End of a Long Season
So, I've made a decision…. I hate the cold! I don't know when it happened, but I went from an avid steelheader and ice fisherman, who longed for monster Trout and Walleye throughout the Winter, to just wanting to curl up and hibernate until spring comes! Don't get me wrong, I still want to pursue these fish, but I'm less willing to endure the cold to do so. I think I got out on the ice twice last year, and while I had planned a few trip for this winter, it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Kudos to all those guys braving the elements to pursue their passion!
So what's been going on? As everyone knows Big Jim is battling cancer. He's fighting hard, and the community both locally and all across Ontario have been pulling together to support him in his fight. There are a lot of different fund raising activities going on, and I know I'm not aware of them all, but here is a short list of a few of the projects that have taken place. I know the guys from Muskies Canada held a fund raising raffle for Jim. There was chatter about it all across the internet, I don't know the results, but it was great to see the effort. Back in September, the Canadian Professional Anglers Association held a fund raising tournament for Jim out of Kingston. It was a great event, with over $7000 being raised for Jim, and the winner donating his winning check of $7000 back to Jim. Truly a great weekend. Finally, a couple guys from the Ottawa angling community pulled together an absolutely fantastic fund raising evening here in Ottawa. It was so great to get together with everyone to honor and pay tribute to Jim. I can't even find the words to describe how much myself and everyone else enjoyed this evening. It the end the event raised over $47,000 for Jim and his Family. Keep the fight up buddy!
On the Renegade scene, it was great to see Steve and Jim take the Classic at Muskrat. They really had a dream weekend. Way to go guys. Also, Lenny and Jeff dominated the season, taking Team of the Year with a string of 5 top ten finishes. Finally, you can't talk about the 2008 season without mention of Dave and Doug's amazing run of 3 back to back wins. Awesome fishing guys! Personally, I really enjoyed my first full Renegade season. Rejean and I managed 3 top tens, and were semi-competitive for TOY. I'm looking forward to the 2009 season, it looks like a great schedule.
In the Quebec series, Pete and I had a decent season, with 3 top fives, including a 4th place at a very tough classic on the Ottawa. I also ventured a little more into the US this past year with events on Champlain and Erie. That was a great experience, with some success coming on the FLW Tour event on Lake Erie. Lake Champlain however is becoming a bit of a demon for me. I had a few let downs there this year. I think I may have to change the way I fish it in 2009.
Finally, this past fall we saw Lake and Trail close its doors. Lake and Trail did some great things for both myself and the tournament scene in Ottawa, helping Renegade offer the best Classic prize in its history. However it didn't take long for Ranger to find a home in Ottawa. Orleans Boat World is now the official Ranger Dealer for Ottawa and the surrounding area. I know they will continue to offer great product and support to the tournament community.
As always, continued support of the following sponsors is greatly appreciated: