I caught up with Sherry Tomporowski on Twitter. Sherry is an avid angler and when teamed up with her fishing partner, Chris, they make up the fun and talented Team CSFA aka Chris ‘N Sherry’s Fishing Adventures. The Muskoka region of Ontario Canada is their main fishing region, and they take advantage of the rich fishing this area has to offer. I love this interview as you can absolutely tell the passion Sherry has for fishing. Keep reading and you will see what I mean.
Where does your passion for fishing come from?
I have to say it’s just the wholesomeness and goodness of the great outdoors that surrounds us. As a young child the oldest of 4 girls, I was the Tomboy. For Christmas or my Birthday, I would ask for a new fishing pole and a dirt bike. I ran with the neighbourhood boys barefoot to creeks and rushing rivers to see what was swimming past. I was always the only girl to tag along on Saturday fishing journeys either with my boyfriends or my step Dad. The thrill and excitement kept my enthusiasm alive. You don’t know what’s under those weedbeds and or lurking much deeper.
How often do you get to fish?
How much do I fish? probably not enough and then for some it’s probably too much. But how much is really too much when you are finding peace of mind and the only person you’re challenging is yourself and nature. I had plenty of friends and enjoyed outings with my Girlfriends for things like shopping but after a stressful day at work or whatever distressed me, I’d grab my fishing rod and head to the lake. My mind cleared, and I’d get lost in the time at the water’s edge.
You fish in any weather. You recently posted a photo of a muskie that you caught on a cold windy day with big gusts. In other words, a day that most of us are staying home. How do you stay focused, warm and safe on a day like this?
Being prepared to fish in any weather doesn’t come with any kind of skill it’s just using your brain before you go out there. Checking the winds and what they might progress to over the course of the day is always on the checklist first before heading out. Dressing in layers is a definite must. There’s no weather that should stop you from having a good day of fishing…although there’s no way I’m getting on the water if there’s a storm brewing or the winds are causing a crazy Chop on the water no one’s life is worth that.
What are your favorite Ontario waters?
Every new lake that we fish is another new adventure. Our favorite lake that we named “Lake Notwannatellya” can be found right here in the heart of Muskoka. If it’s one of those days that there are no plans and the weather maybe a little off we head to that Lake…never to be disappointed. I have had the opportunity to fish the Yukon River, a place where Chris my partner once called home. When his Father passed, we drove back across country to the Yukon. He took me to some of their favorite places.. what an experience…every cast my heart pounded out of my chest. One day we will return for a visit to his mom and dad’s resting place. And we will bring the boat, but for now we will target areas like the French River and then travel northeast to Temagami.
If you can only target one, do you pick northern pike or musky?
I’d have to say Pike. You can pretty much find them anywhere. Big small or somewhere in between, they are always sitting right there off the drop of a weed bed. I call myself the Pike Princess, kidding, however it’s no joke whenever I’m fishing for something other than Pike I catch a Pike. Although this fall we did target Musky and what a thrill it is clipping along the water at a speed of 4mph using 9″ Jakes. You just know if your line pulls you got something big…lol…and BAM we did.
What is your favorite Ontario time of year to be on the water?
Spring, Summer and Fall are my favorite seasons to fish. We are on the water in early Spring usually with water temps of 40°. And fish through til the first or 5th snow fall…lol. I am fortunate being with Chris, He is set up Yukon Style. Big truck and boat…so we are prepared for all elements and can go almost anywhere. Each season brings a different kind of fishing experience, that is what is great about living in Ontario.
Hardwater season is really soon. What are some of your favorite places to fish through the ice?
I will say honestly that I’m very nervous of the ice. I will not head out on unknown territory or risky ice conditions like some do, your life is worth more than catching a Perch. I believe that ice fishing brings a different kind of fisherman to the lake, maybe I’m opinionated cuz I’m a female, but it’s a different kind of atmosphere on the hard water. It is truly a man’s world.
Needless to say ice fishing is easy and relatively inexpensive. Our approach to ice fishing is no different from others. I take everything from a heater to a BBQ. Our portable Skippers Inn as it is called is a 4 man pop up 7 feet at the center giving us lots of space and protection from sub zero temps. I prefer to be out than in and even I can drill holes with our Ion electric Auger…it keeps its charge drilling 40 to 50 holes and goes through ice like a knife in butter. But when that wind is howling at a nice -42 I appreciate the warmth back inside.
Our SC series ice rods keep us reeling them in. Being a Pro Staffer for Skippers Tackle we tend to like the Lake Simcoe area hardwater boundaries. Skipper has been very kind providing us with a selection of lures in return for a few pictures of trophies caught. If you are looking for some great hardwater areas, Lake St John, Muskoka Lake, Kahshe Lake, Lake Joseph and Lake of Bays are a few great winter Spots.
Who is Team CSFA and tell us about your favorite fishing partner?
Team CSFA is Chris n Sherry’s Fishing Adventures. Chris is my best friend, my soul mate. We met almost 5 years ago and became fast friends. Although I being a single mom and having a multitude of family members and he being an only child with no baggage, it still was an ideal balance. Chris keeps me grounded with his chill personality.
He surprised me with buying a boat within the first year and that’s when our Adventures began. We are like a comedy show on the water. We are not pros, nor do we ever want to have to take it as serious as some pros. We learn from our mistakes. We try new techniques laughing at each other. And we may not do it right but we always catch fish.
Chris and I are very environmentally friendly. We respect the water and we respect the fish. We never intend on breaking the law. The first thing we do before we head out onto a new area is check the regulations. We make sure we know the slot sizes for the fish that we are targeting, for one it’s not worth breaking the law and for two why would you. For the most part, we catch and release especially the Breeders. We often see fisherman taking fish that aren’t warranted for keeping or we see poaching quite often. We feel that there should be more Ministry on the water. If we all work together our beautiful planet will flourish a lot longer.
We compete with each other. At the start of each morning we set the rules..1 point for Bass, 5 points for a 5 plus pounder, 2 for pike, 5 points for 30 inches and over, 10 for musky and 10 for Walleyes. You lose points for Perch and Rockbass…lol. As you can see through the pics, I win big fish in the boat although Chris did land a beautiful Walleye when down rigging for trout. Nice surprise! I will be in a slump and then come out on top with a monster so who cares about the quantity…it’s the quality that counts.
So we decided to try out some of the local fishing tournaments for fun, knowing that we would be up against some pretty serious competitors. It can become a costly hobby when you don’t have a sponsor so we pick and choose which ones we want to go in. Even though we don’t place in the top ten of these tournaments,we still have become a known face within the tournaments and in Muskoka for being that couple that are always fishing. It would be an absolute pipe dream for someone to say “hey we’ll sponsor you, just go fish.”
How do your respective fishing strengths work together to form a great team approach to fishing?
Working together compliments our ability to work as a team. I reel it in and Chris gets the net…lol…or vise versa. I like to multitask using the sport camera filming while trying to net, that doesn’t always work so well but we have captured some pretty good shots and mishaps.
What can you tell us about the Tracker fishing rig that you are working out of? How do you have it setup and what do you like about it for fishing?
Our vessel is our saviour without the 16 feet Deep V Proguide Tracker powered by a 60hp 4stroke Mercury we would be in a canoe. Our Walker Tournament Series Downriggers are perfect for those deep lunkers who hug the depths and of course the Minn kota 70 lb trolling motor is perfect for those shoreline casts and weedbeds. Altogether it’s a decent set up, plenty of space for the 2 of us and a picnic basket.
What is a fishing goal for 2017?
Something very exciting that I’ve come up for this coming Summer 2017. I have posted on a few local buy and sell sites asking for their unused fishing rods. My plan is to take a youth group on a fishing 101 day trip or maybe more if I’m allowed to Lake Muskoka, either on my own or trough a youth program. I would then teach the kids from shore and the docks about water safety, respecting our fishing environment, tying line and proper knots, fish habitats and most importantly making a memory. At the end of their fishing program they will be able to take home the fishing pole and a small tackle box and all the learning experiences that they will remember forever. So far the response and feedback has been very positive in my community. And I’ve started to collect some rods already. The one personal gain from this venture is seeing the smile on the kids faces.
Thank you Sherry and good luck with all of your fishing adventures with Chris. To follow Sherry, check her out on Twitter.