LONDON, ONT. -- Captain Ryan Sharpe helped to turn his childhood passion into a family run fishing charter with his father, and he couldn't be happier.

As owner and operator of Grand Bend Fishing Charters, Sharpe says he began lake fishing with his father when he was 12 years of age.

"We began fishing the tournaments and spent most of our weekends on the water."

His passion for fishing with his father grew into the business they run today.

Ryan Sharpe
Captain Ryan Sharpe holds a large king salmon (Source: Ryan Sharpe)

Starting with one rod and basic equipment, his charter now carries over 20 rods and equipment including multifunction displays with 3D sonar, autopilot, Doppler radar and a down rigger data system.

"Fishing and working with my dad is amazing," he says. "I don't think many people get to spend that kind of time together, sharing the same passion."

While working together is a bonus, fishing on a big lake such as Lake Huron can be difficult.

"We barely have time to talk to each other when we’re out there because we both have our roles and know what each other is thinking. There is a lot to watch out there - weather, waves, other boats, chart plotter, fish finder, and the fishing gear for strikes."

One of the events that Grand Bend Fishing Charters participates in is the Bluewater Anglers Salmon Derby, one of the larger tournaments according to Sharpe.

"Typically there are around 1200 or more entrants and it's a great week of fishing. Supporting local fishing clubs helps to stock the lake with hundreds of thousands of fish each year."

Most of the tournaments Sharpe and his father are involved with have special designated days, one being seniors days.

"For seniors day, the senior that lands the heaviest fish by weight wins a cash prize and trophy."

Ed Oelke
Ed Oelke, winner of the Seniors Day Bluewater Anglers 2019 tournament with a lake trout (Source: Ryan Sharpe)

Like other businesses, Sharpe's fishing charter was affected by COVID-19 regulations.

Not being able to begin their charters until late June in 2020, this year their season has been delayed once again.

Sharpe turns the negative into a positive by stating they gained many local clients, many who had no idea this type of fishery existed so close to home.

With a potential of catching five different species while fishing on Lake Huron, the passion that grew into a business will set sail once again.

"Having clients tell us it was the most fun thing they've ever done and seeing the smiles is what makes it worth it." 

For photos of some awesome catches and more, visit thier instagram page.