Episode 552 – Port Cunnington Fins and Skins

If you’re a regular viewer of The Fish’n Canada Show, you may recall an episode a little earlier this season where we attended the Miramichi Striper Cup, a Striped Bass tournament that we shot in the province of New Brunswick. In that episode, we teamed up with Eric Lindros and his Easter Seals hockey tournament fundraiser and auctioned off not only that New Brunswick trip, but as well, a trip to an awesome fishing and golfing destination in the Muskoka region of Ontario. And that’s what this episode’s all about.

We weren’t sure how a second fishing package at the same auction was going to do, but much to our delight, it couldn’t have done any better, the second trip went as quickly as the first. This package went to three men in the banking and financial world and the good lads that they are, they included one of their buddies to make it a foursome.

Kudos to Eric Lindros for putting so much of his personal time towards such a great cause

Now, we aren’t brain surgeons, but we kinda’ figured that bankers would probably love golfing as much as, and maybe more than they did fishing… and we were right. So the skins and fins team of Scott Lawrence, Brian Valvasori, Andrew Le Feuvre, and their bud Mike Bourne was formed.

PORT CUNNINGTON LODGE

The location for this trip could well be called picture-perfect. It seemed TaylorMade (pardon the pun) for a golfing and fishing combo. Our home base was the luxurious Port Cunnington Lodge on Lake of Bays in the Muskoka region of Ontario. The golfing portion took place at the exclusive Bigwin Island Golf Club which is smack-dab in the middle of a stunning island on the same body of water. There’s more info on how to get there and the facility later in the article.

OUR AGENDA – THEY GOLF… WE FISH!

So, here’s how we planned on this show playing out. Since Ang and Pete feel they’re “slightly” better at fishing than golfing, they were going to let the boys go out and put 18 holes under their belts, while they hit the lake and try to locate some fish. As an FYI, they’d never been on Lake of Bays before and only had one day to figure things out.

GOLFING

Bigwin Island Golf Club, a Doug Carrick-designed track, is consistently ranked as a top-20 course in all of Canada. As the name implies, it’s situated on a beautiful 520-acre island, surrounded by pristine waterfront.

Our boys quickly felt right at home on this challenging course.

As our guests did their best to break par, Ang & Pete were out scouting around. For this they used their newest Princecraft boat, fully rigged to the “nines” with Garmin gear, Power Poles etc. However, since there will be four more bodies fishing with them the following days, plus our technical crew, we brought good’ol FNC1 to the party as well. Two 20+ Princecrafts to work with… AWESOME!

For the fish-scouting mission, the boys simply looked for some easy pickins’ Smallmouth or whatever else would bite. The species doesn’t matter, and the guests would be good with anything. 

This is where good mapping and fish-finding electronics come into play. When you have a short time to work, they can be indispensable.

Our end result was we came up with only two decent Smallie spots and thus, a game plan was extremely easy to put together. The first area was about a 20-foot deep, soft-bottomed flat. The second was a narrowed-down area between two points. In a perfect world, we’d hit the furthest area first, and then work our way back towards the lodge. 

THE FISHING

The boys had an outstanding round of golf on a world-class course, but once all the bragging was done, their minds turned to fishing and, man, were they gung ho!

Our big, 20-foot-deep flat was absolutely perfect for two boats to cover. We definitely found fish there the previous scouting day… BUT… they were only on the Garmin. We didn’t catch any. 

Our boys fished hard through this “nothing” looking water and only came up with one fish… but, it was a beauty! A great Smallmouth Bass and at least a start for the day.

Time to head over to spot B.

This was a bottleneck area that we saw a few fish in during our scouting mission. Two big points that jut out into deeper water. We all started out on the same side, boat to boat, and worked from there. It was a fingers-crossed situation. 

So while fishing, we had a real eye-opener as to just how “powerful” or maybe “fulfilling” the sport of fishing is. Without us knowing, Brian, one of the guys in Pete’s rig, started the day out with no indication as to any issues he could or would encounter on a boat. He didn’t look for any special treatment or attention… he just wanted to FISH! His story, well… it’s pretty incredible.

Early in life, Brian was deemed legally blind. He could see a bit, but obviously not much. He states in the episode that fishing is a fantastic sport or activity for a person with vision impairment. As long as somebody can drive a boat for instance, people in Brian’s situation can take advantage of the “feel” aspect of fishing, and enjoy it as much as, or maybe even more, than people with 20-20 vision. 

He was such a soldier!

Andrew, Scott, and Mike were definitely holding their own in the sense of boating fish. Man did this little hotspot produce!

Andrew with one of many Smallies from Lake of Bays.

Mike Bourne was on fire at spot #2

As time went on, Pete noticed he was being slightly pushed off of the hot area and stated in the showLooks like Ang is hogging the prime real estate,” he said from the deck of his boat. “So I’m going to motor on to the opposite side. It’s a point very much like the one Ang and the boys are working… a nice sandy flat that drops off into a deeper channel”. 

And just like the other side, it was loaded with Smallies. 

CONCLUSION

Well Fish’n Canada friends, this great outing is what you get when you put some crazy, fun-loving fish’n dudes, and an outstanding fishing and golfing venue together, with everyone working to raise a bunch of money for a great cause. It was an amazing trip from all people involved, to the venue, to fishing & golfing and especially to the new friendships made”!

Our thanks go out to the Eric Lindros/Easter Seal group, John Siddall at Port CUNNINGTON Lodge, and all of the wonderful folks behind the scenes who pulled it all together.  

And special hugs and kisses to our newest buddies Andrew, Brian, Scott, and Mike for being such a great bunch of guys. Thank you boys!

TV EXTRAS

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