On The Fly
Travel Host of TSN’s Fishing The Flats, Henry Waszczuk, discusses his early influences.
Mediaplanet: Growing up in Ontario, who were some of your biggest influences responsible for your interest in fishing?
Henry Waszczuk: First and foremost, my dad. During the fishing season, we would almost go every weekend to the Kawarthas or Brighton area to fish. Sometimes it was for the day and other times for the weekend. Secondly, I had a buddy that I fished with as well and we would ride our bicycles about 10 miles each way to fish the Second Marsh, where GM’s head office is today. We would take a picnic table into the water and sit and cast from there.
MP: What would your best advice be for young Ontarians interested in fishing?
HW: Like any sport, a certain about of success is key. For example, I would not start out fishing for muskie. They are an incredible gamefish but at times, one of the toughest to hook and land. Go for easy target fish, like the largemouth bass, a panfish, even carp.
MP: Where do they start?
HW: For those that do not have a boat, there are various opportunities. Firstly, the Conservation Parks that have small lakes and ponds that has a variety of fish. Ontario has numerous dams along the Trent River system that provide good fishing through the summer months. There are also numerous trout farms in which you can enjoy great fishing for a nominal fee. Remember, the key is success, catch a few fish and you will be hooked.
MP: What’s a basic, user friendly but effective way to rig your pole?
HW: I would highly recommend using braid for your main line in the 15 lb test, strong enough to deal with snags and big fish but still light enough to make long casts. I like using a fluorocarbon leader in the 10 lb class for most fish. As far as a basic rig, I don’t think there is a more simple yet quite effective fishing rig than setting up a “drop shot rig” using a 3” or 4” Berkley Gulp minnow. It’s great along weed edges and pockets, rocky points, structure and even off the dock.
MP: Nothing beats spending an afternoon or morning on the boat, but how do you find time to make it on the golf course?
HW: I certainly don’t golf enough. I am a member of two golf course, one in Florida and one here in Ontario and get lots of invites for charity golf events and I still only get out on average twice monthly and then add on any filming of the Fins & Skins Classic Adventure TV show. If I wasn’t so busy with the Fishign the Flats TV series, magazine and social media, well enough complaining. I love my job, I love what I do and one can fish and golf for a living… it really doesn’t matter how many days you are on the water or golf course.
MP: What are the top 5 unique characteristics of fishing in Ontario?
1. We have a smorgasbord of fish species to catch in this Province
2. We have something for everyone, we have plenty of places to fish from shore, we have great rivers and streams to fish with a multitude of lakes
3. We don’t have to drive too far to catch fish and enjoy a day on the water
4. We have a long extensive fishing season and some fantastic ice fishing too
5. We have warm water, cool water and cold water species in which we can do everything from fly fishing a river to trolling the Great Lakes