When I look back at 2016 I can only described it as a roller coaster, with it’s intense highs and lows it was definitely a year of overall change.
I starting off 2016 working in a factory, from there moved on to work with the Palotta family setting up fishing industry trade shows, tournaments and the CSFL mega tank. In February I met a girl in Florida named Megan who would change the way I looked at everything in my life and in May Megan became my girlfriend. Later that May I headed to the Northwest Territories to guide on what is arguably the best pike fishing waters in the world, only to have what was supposed to be a three month job be cut down to only ten days after getting sick and hospitalized! This was arguably the lowest I have been in my life, questioning everything I have done and all the decisions I have ever made. When I got back to Ontario I sulked around for a bit not wanting to do much of anything and if not for a few close friends like Amy, Olivia and Mark and my girlfriend Megan I would have never left the house.
I eventually forced myself back into the photo, video and web work and have been working at bringing Live2Fish a new look and purpose. Between my friends getting me to go fishing and diving back into work I slowly got out of that funk.
I have made multiple trips to Florida and caught many cool fish this year and it all seems to be a great set up for 2017 which is already shaping up to be a fantastic year!
Here is what my 2016 looked like;
The year started on the ice…as it should…a day chasing crappies is better than a day at home.
February marked the start of show season and had me on the ice in Ontario and the piers in Florida. After the Spring Fishing and Boat Show I made a trip to Florida and for the first time fishing was the main objective. By the end of the trip I was wondering why the hell I wasn’t fishing when I went to Florida before!
March was the Toronto Sportsman Show in Mississauga where I inked the deal to guide at Trout Rock Lodge. I was also getting into some laker trout on the upper Niagara river with Olivia and more hard water antics with Dave Chong hooking into some chunky perch!
April is arguably my most dreaded month…the steelhead flood the rivers as do the anglers so I typically stay away and fish panfish or cross the border and fish Erie for smallmouth bass. I spend the whole month waiting for the trout opener! Once the trout season opens all across Ontario the only thing on my mind is Brook Trout! And we got into some beautiful Brookies this season when Mark and I took our annual Trout Opener pilgrimage, this year we invited Mike.
Start of the tournament season for me, a pike event on Balsam Lake and than off to Northwest Territories to guide at Trout Rock Lodge for an unfortunately short trip…so short I didn’t have enough time fishing to catch my 40″ pike!
June had me back in Ontario and feeling low…So Olivia kicked my ass and got me onto some big fish and I got back at it on the streams hunting down those beautiful brook trout!
Come July I was starting to go back to my roots, trying to remember who I was and why I loved fishing as much as I did which lead me to the blur ribbon waters of the Grand River and chucking light baits for big fish despite the species! Trying my own jigs and flies became my solace at home and using them became fun again.
August was a month of change for me! After a half day on Lake Simcoe chasing largemouth bass I packed up and headed to Florida and really dove into the saltwater fishing, from sharks, tuna, and kings on a boat to hand feeding tarpon and casting to snook from the beach! I also got to teach Megan how to remove a hook from a person…
September was a quiet month, I got back to working and fished when and where I could. I managed to fish the Grand River one last time before the season closed and switched my attention to the Salmon migration.
October brought me back to Florida, I went down for Megans birthday and what she wanted to do for her birthday was go fish the keys…I am not even joking, totally her idea! I hooked my first tarpon and helped Megan land her first tarpon, we both landed some bonnet head sharks and bonefish and I got a leader touch on a big Black Tip Shark. On the piers the Mullet where running which lead to incredible action every time we hit the piers with the boys! October had me feeling like the luckiest man alive!
November was quiet for me, the weather was very very dry making the rivers that where holding fish incredibly tough to fish. I spent most of the month working until Megan came to Toronto for the first time to visit on my birthday. I got out a couple times and surprisingly hooked a chunky smallmouth bass while I was trout fishing!
Finally getting some water in the rivers made for a bit of steel heading fun, but the first half of my December was spent getting videos done for the Christmas rush. Something I did so efficiently that I was all caught up by the 13th of December…so I decided to go to Florida! There was s funky lunar phase going on making the fishing tough, but still any time fishing in Florida is a great time! But more than that, I got to spend Christmas with Megan and the boys! When I got back to Toronto there was some safe ice and I taught my buddies how to make a fish stick of a pike look like a semi respectable fish…it helps having a six and a half foot arm span lol
All in all it was a great year, there where many lows but the highs definitely made up for them! I see a direction in my life and for my goals and feel like I have more support and love than I have in the past thanks to Megan.
So now I look on to 2017, hoping it is a year of more love, fish the ups and downs and progress.