1. What species of fish do you catch?
We normally catch whitefish and lake trout (splake). The odd time we catch rainbow trout, chinock salmon and pickerel. Other odd fish we catch are suckers, shad, carp, dog fish, cat fish and sturgeon. Most of these we return to the water.
2. Where do you fish?
We fish on the west side of Georgian Bay just north of Wiarton and south of Lion's Head. We fish around the three islands and just off shore of the reserve.
3. How do you fish?
We use gill nets that sit on the bottom and stand 14' tall. The inside bouy could be 30-60' deep and the outside bouy could be 160-200' depending on the season. They are set one day and lifted the following day by hand. Anchors could weigh 50lbs. A gang of nets for us is 300 yards and we have 3 gangs we fish with. We also use the largest mesh so to catch only the larger fish. The Ministry of Natural Resources allow smaller but we prefer the larger. Each fisherperson is different in their nets and lengths.
Andrew will pick an end which is normally the outside bouy to start with. He will lift the bouy and line that is attached to the anchor in to the boat. By doing so he is also pulling the boat across the top of the water. Gradually the line then anchor comes into the boat. Then there is a short line going to the net from the anchor. The net then gets pulled into the boat. The fish are also carefully removed from the net. When the end of the net comes, the boat is put into reverse very slowly and the net is fed back out again. It is put back in a straight of a line as possible. Then the anchor is thrown over and the bouy line is fed out. When it comes to the end the line the bouy is then thrown back into the water for the following day. It takes roughly an hour per net on a good day.
Rougher the water that day, the more challenging to do any of these steps.
4. How long have you fished?
Andrew has fished with his Uncles from the age of 9. He would go out and row for them. He would go out before school and then have to run get the bus. Most of his uncles he fished with are now gone.
5. What kind of boat do you use?
We use an open steel boat that is 24' long 7.6' wide. It is made out of less than 1/8 inch steel. It has an outboard motor.
6. What kind of wood do you use to smoke with?
We use real maple woodchips.
7. How long does it take to travel to Toronto?
It takes us 3 3/4 hours to drive if the weather and traffic is cooperative. We are roughly 257 kms northwest of the city.
8. What markets are you at?
We are at Dufferin Grove on Thursday afternoons, Wychwood (The Stop) on Saturday mornings and hope to do Owen Sound's on Saturday morning too.
9. Are you sustainable?
"There is only so much net that one man can set by hand. Only so much fish we can catch before you feel guilty." Andrew says.
10. How long do you smoke your fish?
It depends on how full the smoker is and how big the pieces are but normally it can go for 6-8 hours.