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Keeping it simple is Steve's secret to landing big walleye (2 photos)

In this edition of Fishing in the North, David Reid speaks with Northern Ontario Walleye Trail pro Steven Guillemette

This week angler profile is an angler I meet back in the mid 90s. His ability back then and today of paying close attention to small details during his pre-fish before and during tournaments has helped he and his partners find their way onto the podium over the years.

I am pleased to introduce Northern Ontario Walleye Trail (NOWT) pro Steven Guillemette.

Q: Where were you born?

A: I was born in Timmins.

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

A: My dad and pepere are the ones who always took me out as a kid.

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

A: As a kid we grew up on Mattagami Lake and we would go for walleyes, perch and would keep the odd big pike.

Q: What age did you start fishing?

A: I believe I was 5 or 6 years old when my dad got a boat and we started fishing. As I grew older, my friends and I would find any means to find our way out on the lake or to a near creek or river.

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

A: When I was 12 years old, Mattagami Haven campground held a small fishing derby and I had won 1st place for biggest pike. It was 8 lbs and I had won a Hummingbird flasher depth finder. Years later, Mattagami First Nation announced that they were hosting a walleye tournament and that it was to be apart of the NOWT. Watching pro tournaments on TV, I always wondered what it was to fish competitively and with Mattagami First Nation starting up in the circuit, I got to experience my first top three ranking with a 2nd place. 

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

A: My greatest memories fishing would be watching my son and daughter catch their first walleye each at the age of 3 years old. Watching my children smiling in excitement as they reel in fish makes it rewarding for me as an angler knowing that I have been successful for doing right and know I am passing it on to my kids who enjoy it as well.

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

A: My father and family got me hooked on fishing, and throughout my tournament years I paid attention to the other anglers using different techniques and presentations in different conditions. Reading articles and watching videos also makes it very exciting when you get out there to test these different presentations and they work. Keep it simple is what works for me best.

Q: List sponsors and tournament finishes.

A: Over the years I have held some local sponsors but nothing serious. I am always looking for sponsorship and as of now I am only sponsored by Canadian Tire gas. I have achieved two 2nd places, three 4th places and another half dozen 5th to 10th finishes (Mattagami Lake), 7th and 9th place (Kenogamissi Lake), 6th place (Tamiskaming Lake Bass). 

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

A: All of these excellent fishing experiences could not be achieved today if it wasn't for my wonderful supporting fiancé (she thinks I have a fishing disease...). My kids also support me and are now joining me in the AYA. My whole family love to catch and eat fish and we spend endless hours on the water.

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

A: I am a walleye angler just simply for its natural beauty and consumption.

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

A: Over my years of fishing, I have noticed that if you want to be a good angler, you have to be versatile in different presentation and conditions. Jigging is my favourite way to fish for walleye. It is very natural and effective in different depths, conditions and seasons. A very close second would be trolling with crank baits. Keep it as simple and as natural as possible.

Q: Why do you fish walleye tournaments?

A: Fishing has always been a passion of mine and I am hooked now more than ever. 

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

A: My advice to anybody wanting to fish tournaments would be to listen to other anglers for the little things that make a big difference. Rather it's colour, speed, snell length or size and weight of the lure you are using, tiny little differences pay off big. Boat control and location is probably the biggest key in catching big walleye. Keep it simple.

I would like to thank Steven for taking the time for this interview and for sharing with us his journey in fishing. 

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