Dear Italo, I wanted to say what a pleasure it was to hear you speak at the conservation Galah dinner just prior to the Toronto spring fishing Show. Great message!
I enjoy immensely your very informative show and the excellent narration you provide â€“ really, as someone without sight I donâ€™t think Iâ€™m missing much of the informative portion of your show. Good work too on creating a fully accessible website for people like me who use computers that talk.
Iâ€™m not sure if you were present to hear my closing presentation at the Galah dinner that night, or if you were present the next morning at the Canadian Fishing Hall of Fame Inductee Ceremony where I also gave the closing presentation? Never-the-less, Iâ€™ve made it my personal mission to spread the news about the inherent accessibility of fishing as a sport that can be enjoyed by people with vision loss (over 1 million in Canada and 13 million in the US, with the number expected to rise as the population ages ). As you can no doubt appreciate, most times fishing involves detecting the bite through touch and the actual fish is seen only after itâ€™s caught. So if fishing has a lot to do with touch and focus, who better than someone who depends on these skills?
As a semi-professional fisher with vision loss, (totally blind), I publish articles featuring specific fishing techniques for magazines such as Ontario Fishing Magazine and the PAAâ€™s official publication, â€œOnline Fishermenâ€. These articles serve two primary purposes. 1, They allow me to document for the general readership the specific fishing techniques that rely on the sense of touch and 2, I create a second more detailed article with added narration for publication on www.blindfishingboat.com for the benefit of my non-sighted readership. By the way, the Blind Fishing boat initiative is not engaged in selling, and runs more-or-less as a not-for-profit.
A 3rd. goal of my mission is to send a message to the rest of the fishing community that itâ€™s â€œcoolâ€ to go fishing with someone with vision loss. Iâ€™m always amazed just how many non-sighted fishers I meet from around the world who are willing, able and equipped to get out fishing, but lack the all-important fishing buddy.
I have created a small light-weight fishing boat that I can operate independently, but even still, I depend on my wife to maintain 2-way radio contact when coming back to the dock as Iâ€™m often launching from private campgrounds situated on small lakes which means Iâ€™m not the only one on the water. My audible obstacle detection sonar works great, (like reverse sensors on automobiles), but I still try to minimize risk where ever possible. While I have a second gas-powered fishing boat that I use for taking non-sighted guests fishing or to fish tournaments with buddies, Iâ€™m not advocating that blind people start zipping around in their own bass boats, which is why itâ€™s important that sighted fishers be convinced itâ€™s O.K. to fish with someone with vision loss â€“ after all, itâ€™s not like we are going to wonder off and get lost on the boat (LOL).
If there is any thing you could think of that would assist me in getting my message out, Iâ€™d be very pleased to hear your ideas. Someone with as much experience as yourself has no doubt much to teach people who are relatively new to the media game.
Again, it was fantastic to hear you speak in person, and I appreciate greatly your message about fishing being an inclusive sport â€“ thank you, thank you, thank you!
The best of luck with your up-coming season â€“ in all respects.
My very best regards.
Lawrence Euteneier, Captain
230 Blackburn Ave.