COBOURG – Summer hasn’t arrived yet and things are heating up at the Cobourg harbour.
Pro fisherman Ian West of Port Hope set out for a day’s fishing with Marley Hornyak on Victoria Day but they were soon greeted by marina staff.
The dialogue was captured on three cameras mounted on West’s 21-foot bass boat. West regularly uploads videos of his fishing trips to his website, fearfishing.com.
As of Thursday morning the video, which is 10 minutes and 25 seconds long, has garnered nearly 3,000 views. West has added music to the video, giving it almost a comical tone.
“Excuse me, please no fishing in the harbour,” yelled an employee from shore just after Hornyak reeled in a pike.
West and Hornyak were casting from their boat just south of the north wall.
From the camera’s view, most slips appeared to be empty in the area in which they were fishing.
“I don’t think you can tell us not to fish in the harbour,” West responded.
“I just told you. How can I not tell you what I just told you?” the marina attendant replied. “Fishing is not allowed in the harbour.”
The dialogue goes back and forth, with West stating at one point, “You can’t stop us from fishing in Ontario waters.”
“So you’re telling me the Town of Cobourg owns the water I’m floating on?” West asked.
“Yes,” replies the attendant. “You’re not allowed to break Town bylaw.”
“The Town doesn’t own the water,” West countered.
A short time later, another attendant can be seen in the video walking onto the docks and approaching the pair who are fishing in an area where the boat slips are empty.
“Out of respect we’re asking you to not fish in this area,” the attendant told them.
“We haven’t hit a boat, we haven’t casted near a boat, we casted around the boats,” West told the attendant. “You can’t stop us. We’re just being polite, not fishing around boats. But we still have the right, as citizens of Ontario, to float on this water.”
The attendant asked the pair to fish farther south in the basin, but West responded, “we need to catch fish – this is where the fish are.”
A short time later, video shows West and Hornyak fishing in the basin of Cobourg harbour, catching and releasing numerous pike.
Just over eight minutes into the video West states on camera, “Well, we got some pike. We’re on our way back to Port Hope – the fish-friendly community.”
Before the video ends West, who has arrived back at his home, says “We got yelled at. We got in trouble. Everyone out there, remember: fishing is not a crime.”
West told Northumberland Today during a phone interview that he’s fished in Cobourg harbour with no problems in the past, and that he wanted to get video of the day’s fishing.
West said he was informed by a boater at the marina that syringes had been found around the harbour the day before.
“I was shocked,” he said. “There are needles in the harbour and (they’re) going to give me a hard time about fishing?
“It’s Ontario or Canada’s water, it’s not for 50 boats down there It’s for everybody.”