This week’s profile features an angler that started fishing the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail when his son asked him to be his partner. Placing high in the standings in several tournaments in their first three years on the trail has helped them become known by many competitors as a team to be reckoned with.
It is my pleasure to introduce this week’s featured angler, Roger Vienneau.
Q: Where were you born?
A: Jamestown (Wawa), 1956.
Q: Who played a role in getting you started in fishing?
A: My father and my father-in-law. My father-in-law showed me how to catch a walleye. I caught my first walleye when I was about 19 years old. Now my son Dany is teaching some new techniques on how to fish for walleye.
Q: As a youth, where did you fish and for what?
A: When I was younger, the only fish we were catching as a family were suckers. The kids, including myself, were running up and down the creek and my father would be waiting for the suckers to go by and would catch them with a dip net.
Q: What age did you start fishing?
A: At about 10 years old.
Q: How did you get into walleye tournament fishing and why?
A: I got involved in walleye tournament with my son Dany. Three years ago, Dany was looking for a partner for the walleye tournament on the Kapuskasing river. I always had a good time fishing with Dany so I decided to go. My wife Diane was really surprised that I was going in a fish tournament. I never wanted to get involved in a fish tournament. But now I am hooked on fish tournaments. The main reason I am involved in walleye tournaments, is because I spend some quality time with my son Dany. I would not go and fish walleye tournaments if I wasn't fishing with Dany.
Q: What was your most memorial fishing experience and why?
A: I guess I will refer to my first tournament three years ago. Dany and I did some pre-fishing during the week on the Kapuskasing river and we caught some fish during the week. It was a relaxing few days. So on the Friday before the tournament, Dany tells me, “Tomorrow morning we will have to make sure that everything is secure in the boat.” I had no idea what he was talking about – it was my first tournament. So, the Saturday morning we were on the starting line and as soon as the signal was given that it was our turn to go, there [were so many] waves. Now I knew why Dany said – we have to make sure everything is secured.
Dany looked at me and notice that I was more than nervous and he asked me, “Are you ok Dad?” My first words were, “Your mom would never get into your boat during a walleye tournament.” And yes, I was scared.
After five minutes, I remember that Dany just took some boat training with the OPP so I started to relax. Every tournament [is] different and special.
Q: List any anglers that helped you learn more about fishing over the years.
A: Many anglers helped me. I always pay attention when I am talking to anglers. Every little bit helps. Gino Fauchon is the first angler that told me about the bottom bouncer. Some other anglers that helped me in the past [are] Denis Martin, Jean-Paul Laflamme, Dean Bliss, Danny Hines and many more, but the one that is helping me a lot with techniques is my son, Dany.
Q: List sponsors and tournament finishes.
A: We have several sponsors, which include Guiho Saw Sales and Marine, Engel Coolers, Northern Crack Sealers, OK Tire of Greenstone, TSM, Straight Line Plumbing, Nadeau Haulage, Dagenais Woodwork, Hearst Central Garage, PEPCO, Routier Logging, South end Convenience and Cameron Lake Lodge. Results: We have a 3rd, 26th and 2nd place finish at KRWT, a 13th and 11th place finish at the MNF fishing spring and fall, and a 45th and 7 place at the GWC.
Q: Biggest fishing supports over the years? (example: wife, family, friends)
A: My wife Diane is my biggest fishing support.
Q: What are some of your favourites to fish for and why?
A: In summertime, I love fishing for walleye. I spend time with my wife Diane while fishing for walleye and tournaments with Dany. During winter months, myself and my wife Diane… spend many hours fishing for lake trout.
Q: What is your favourite fishing technique for walleye?
A: My two favourite techniques are bottom bouncer and jigging.
Q: Why do you fish walleye tournaments?
A: I like the competition and to spend some quality time with son, Dany.
Q: Why did you agree to have your bio done?
A: It provides me with the opportunity to share some of my experience with other anglers.
Q: Any tips you would give to a new walleye angler looking at fishing the NOWT?
A: I made many new friends while fishing in the NOWT and received very good advice. The best advice I received (from Dean Bliss) that I will pass on to all anglers – "Never quit.”
Q: What would be some of your greatest accomplishes over the years of fishing?
A: All tournaments in the NOWT were great accomplishments. Not all anglers are able to say that they’re fishing with their son.
I would like to thank Roger for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share his experiences and journey on the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail.
A friendly reminder that anyone interested in the Timmins Fur Council Kids Fishing Derby held on Feb. 18 on Porcupine Lake can still register by contacting Kaileigh Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you out on the ice.