Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 49

“A benefit of joining is finding others in your area to get out fishing and hunting with,” Hodgins said. “Everyone does things a bit differently and you can always learn from others. You might meet your next fishing/hunting buddy. You might share a secret spot knowing the person will not blab it to everyone. You can get information on lakes you might not have fished or new equipment that might help put fish in the boat. If anything it's a great place to brag about the ones that didn't get away.”

NOFF has people engaged by talking and sharing stories and ideas.

“It means that the forum is somewhat of a success,” Hodgins said. “It took a few years to gain momentum and the fact that I now have regulars that look out, engage and promote the forum tells me they enjoy the community feel it has.”

The anglers enjoy discussions about everything fishing and hunting, and the fact that other anglers and hunters are willing to lend a hand in any way.

“Participants freely exchange ideas and experiences with others,” member Bruce McFadden said. “The group is supportive and informative, helping each other to improve their knowledge and skills, and provide a sounding board to try out new ideas. Through participation on the site, I've met a good number of new fishing buddies.”

Hodgins grew up fishing Fairbank Lake, west of Sudbury. His family has had a camp on the lake since before he was born. He has loved fishing since he was a kid, starting off on the dock catching big bass with his sister.

“I would spend hours on the lake, waking up before anyone was up,” Hodgins said about his youth. “I would head out to my favourite spot and come home for lunch. When my family got up and noticed the boat was gone they knew I would be back for lunch.”

Joining NOFF is free. People are also encouraged to check out the annual NOFF Fishing Day, with the date to be set later depending on ice conditions in 2016.

“The goal at the moment is to just let it build more momentum,” Hodgins said. “The more people who join the more information there is to share.”