Featured guest of the Manitoulin Ice Showdown
MANITOULIN – Ever wonder what a Canadian professional angler and host of Bob Izumi’s Real Fishing Show might do when he heads south to Florida on vacation? If you guessed that Bob Izumi goes fishing you would be right on the money.
The Expositor caught up with Mr. Izumi by cellphone while the famed angler was snack and tackle shopping somewhere down in the land of the Everglades to chat about the upcoming Manitoulin Ice Showdown taking place February 22 and 23.
Mr. Izumi will be hosting a meet and greet at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre on the Saturday night starting at 7 pm and will be front and centre at the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon. He will also be filming segments for his television program while on the Island. This raises the question, how does one meet and greet the star power angler (visions of Wayne’s World scrapping and bowing spring to mind). Does one kiss the ring?
“No, no, no,” laughs Mr. Izumi. “I’m a pretty down-to-earth kind of guy—one of the gang. I’m just a lucky guy who goes fishing for a living. I have had an amazing run over the years.”
Mr. Izumi notes that sportsfishing is one of those great levelers in life. “You make all kinds of friends, no matter what age you are or where you are from; everyone loves a great fishing story.”
One of the most common factors to be found among anglers is a love of the outdoors and what better way to engage with the outdoors and like-minded people can there be than spending a day out on the water (or in this case the ice).
It might be winter, but that doesn’t slow down the schedule all that much for “just a guy who makes his living by going fishing.” Mr. Izumi will be back in Canada in a few weeks, appearing at the Toronto Spring Fishing and Boat Show February 14 to 17 before coming to the Island for the Manitoulin Ice Showdown.
Mr. Izumi is no stranger to the Island, having filmed segments for his popular Bob Izumi’s Real Fishing Show.
“We spent some time up there filming at Batman’s (Batman’s Cottages and Campground) last September,” he said. “It was great, a really good trip. We caught quite a few smallmouth bass and some largemouth.”
So let’s get down to the Real Fishing brass tacks—what does Bob Izumi recommend when chasing the big ones out on the ice?
“There are two approaches to ice fishing,” he said. “You can sit and wait or you can move around. I like to move around.”
Although you have to register to fish on either Manitowaning Bay or Lake Manitou and stay on that body of water for that day, you are free to move around those lakes.
“My style of fishing is to cover a lot of ground,” shared Mr. Izumi. “The key is to find the active fish.” Fish, he explained, are much like most people, creatures of habit and tending to follow set runways. The trick is to find the runways where those active fish (those that will strike your bait, lure or jig) are hanging out. “It’s a bit of a flip of the coin, really,” he said.
Mr. Izumi said that he was really looking forward to returning to Manitoulin Island during icefishing season and meeting people at the Manitoulin Ice Showdown.
The derby is jointly hosted by the Wiikwemkoong Ice Fishing Derby and The Manitoulin Expositor and features two cool $5,000 first prizes, second prizes of $3,000 and third prizes of $2,000 for each lake, not to mention great prizes for spots four through 10. There are also two tagged fish contests of $2,500 on each day for Manitowaning Bay and target weight contests of $2,500 for each of the two days on Lake Manitou. The registration prize is a 2020 Polaris Voyageur 550 snowmachine and there is also a “Pimp’d Hut” Big Trout Contest with $3,500 in prizes.
Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at Ramakko’s in Sudbury, Moxy’s Bait and Tackle in Lively, Fishy Fishy Bang Bang and Trailside Sports in Espanola, The Manitoulin Expositor and Breakaway Sports in Little Current, Up Top Sports Shop in Mindemoya and Your Dollar Store with More. Oak Ridge Place and Wikwemikong Tourism or online at www.FishManitoulin.com or by phone at 705-859-3477.