Chad, casting crankbaits and jerkbaits is the way to go

In this edition of Fishing in the North, David Reid chats with up-and-comer Chad Dalrymple
2018-06-25 Fishing the North Chad Dalrymple
Chad Dalrymple. Photo provided

If you have been sitting on the fence thinking you might not be ready to fish at least one of the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail events, you might just want to rethink that.

This week’s angler profile is on someone who that decided to test his walleye skills against some of best walleye anglers on the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail in 2014.

During this time he built some good relationships with other anglers on the trail and this spring he and his partner captured their first win at the opening NOWT event.

It is my pleasure to introduce this up-and-coming angler, Chad Dalrymple.

Q: Where were you born?

A: Exeter, which is located in southwestern Ontario.

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

A: My parents introduced me to fishing at a young age. My dad, two brothers and I fished a lot together.

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

A: When I was young, I fished in small reservoirs, rivers, the Great Lakes and annually would go on a holiday to northern Ontario to fish inland lakes. I've always enjoyed fishing for multiple species of fish but as a youth I mainly fished for small and large mouth bass and walleye.

Q: What age did you start fishing?

A: I started fishing when I was three years old, just old enough to "somewhat" use my spincast rod and reel.

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

A: As a child, my dream was to someday fish tournaments. My teammate Griz and I did some research roughly five or six years ago and decided that the NOWT was what we wanted to try. Glad we did, it is an excellent circuit. It is very well organized and it contains an abundance of skilled fisherman.

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

A: My most memorable fishing experience is a very recent one – Winning the Mattagami First Nations Walleye Tournament 2018. Greg Geoffrey and I had a fantastic weekend of fishing as well as a great pre-fish. Competing against such a competitive and talented field of anglers makes a win seem almost unachievable, and when it happened it was definitely a dream come true!

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

A: My dad was the one who laid the building blocks for me as a fishermen. My daughters and my wife continue to teach me every time we go fishing together that they can catch fish too no matter what technique they want to try. As for the tournament level of fishing, I have been very fortunate to meet some fantastic anglers in the last few years. Dean Bliss, Cory Nephin, Pat DeBlois, Shane Turcotte, Russ Smith and Dennis Perrier have always been willing to "talk fishing" with me and I'm very appreciative of their help. Also, it's very hard to fish these tournaments on your own. Griz my teammate has had a big influence.

Q: List sponsors and tournament finishes.

A: We currently don't have any sponsors, but you never know, maybe someday. First in the Mattagami First Nations Walleye Tournament 2018 and prior to that I had fished eight NOWT Tournaments including spring and fall Mattagami as well as Sagamok where my best finish was 24th.

Q: Biggest fishing supports over the years.

A: My wife and two daughters are my biggest supporters. My parents, two brothers and their families are always cheering me on. In the past few years some friends and family from the Exeter area have started to come to the tournaments as well. Minakwa Lodge has been awesome to us over the years with great hospitality, bait, fuel and friendly service as well.

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

A: Walleye are definitely my favourite species to fish for. There are so many different tactics and techniques that work well for them. From the season opener through to the end of season they go through a lot of transitions. I like the challenge of trying to figure out what they want to eat each time I hit the water and of course if a shore lunch is on the menu a couple of small walleyes in the frying pan are hard to beat. I also love casting for smallies, pound for pound the best fighting fish around.

Q: What is your favourite fishing technique for walleye?

A: My favourite technique for Walleyes is casting crankbaits and jerkbaits along shore and over breaklines. The way a big walleye smashes an aggressively retrieved crank never gets old. I also love pitching jigs to shore around cover and waiting for that tell tale "pop" of your line.

Q: Why do you fish walleye tournaments?

A: I fish walleye tournaments for the absolute thrill and excitement from start to finish. When you take your favourite sport and add 200+ more guys and girls that love it just as much as I do, you are bound to have a great time. The camaraderie with the other fishermen over the last five years has taken tournament fishing to a whole new level for me. Northern Ontario is full of magnificent lakes and lodges and this is another great reason for me to "head north."

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

A: I think the NOWT does an amazing job with their website and I always read all of the new bios. It’s nice to read how like-minded people answer similar questions. To be quite honest, I feel it is an absolute honour to be asked.

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

A: I would encourage a new walleye angler to come and try it, they won't be disappointed. As for fishing tips, my best advise would be to PAY ATTENTION. By this I mean, pay attention to techniques, patterns, electronics, where the other anglers are fishing and what they are talking about. The fishermen in these tournaments are very helpful. There's definitely lots to learn about tournament fishing, but at the same time you have to do what you have confidence in, you will fish better that way.

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

A: Any chance I get to go fishing with my wife and two daughters in northern Ontario is always awesome. My youngest daughter Aydin caught an 8 lb walleye a year ago using a lure that she chose in a location that she picked. My oldest daughter Kyle caught a 10 lb Northern after changing lures because she said, “If there's small walleye down there, there has to be be big pike!" 

Every summer my whole family heads up north on a family fishing trip that we have been doing for 30+ years to all different lakes and lodges. Of course my greatest accomplishment in fishing so far is winning the Mattagami First Nations Walleye Tournament 2018 with my teammate Griz!

Although this was Chad’s first win, I have a feeling that we will be hearing and seeing more about this angler in years to come. I would like to thank Chad for taking the time for this interview.

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