It was my privilege to get to talk bass fishing with Ontario’s Vicky Booth. Vicky has such a passion for fishing. As you will see reading this interview, her love for catching largemouth and smallmouth bass is quite infectious.
How long have you been bass fishing?
Well, to be completely honest, I only really dove into the big, bad, world of bass fishing about 5 years ago when I got together with my partner, Basshole83. On one of our first trips out together, I had a massive bucket blow up on me. I was so late to set the hook, aka still barely even knew how the hold my rod and reel at this point, that I missed it by a mile!
I think I almost peed my pants in amazement that a fish could cause such a massive reaction! I was so determined to get the beast that I cast back to the exact same spot about 30 times, with multiple casts WAY off target in between…haha. Finally, James convinced me to let it go and assured me that we could hit that spot again on our way out later.
True to his word, on our way home we stopped back at that same spot. Feeling confident, I cast back knowing in my heart this was my chance and it was! It totally blew up again and absolutely smashed my frog. I couldn’t believe it! I was bouncing with joy trying to reel in this fish. Once again, as a total rookie, I lost it.
Devastated…completely devastated, but so determined, I cast back AGAIN and AGAIN. At this point, James was fairly certain I had lost my final opportunity. However, with a horseshoe perfectly placed, it blew up again. This time I damn near ripped its jaw off. I set the hook so hard but I did it! I pulled in a largie that was at least 6 pounds. James took a HORRIBLE quality photo that will never do that fish or that moment justice. From that point on, I have been absolutely addicted to fishing!
Who is this Basshole83 guy that’s linked to your profile? Who is the better angler between the two of you?
Not to get all sentimental, because I know most anglers aren’t going to be into that, but basshole83, aka James, is truly my everything. He is my fishing partner for life. Along with my dad, who is also a die-hard angler, they have taught me absolutely everything that I know.
In regards to who is the better angler well, that all depends who you’re asking…haha. I have been known to get a little cocky and gloat. And I am proud to say that I have occasionally won some friendly competitions between the 2 of us. However, I have to admit that by far, James is the better, more experienced angler. His dedication to the sport is so inspirational!
A lot of people tend think that because I am a girl and he is my boyfriend that he must do me all kinds of favours and basically catch and hand my fish to me. I assure you that has never been the case with James. He has pushed and challenged me to be independent from day one. I am a stronger angler as a result of that.
How do the two of you work together when tournament fishing?
When it comes to tournaments, we basically follow an unwritten code of, “Drop everything and get the damn NET as fast as you can”, as soon as one of us hooks a fish in order to avoid losing it. True story: I have literally been in the middle of a pee-break, pants down, on a bucket, and had to jump up in the middle of a tournament, pants STILL down, and net his fish. The other 2 boats nearby, also in the tournament, definitely got a show that day! But, for us that seems to be where success is at.
What was your best bass fishing day in 2017?
You mean the summer of terrible weather and fish not knowing up from down? Man, 2017 was a TOUGH bite for the first half of the summer. With the weather so up and down we really had to put in the time and work hard for it. I was also forced to step out of my comfort zone and really try to experiment with a lot of different lures and techniques than I normally would in order to figure out what they wanted.
The best day I had was probably mid-summer, nice hot sunny day froggin’ slop with my dad and James. I had a huge bucket absolutely devour my bait and the minute it burst up through the pads I knew it was a pig. I managed to get it right up to the boat where my dad then offered to grab it for me as he was already down on his knees re-tying.
He reached down, picked up a MASSIVE bass, and as he was popping the hooks out, accidentally dropped it BACK into the water. I was SOOO mad at first and definitely had some choice words come out of my mouth as most anglers do..haha. After some serious apologies and I cooled down, we all managed to chuckle about it. I don’t know that I can consider that a “successful” day but it was definitely a memorable one…and I’ve learned to grab my own fish since…haha.
What are your favorite waters to catch largemouth bass in your area?
I am from Southern Ontario near the Kawartha Lakes area and am so fortunate to have so many plentiful bodies of water in my backyard. I was born and raised just outside of Port Perry on Scugog Island and so for me, Lake Scugog definitely has my heart. It has such a bountiful population of both largemouth and smallmouth bass and I am able to fish a diverse range of waters all in one lake. Whether I feel like it calls for dunking thick slop and pads, or heading out to do some deeper water fishing, Scugog always provides.
What are your favorite waters to catch smallmouth bass in your area?
As I mentioned, Lake Scugog actually has a fantastic smallmouth population, and I have seen a ton of guys win tournaments on this lake with bags of smallies. However, despite the fact that I spend day in and day out on this lake, I have still yet to master them. I could find you largies all day every day and reel them in. I could probably put you on some good smallmouth spots, but I can’t bring them in on this lake to save my life…haha.
I have had the most success with smallmouth bass on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka in the fall as well as on Sturgeon Lake in the summer. The absolutely stunning beauty of the Muskoka’s in the fall-time always makes Lake Rosseau a worthy trip for me…and of course the big, beautiful, bronze smallies.
Out of all of these bodies of water you listed, which would you recommend someone from outside of your area to visit for a bass fishing trip?
Definitely not Scugog…haha. Kidding. As much as I hate to encourage more people to fish my hometown waters, I would hands down have to suggest Lake Scugog. It is such a diverse body of water and makes for such a great experience for both beginner and experienced anglers alike.
There are so many spots on this lake where you can literally drop a line in with just a worm on a hook and instantly start bringing in fish. I have fished a lot of different bodies of water in the last 5 years and had a great deal of success, however, nothing ever beats the small, hometown charm of Scugog.
What are the keys behind catching a frog with a frog? Seriously, what are your favorite bass fishing techniques?
Catching frogs on frogs is definitely an art-form that requires serious time, patience, finesse, and let’s be honest, insanely slow fishing days where the bites are few and far between. Find some slop, toss a frog into shore, hop it back slowly, and you’ll be amazed at the bullfrogs that follow!
In terms of my go-to fishing techniques, you can almost always catch me with a frog tied onto one of my rods. Not only am I the most confident with a frog, but also there is just something so thrilling about anxiously hopping a frog along the surface anticipating the moment when the pads start to ripple and the slop starts to roll. You just know that something is about to smash through the surface and inhale that little plastic bait.
However, last summer, with the bite being so varied, I often found myself reaching for Senkos and swimbaits quite often in addition to a few other secret lures and techniques that I’d prefer not to reveal…haha!
What are your bass fishing goals for 2018?
To be honest, I don’t really have any set goals for 2018. As per usual, I always aim to continue to try and expand my knowledge, skill set, and experience as much as possible. As someone who fishes not only recreationally but competitively as well, naturally, I hope to be even more successful in the tournament scene. We have had some really awesome days on Scugog where we’ve placed top 5 and even top 3 but I have yet to get an actual win under my belt. So maybe 2018 will be the year for that! I really think the biggest factor in being successful is putting in the time. I plan to try and do even more of that this summer. You can go out and buy the fanciest rods, reels, and gadgets in the world but if you don’t physically get out and put in the time and effort, you are never going to be successful…much like anything in life!
Who are your sponsors?
I actually am currently in the process of renewing my contract for a second year with Stix n’ Stones and am very excited to do so. Even though they are rapidly expanding and spreading their brand across North America, they still maintain such a small, family vibe. I absolutely love that they are a Canadian company. I always try to support local when I can.
I love that they have a STELLAR lineup of girls clothing and apparel. A lot of the bigger brand names only have one or two ugly pink or purple shirts…even though I am a total tomboy at heart and will always choose a guys baggy Tee to fish in.
I love that all Stix n’ Stones members are part of a total badass, outdoors addicts, nature loving tribe complete with team fishing trips and all! If you haven’t heard of them, you seriously need to go check them out IMMEDIATELY…you won’t be disappointed!
I told you she loves to fish! Thank you Vicky. I look forward to following all of your continued success on Instagram @fishbum91.
Meet another Ontario Angler that Likes to Fish Lake Scugog: Angler Profile: Ontario’s Emily Head