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Learning to fish at a young age, fond memories helped this tournament fisherman

NIck Huckson began fishing at the age of three and learned a lot from his father and grandfather before getting into tournament fishing
Nick Huckson
Photo supplied

With the Mattagami First Nation Spring Walleye Tournament on June 1 kicking off the first Northern Ontario Walleye Trail event of the year, I felt that this anglers profile would inspire other anglers looking at fishing one or more of the NOWT events one day.

This angler has several NOWT wins over the years. One of those wins came last spring where he and tournament partner Jason Doyon brought in an impressive bag on day two of 16.05 pounds of walleyes which helped them capture the win at the Geraldton Walleye Classic. 

With the very first NOWT Championship being held this June 22 and 23 in Geraldton, Ont. on Kenogamisi Lake, he and Jason are looking forward to not only fishing this water body again but also competing against the other 24 teams that have qualified for the championship. 

It is my pleasure to introduce NOWT pro angler Nick Huckson.

Q. Where were you born? 

A. Sault Ste. Marie Ontario 

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

A. My dad and my grandfather 

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

A. With my father mostly trout and my grandfather was all course fish - walleye, bass, pike, and muskies 

Q. What age did you start fishing? 

A. I started fishing at three with my dad. 

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

A. I started hearing more and more about this northern Ontario circuit so I did some research and became very interested. Although I didn't have a boat. I saved as much money as I could through out the summer and still came up short. My grandfather loaned me the rest of the money I needed to buy the boat. It was a 16-foot with four bench seats and a 35 HP Johnson. My dad and myself worked every night on that boat getting it ready for the next season removed the bench seats installed a live well, tackle storage, rod locker, casting deck, bow mount, motor. 

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

A. Coming seventh place in my first tournament with my dad after working so hard to outfit a boat that I could tournament fish out of. That sparked it. From there the fire to compete was lit.

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

A. I mean I wouldn't be fishing if it wasn't for my dad and grandfather. But the person I give the most credit to in the walleye game would have to be my tournament partner, Jason Doyon. He helped me evolve to the next level of my game. 

Q. List sponsors and tournament finishes?

A. Daiwa denali rods, Northland Tackle, Hiway Variety (family-owned tackle shop in Sault Ste. Marie), Junction Tackle Company, Joe Sports and Surplus, Pet Value

  • Geraldton - 1st in 2018
  • Mattagimi - 1st in 2017 
  • Algoma fish and game club walleye tournament - 1st
  • National walleye tour co. - 4th in Lake City, Minn. 
  • National walleye tour - 10th place, AYO co angler 
  • Dubreuilville - 5th in 2016
  • Sagamok - 4th in 2017
  • Michigan walleye tour - 5th (St Mary's River) in 2018

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

A. Biggest supporter is my dad. This is not cutting away from the rest of my family because they stand behind me. They are incredible, all of them. But my dad is the man who helped me build my first tournament boat, to a man who watches every live Facebook update; a man who was my first tournament partner. He helped cover as much of the costs that I couldn't afford to just so I could do something I loved. This is why he will always be the reason I am where I am today. 

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

A. I'm a inland trout hunter. I love the chase of brook trout and playing around for lake trout miles away from other people. Also muskies. It's something about a fish that is so difficult to catch and when you finally connect, the adrenaline is off the charts.

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

A. I love reaction bites! 

Q. Why do you fish walleye tournaments? 

A. I started to fish walleye tournaments to challenge myself. It wasn't about winning. It's never about winning, although it does feel great when you do. It's about fishing to the best of my abilities everyday to become a better angler for myself. 

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

A. Go out and do it. If you don't you will always look back and say what if. You do not need a shiny boat. You do not need to go 50 mph. Doing well in tournament comes from hard work. It's the want that will push you forward. The rest will fall in place over time. There are a ton of amazing anglers on this circuit that are willing to help if you just ask. I was in this boat once before. I want to list a few of the that gave me some tips and helped me along the way. Perry Caverson, Dennis Marten, Luc Audet, Denny Hines, and DJ Germain. All guys that I looked up to as an up incomer that I still use and remember the information they shared. 

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

A. The several wins, the multiple top tens are up there, but my biggest accomplishment to date is never losing the love of the sport and always want to get out for.

I'd like to thank Nick for taking the time to share his journey in the sport and competition in walleye tournaments with us.