Nikki Graham


Hunter Slater

Hunter is the son of Arron and Erin Slater and God-Son to Mike Sklad. He is a very energetic child who loves all things outside. Especially the fish. Nothing excites him more than being out there. Have Fun and tell mom and dad to “Take Me Fishing!!!”

Shi Slater

I got into fishing when I was a baby. Ever since I could hold a fishing rod. I would be out at the lake with my parents, Arron and Erin Slater, every day. When I grew up a little bit they would let me do what I needed to do by myself and I wouldn’t need them there to help a whole lot. Today, I don’t need their help at all, because I know how to do it all by myself. My parents let me get into fishing because I liked what they were doing and I wanted to do the same thing. I now build rods with my dad and can tie my own fishing flies.

What I love most about fishing is getting to be outside and now I’m get to help kids and families get out and can teach them how to fish, because of my parents volunteer work they do with Games and Parks and Fishing Friendzy. Along with the many youth tournaments and children’s fishing clinics they put on. I love to be outside and with fishing it helps me get outside more and not be stuck inside.

Faith Slater

I got into fishing when I was a baby. Growing up down the dam every night with my dad, and even laying a blanket and pillow out to sleep on the rocks late at night. My dad would always take my sister and I out. Ever since I caught my first small bass I was hooked. Now fishing every chance I get. Including multiple tournament wins this year. Building my own rod at 6 years old, and learning to tie my own knots a year later. And some lure building along the way. Fishing has become part of me.

What I love about fishing, is just the time outside, and being with family and friends. I get to meet a lot of people in this leisure time sport that love the same things that I do.

Erin Slater

Growing up I didn’t do much fishing, but I was a “pool rat”!!! I’ve always been an outdoors person. Growing up my dad and I would go to the lake to go boating, tubing, swimming, and camping!!! I really got started fishing when I met my husband. Our dates would consist of going to the lake and going fishing. We rarely went to the movies or dinner or what people would call a “normal” date. Now we have a family of our own and that’s all we do. We are an outdoors family. Whether we are fishing, hunting or just playing in the yard; we are outside. Both my husband and myself are volunteers with our local game and parks commission as certified youth fishing instructors. My husband is the owner and operator of Dragon’s Custom Rods. He repairs broken fishing rods and builds custom rods. We, as a family, have started running shoreline fishing tournaments at our local lakes.

The thing I love most about fishing is just being outside. I’m the type of person that doesn’t like being cooped up inside all the time. The other thing that I love about fishing is seeing the smiles on the kids faces when they catch their first fish. Or when they catch “the big one”!!! I love helping the kids and teaching them how to fish. If we can’t reach the next generation what is our world going to look like in the next 100 years? The number one thing that we teach is to clean up your area when you’re done. Even if you didn’t “trash” the area, pick it up anyways. I was taught to leave only my footprints and memories, now I teach the same!!! And I only hope the kids that I teach that to are going to take that to their future and teach the same thing as well!!!!

Meeting and working with Mike and Melissa has been an amazing adventure!!!! And I look forward to many more adventures with them!!!!

Arron Slater

Fishing Friendzy – USA Manager

I started fishing at a very young age. My father and grandfather used to take us out on a small boat, I got extremely hooked one day when I was out fishing with my father on that boat. An enormous fish hooked me that day. We were catfishing with fairly light tackle and something huge took our bait. From the small 12 foot aluminum boat the fish seemed to drag the entire boat back and forth around that small part of the lake. After a few minutes, I finally managed to surface the fish. To my father’s and my disbelief, a huge Flathead catfish probably in the 50 lb range or higher surfaced. As my father reached over to grab the fish’s mouth, it made one giant lunge and snapped the line. From that moment on, I always asked to go back and when I got big enough to fish on my own, I did. It took me 15 years later, and I finally learned enough to not just catch a fish that size, but do it consistently. I’m now on the lake as much as time allows.

Today I don’t just fish. I own and operate Dragon’s Custom Rods, building hand crafted fishing rods and repairing rods for those of us that need them fixed. Along with my wife and children, I volunteer in my spare time with our Local Games and Parks Commission to put on Family fishing Clinics, supplying all equipment needed, to get kids and the families outside fishing. Along those lines, we now sponsor and run Youth shoreline fishing tournaments to our local state here in the USA and award the kids that catch the most and biggest fish each tournament. Meeting up with Fishing Friendzy and Mike and Melissa in 2009 just added to the passion to get kids fishing.

I just love the smiles we can put on the kids faces. Nothing beats those smiles or warms the hearts of anyone like that first catch, or biggest fish. I’m not sure I could ever do anything else in my life. This is a dream come true and it makes me feel the richest anyone could ever be. Get the kids fishing and teach them right. They are our future.

Kayden Sklad

Kayden is the son of Michael and Melissa Sklad. He loves life and nothing makes him happier than being outside with nature. No fear of fish or frogs for this little guy.

Kyela Sklad

Kyela is the daughter of owners Michael and Melissa Sklad. She loves nature and loves to fish.

Kyela is a natural born leader and loves the spot light. Any time she’s out on a nature walk with her dad she loves to talk to all the anglers around the water. Maybe it’s because she has so many fish stories to tell.

Marina Pinkus

My name is Marina! I love, love, love the water! Even my name means “from the sea”. So naturally I was drawn to fishing right away. I remember my grandpa showing me the ropes when I was very young at family picnics every summer. I even remember using basic bamboo pole fishing rods! As soon as it was introduced to me I loved it. Any chance I could I would go fishing. Even while attending camps or being anywhere around water I would be the one flipping rocks looking for cray fish and trying to catch minnows. I have always been very drawn to the water.

The older I have gotten the more I have gotten to learn about fishing and the different styles. I am blessed to have learned a lot about the sport through many friends I have made along my journey. I owe everything I know to all those people who have helped me along the way to my fishing goals!! Fishing truly helps you connect to people who have the same passion as you and that is one of the major reasons I love it so much. I also love that it allows you to connect with nature.

I fish for all species, some of my favourites include: Trout, Bass, Pike, Carp, and many (MANY) more. I use spinning gear as well as float fishing and have also recently gotten really into fly fishing!

Brianne Rutter

I have been fishing since as long as I can remember and grew up with a love for catching walleye and bass at a yearly cottage rental. I grew up in the sailing community and also spent my childhood fishing from docks at several different locations on Lake Ontario on family vacations. 

 In the last few years, my love for fishing has taken off immensely. Living in the city, I never really felt that I had as many opportunities to fish, or people to fish with. Getting involved with many of the women’s events, I have made several connections in the fishing community and found people to go out on the water with as often as I can.

 I love spending time teaching children to fish. I have worked with Toronto Urban Fishing Ambassadors to provide fishing experiences to children with special needs and children from low socio-economic backgrounds.