Johnnie Candle

FRESH

LOCATION:Devils Lake, ND

OCCUPATION:Guide


Craziest fish story?

There have been several but this one is still a head scratcher. I was fishing with another fishing guide on Lake Ontario for king salmon. Running downriggers was something I had done for many years. When setting a rod in the holder, I missed and dropped the rod over the side of the boat. It was attached to the down rigger ball though

We carefully raised the down rigger weight and just as I was reaching for the rod, the line released from the weight and the rod faded to the depths. Approximately 5 minutes later, the other downrigger released. Thinking it was a fish, the line was attended too quickly. It ended up being the rod we thought we had lost. Once that was determined, caution was used, and the rod neared the boat. Just at the end the lines came apart from each other and the rod again disappeared into the depths. Almost immediately one of the other rods began bouncing. Yes, we had a third chance to get the lost rod and reel back. This time it held on long enough and it was recovered.

You cannot imagine how relieved I was to get that rod and reel back that day.

Who got you into fishing?

My father and grandfather were (dad still is) incredible anglers. My father was a Lake Erie charter boat captain for many years. I have always fished more than anything else in life. Fishing was and is a way of life and always will be.

Where do you wish you were right now?

In a boat catching a fish. I am truly happiest while I am fishing. Nothing else seems to matter.

Dream job if you weren't fishing?

Selling minnows in a small-town bait shop in the middle of nowhere. I have always loved the ma and pop bait shop and it would be awesome to fade into the background, sell fishing gear and help folks catch fish without them knowing who I am.

Least favorite part of your job?

Paperwork. I got into fishing for a living because I love to fish. It is a job and the office part are not my favorite.

What makes a good fisherman?

The ability to admit when you are wrong. You have to be able to say, “Hey Dude, what you’re doing isn’t working, you better try something else.” Many anglers struggle with that

Something nobody knows about you?

I was the first professional walleye angler to walk across a tournament stage with 50 pounds of walleye in the bag. It was the North American Walleye Anglers tournament in 1995 out of Toledo, OH. Funny part is I ended up in 3rd place for the day. That was an incredible event. There are a few other things that shouldn’t be shared here. HA.

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