This fall, Ashley Rae will join the Bay of Quinte Tourism blogging team as our in-house angling expert. Fishing since she was five years old, Ashley, who grew up in Napanee, is a year-round multi-species angler, newspaper columnist, freelance writer, blogger, seminar speaker, traveler and boat owner.
Maybe you’ve seen her writing in The Kingston Whig-Standard, Fish, Hunt & Ride magazine or Ontario Out of Doors magazine. Or maybe you’ve caught one of her seminars at a sports show or Bass Pro Shops in Toronto. She has also hosted episodes on the World Fishing Network, and for the past couple of years she has been working with Angler’s Atlas, a unique platform that offers over a quarter million free bathymetric fishing maps for lakes and rivers across the country.
Head to shelovestofish.com to keep up to date on everything Ashley’s been up to. For now, though, keep reading to hear about how she got into the sport, some of her favourite places to fish and what we can expect from her blog series with Bay of Quinte Tourism.
How did you first get into fishing, Ashley?
I was introduced to fishing at age five by a family friend named Arnold. He owned a lodge on Kashwakamak Lake. Each time we visited, Arnold took my brother and I out on the water. Fishing wasn’t a pastime my parents took part in, so I feel very fortunate that I was able to experience it early on thanks to Arnold. I had no idea it would have such an impact on my life.
What was it that drew you to the sport?
It was so exciting going out in the boat with Arnold and not knowing what we were going to catch. There was so much anticipation going up to the lodge each year. It was a real treat to be able to fish and as I grew older, I just wanted to learn more and fish independently.
When and why did you decide to make a career out of it?
I was stuck working a 9-to-5 office job with a couple unhappy coworkers who made me realize it just wasn’t the place for me. I had to do what made me happiest. It definitely wasn’t the easier choice or the one that would offer stability, but sometimes that’s the risk you take when you chase your dreams. I still have a long way to go, but I don’t regret my decisions. Happiness is what’s most important to me and I’ve found that on the water.
Do you have a few favourite fishing spots in the Bay of Quinte region or elsewhere in Ontario, Canada or around the world?
I can’t choose a favourite body of water or favourite species. I’ve spent the most time in and around the Napanee River but the Bay of Quinte is loaded with endless great fishing locations. I’ve been fortunate to fish throughout Ontario and also a bit in Quebec. I’ve checked off fishing in New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as Florida, New York and Texas. I’d love to visit any of these places again and hope to make the list even longer!
For those unfamiliar with fishing in the Bay of Quinte region, what should they know?
There’s a pretty good chance the fish of your life is roaming in these waters, especially when it comes to walleye! There’s a lot of great information online about fishing on the Bay of Quinte. If you’re unsure where to begin or leery about big water fishing, I recommend hiring a local guide. There are some wonderful full-time guides in the region who make a living on the water and their knowledge and experience is invaluable.
What can readers expect from your blog series with Bay of Quinte Tourism?
I’ll be posting a new blog each month about my adventures on the Bay of Quinte throughout the seasons. I’m hoping to connect with some local anglers and guides to showcase their stories. There really are endless opportunities, and I look forward to seeing this new blog take shape!
What do you hope readers take away from these blogs?
I hope readers will learn something and be inspired to get out there and make some memories on the Bay!