When my wife Shelby and I met back in early 2017, one of our first activities together was an ice fishing trip. We went out for an evening on Lake of the Woods to meet up with a few friends and were on the ice for a little while before we were visited by a conservation officer.
I fish all the time, as much as I can, all year round. If I’m home in the winter, I’m going on the ice. In Ontario we can buy a fishing license that is good for three years, so that is the option I always choose and don’t often think about it until I get my reminder to renew.
The conservation officer greeted us and then asked to see our licenses. I had one but Shelby asked the officer, “What kind of license do I need?” Not being an avid angler before we met, Shelby was unaware that she needed a license to go fishing, and I just never even thought about it. The trip was more about going for a ride to see some friends than it was a serious fishing trip so we found ourselves in a predicament.
I explained to the officer that she was new to fishing, going out on the ice was my idea and that I never even thought to ask her if she had a license. He agreed to let her buy a license and show him proof the next day so when we got home that night I bought her a three-year license. Today, we are regular team partners in some of the tournaments we have around home in northwest Ontario.
We have fished several tournaments together over the past few years and have had some great finishes, but earlier in September we finally won a tournament together. It was one of the proudest moments I’ve had fishing. Shelby caught a few of the bigger fish that we brought to the scales — which she always does — and we just had a fun few days in the boat together.