Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 46

BY SCOTT HADDOW

Wild Northerner staff

Some fishermen are tight-lipped about their angling experiences. Others are happy to share the passion they have for fishing with others. For the latter, there is the Northern Ontario Fishing Forum.

NOFF was created by Greater Sudbury outdoorsman James Hodgins in 2010. He had been running other forums online for motorcycles and photography and decided a forum for fishing was a good fit for northern Ontario.

The NOFF is a place where anglers of all ages and levels get together online and chat about the day’s catch, events, news, issues and also share photos and videos, tips, places to fish, and items for sale or are looking for items. Some anglers even extend open invitations for people to join in on a day of fishing in a boat. It’s all about good times and, potentially, getting more out of each trip on a lake or river.

People have come together on the forum and by sharing their passion for fishing have, in turn, benefited from joining in more ways than one.

“I have received help from many members on here and it has definitely made me a better fisherman,” member Mitch Albert said. “I am proud to say I can call quite a few members here friends. The fishing reports not only inform other members of the success (or lack thereof) of an outing, but it also tells a story. I love reading these stories, watching the videos and seeing the photos shared by members.”

NOFF caters to anglers, but also hunters. There is a dedicated forum for hunting. There are members spread out across the region as well as across Canada and the United States. Hodgins hopes for the best with the creation of NOFF, and he has certainly seen it. The social aspect of NOFF has been a success as anglers from different backgrounds have come together and become buddies. It has happened to Hodgins.

“I have seen friendships made,” he said. “My favourite aspect is the fact that you can find like-minded people sharing their passion for the outdoors and who do not hesitate to get together and go fishing or hunting. I have many people who are now my good friends and we hunt and fish on a regular basis. It's a place where I see a lot of people who have recently moved to Sudbury join up to find information on the area for fishing opportunities, and also look for people to go out with.”

NOFF is not just about opening doors to outdoor fishing and hunting excursions. It can be an effective learning tool for those looking for an edge or a different approach to the quarry they seek. Or just to have a good laugh.