Wil's Blog

So the other day I decided to hold off fishing Lake Simcoe's Cooks Bay until later in the afternoon.  I wanted to see if the deepwater largemouth bite was better later in the day - because so far this September, it's been non existant.  As I turned off Hwy 11 at Churchill, I saw a man walking along the road, who quickly decided to stick out his thumb when he saw me and my boat.  Why, after at least 20 years of sadly passing by hitchikers, I instinctively pulled off the paved road onto the gravelly shoulder is beyond me.  We've all become far more atune to the high risks of both hitchiking and picking up random hitchikers, but I did both quite frequently in my younger days- with a couple of fond memories to show for it.  Maybe i stopped this time because he looked so determined to get somewhere and I felt that hitchiking was not his regular means of travel. Perhpas it was simply I was tired of not trusting my gut instincts ... who the heck knows the real reason why,  but I unlocked the passenger side door and he gingerly climbed in.

The 2017 Sun City Swim in Orillia and my fundraising campaign "Wil Swims With the Fishes" is now complete and both were another great success thanks to so many volunteers,swimmers and supporters. All proceeds raised by the swimmers went directly to the  Child Advocay Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka to help them take care of abused kids. I'd especially like to thank those who contributed to my swim ... helping me raise $1,695 for the centre - more than any other swimmer. That distinction earned me a beautiful handcrafted Muskoka Chair.

Although it happened over a month ago, the 2014 Sun City Swim is still fresh in my mind and was another huge success. With a new charity on board as recipient of the funds raised, I wondered if they could pull it all together and maintain the high level of organization that staff at the Soldiers Memorial Hospital Foundation had last year. 2013 was my first attempt at a long distance, 4km swim and I enjoyed the experience so much, I signed up again for the one this year.  And ... I’m glad I did because the staff at the Child Advocacy Centre in Orillia did a great job and it was another hugely rewarding event.

With just a couple of days left to go before the Sun City Swim up in Orillia, I have to think that I am all set and ready to swim that four km. I signed up for it near the start of the year and in a way have been preparing for it ever since. For the last month and a bit my three weekday mornings have turned into five. I’ve done a bit of lake swimming this summer, but not as much as I would have liked. The most recent lake swim was in Simcoe Saturday Aug 3rd.  

Recently I was fortunate enough to have been the focus of an article in the Bradford Topic Newspaper featuring my upcoming attempt to swim across Lake Couchiching for the annual Sun City Swim. That 1/2 page article included a nice large photo of me and a big bass, that took up plenty of space, which left out a fair bit of the information I supplied for the reporter.

So, In today's blog - I have provided readers with the basis of the original online interview thru the following Q and A's.

Summer 2013
Well - Here goes my first blog that will combine my swimming and fishing exploits this summer.  Johanna Powell, editor of Lake Simcoe Living (LSL) encouraged me to try the former- while a few others pushed me to try again with the latter … so we’ll try and combine them both and see what we come up with! 

With only 7 hours available to celebrate with rod and reel on Canada’s 145thBirthday, we headed across the lake not sure where we would begin to fish. With a lake the size of Simcoe, there are just so many options, yet so little time to try them.   My long-time friend and fellow Aurora Bassmaster Brian Ogden and I spent the first hour looking and casting ... casting and looking for the big beautiful smallmouth that we knew cruised the shallow flats.  Finally as we neared the point Brian hooked up. “There he is ... whoa,” as the three pounder cleared the air by at least three feet.

It didn’t take long before we both got into them and smallmouth after smallmouth cooperated nicely.  Although we tried several rigs, there was no doubt the drop shot out shone all others. There were several plastic baits that produced but the Strike Zone Slammers definitely had the fish’s attention that day. After we went thru the areas several times though, without hits, I switched to a short 4 inch Trigger X Flutter Worm in the baby bass color to nab a few more.

Productive Pattern ... details, details:


Pike Fishing Lake Simcoe, June 10: It’s been a few years since I have taken a pike home to eat, so today my son Izaak and I decided we would have one for dinner that evening. Northern pike from Lake Simcoe and most other waters can be delicious – especially when those waters are still relatively cool. With air temperatures souring near the 30 Degree Celsius mark, it should have come as no surprise that water temps were also quite warm ... pushing 68 Fahrenheit when we got off the water around 1pm.


Although we all need an occasional weekend of kicking back and just relaxing with friends or family ... for me it’s those action packed ones that get my juices flowing and are the most memorable. For those who know me, action packed fishing is tough to beat and fishing excursions occupy their fair share of the limited memory space allotted within what little brain matter I have left  ... But every once in awhile, there’s an exception. Take this past weekend for instance ... April 28 and 29 2012.

There was a time in my life when the 4th Saturday in April would mean only one thing ... “Opening of speckled trout season” and lots of fishing for me. For the last ten years however I haven’t made a cast on this day and yet it has meant something even more gratifying.  Fortunately for my sanity ... it still involves brook trout  but instead of me fishing for them it see’s young participants of the annual Huck Finn Kids Fishing Day event do all the fishing.  This past Saturday marked the 10th anniversary of the popular event – and it was great!