Toronto International Boat Show

Posted on January 14th, 2009

If your heading down to the Toronto International Boat Show this Saturday, be sure to visit the Yamaha booth. Italo will be on hand to answer your fishing questions and to share his own positive experiences operating his G3 boat & Yamaha outboard.

Italo, will also be conducting a seminar at The Great Canadian Fish Tank on Saturday, Jan 17th @ 1:30pm entitled “Fishing top to bottom” – using specific presentations to catch fish from the surface, all the way to the bottom.

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Fishing in Israeli waters!

Posted on December 9th, 2008

Canadian fisherman hauls great catch in Israeli waters

By Sharon Kanon

December 07, 2008

When it comes to fishing in the Holy Land, Canadian fisherman Italo Labignan is nothing short of enthusiastic. “It’s an awesome experience,” he admits. This is fulsome praise indeed because Labignan is a premier fisherman and the host of Canada’s longest running and most watched sports fishing TV series. Labignan was in Israel last week on a 10-day fishing expedition to the Mediterranean, the Sea of Galilee, the Dan River streams, and the Red Sea. His expedition will be televised on The Sports Network (TSN), the largest sports channel in Canada, as well as on the World Fishing Network. Together, the networks serve over 50 million viewers in North America, Canada and Europe. “There are so many scenic places with good fishing on the Mediterranean,” says Labignan.

During the trip, which was organized by the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the fisheries section of the Ministry of Agriculture, his Canadian crew caught everything from rainbow trout in Kibbutz Dafna, to squid, swordfish and giant trevally in Eilat, and tuna, grouper and Amberjack in the Mediterranean.

From sardines to three feet catfish On one particularly successful fishing haul on a gorgeous sunny day in the Sea of Galilee, the anglers caught a large catfish, three feet in length, weighing about 10 to 15 lbs. “We fished on a commercial boat using a seine net and caught most of the variety of popular eating fish in the Sea – tilapia, freshwater sardines, large scaled barbel, common carp, silver carp,” Labignan tells ISRAEL21c, thrilled with the idea of fishing in the sea where the apostles fished. “Then the fish we caught was served to us in the Ein Gev restaurant on the shores. Most pilgrims just get to eat the St. Peters fish.”

Labignan, who has been to Israel on fishing expeditions many times before, says he was impressed to see the significant increase in the number of sports fishermen in Israel over the last few years. “The numbers have grown 10-fold since I was here four years ago, he says. “And they are serious about fishing. I could see from the lures that they used. They are people with knowledge. Many fish every day. I saw some beautiful photos of fish they caught on their iphones and PDA’s.” This is the first time that Labignan has filmed a show in the Middle East.

He plans to run six episodes on the region. He came up with the idea and approached the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC) for support. “We were delighted to have the opportunity of showing a different side of Israel – beyond the conflict – and enhance the tradition of Israel-Canadian friendship that has always existed,” says Judy Zelikovitz, of the CIC. ISRAEL21c interviewed Labignan while he was taking a day off to sightsee in Jerusalem. The day began on the Mount of Olives, and included a visit to the Garden of Gesetheme, other biblical landmarks in the Old City, the Biblical Zoo, the museum, and other tourist sites. Labignan spoke enthusiastically about a visit they had already made to an interactive first century Christian Village in Nazareth, as well as fish farms.

Showing off Israel’s diversity The Dead Sea and Masada were non-fishing stops on the way to Eilat. The producer plans to integrate film footage of visits to religious, archaeological, and other tourist sites and disburse them into half-hour program segments so that viewers can see the rich diversity offered in Israel. Aside from the fishing, Labignan was also enthusiastic about Israel’s natural beauty, particularly the tributaries of the Dan and Jordan, “areas so lush with so much growth in the streams,” he says. Jean Jacques Ohayon, the Israeli representative of the International Game and Fishing Association (IGFA) was with the group for some days during their tour. Labignan paid tribute to his passion for fishing, and his website, which the Canadian believes has had a major impact on the increase of serious sport fishing in Israel.

The Canadian Sport-Fishing Pro hopes that the TV series on Israel will help to trigger interest in the development of sports fishing here. “I am hoping to develop sports fishing packages with the same tour operators who run regular tours. A week or 10-day fishing trip is a nice add-on to a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Israel’s relatively warm climate when the Big Freeze hits Canada is also a pull,” explains Labignan “Other Mediterranean countries such as Spain, France, and Italy are over fished,” adds Ohayon, the IGFA rep. “I know from talking to my colleagues. Israel offers the best sports fishing in the area.”

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O.F.A.H. announces new team for Ontario OUT OF DOORS

Posted on December 4th, 2008
O.F.A.H. Media Release:

O.F.A.H. announces new team for Ontario OUT OF DOORS
Familiar faces take the lead as magazine moves to new ownership

Ontario OUT OF DOORS (O.O.D.), the province’s leading outdoors magazine, will begin operations under the ownership of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) in December 2008, and three faces that are very familiar to the outdoors community are ready to take the helm.

John Kerr, one of Ontario’s most respected outdoor writers and a passionate angler and hunter, will assume the position of Editor-in-Chief. John has been a fixture on the outdoors scene for more than 30 years, and brings a steady and familiar hand to the publication. He began writing for O.O.D. in 1976, and has filled various roles since, including Assistant Editor, Managing Editor and Executive Editor. He has also penned a column for the Toronto Sun newspaper. John spends as much time in the field as possible, fishing year-round and hunting deer and waterfowl each fall.

Ray Blades, another fixture at O.O.D. will continue in his current role as Associate Editor. Ray joined the magazine in 1996 to create the highly popular websites and Ray has been a regular contributor to the magazine, focusing on outdoor gear and specialty supplements, and has played a key role in administration, financial planning, public relations and brand development. When not working, Ray can be found on one of the province’s many trout streams, or hunting for woodcock and grouse.

O.O.D. Art Director Tamas Pal brings nearly a decade of experience in magazine design, photography and illustration with him to the O.F.A.H. Tamas joined O.O.D. in 2004, and is the talent behind the recently overhauled look and feel of the magazine. Like his colleagues, Tamas spends much of his free time hunting and fishing across the province.

“The O.F.A.H. is delighted that three strong, experienced and well known outdoors enthusiasts will lead Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine as it moves to the O.F.A.H.,” said O.F.A.H. Executive Director Mike Reader. “With John, Ray and Tamas in place, we know the magazine is in great hands, and with a strong team of contributing writers and editors, O.O.D. will continue to offer readers the best hunting and fishing publication in the province.”

O.O.D. represents a significant expansion of the communications reach of the O.F.A.H., which currently owns the popular The Angler and Hunter television series, and the O.F.A.H. website, and positions the organization as the undisputed voice of anglers and hunters.

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario. For more information visit


Lezlie Goodwin
O.F.A.H. Communications Coordinator
(705) 748-6324 ext 270

Click here to download the PDF version of this release

© 2008 Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters

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Lake Ontario anglers!

Posted on November 4th, 2008

Lake Ontario anglers welcome coho back
O.F.A.H. and partners work to net anglers more options

Thanks to the efforts of Ontario’s largest conservation organization, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), the Metro East Anglers (M.E.A.), and others, Lake Ontario recreational anglers are enjoying the comeback of the coho salmon.

This fall, coho salmon will once again be stocked into Lake Ontario through the O.F.A.H./Toronto Sportsmen’s Show Ringwood Fish Culture Station, and work on next year’s coho salmon cohort will also get underway.

As a result of budget cutbacks, the Ministry of Natural Resources was forced to abandon their Lake Ontario coho stocking program after the 2005 stocking. Coho are a popular game fish targeted by boat and stream anglers, who would have lost this great recreational opportunity, had it not been for the efforts of the O.F.A.H., M.E.A. and Ministry of Natural Resources staff.

"We are pleased to be able to revive the coho stocking program through our involvement with Ringwood," said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. "The partnership has been so successful that it has allowed us to over deliver on the expectations set out for us when we took on the hatchery."

M.E.A. President Glenn Anderson is enthusiastic about the renewed coho program in Lake Ontario. "Overall, Coho are great salmon for the pier and stream fisherman. They stay silver and active much longer in the stream than Chinooks, and they are more eager to take baits while in the river."

The entire provincial quota of Lake Ontario Coho and Chinook salmon are raised at the O.F.A.H./Toronto Sportsmen’s Show Ringwood Fish Culture Station in Stouffville. Rainbow and brown trout, as well as Atlantic salmon, are also produced at the hatchery.

Fast Facts:

  • Ringwood Host club, the Metro East Anglers and other O.F.A.H. member clubs deliver thousands of volunteer hours annually
  • Ringwood is funded through industry support and O.F.A.H. fundraising – no membership dollars are used
  • Coho salmon fall yearlings are stocked into the Credit River in October, where they over-winter before migrating to the lake
  • New hatchery volunteers are always welcome – contact Ringwood at 905-640-6204

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario. For more information, visit


Lezlie Goodwin
Communications Coordinator
705-748-6324 ext 270
Jeremy Holden
O.F.A.H. Fisheries Biologist
705-748-6324 ext 268

Click here to download the PDF version of this release

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