Local fishing show hooks prestigious award

When Whitehorse's Dennis Zimmermann goes fishing with his kids, he often leaves his own rod at home.

When Whitehorse’s Dennis Zimmermann goes fishing with his kids, he often leaves his own rod at home. Fishing with his kids is more about having fun, enjoying nature and bonding with his family than bringing in a 20-pounder, he says.

It’s a notion Northwestel Community TV got on board with and now has a prestigious award to show for it.

Family Fishing Connection, hosted by Zimmermann and produced by Community Cable 9 in Whitehorse, won Top Instructional/Training Program in the Alliance for Community Media’s 2013 Hometown Media Awards.

“There are a lot of people out there that are maybe a bit intimidated on how to fish, may not be able to fish at all, or not know how to fish with their kids or their spouses or their family,” said Zimmermann. “They just go out themselves and catch fish.

“I just wanted to encourage people to get outside with their kids and connect with them.”

The show, which aired last August, beat out more than 800 entries from Canada and the U.S. for the award, which will be presented at a gala in San Francisco, California, at the end of the month.

When Northwestel submitted the show for the award, only one episode had aired. There is a second episode, on ice fishing, airing this week.

“Dennis Zimmermann, local fishing enthusiast, (and I) have been chatting for a number of years because I knew he was into fishing and I’m producing community television,” said Northwestel Community TV manager Chris McNutt. “He narrowed in to say, ‘Let’s do a show – something different. Let’s talk about what I do all the time: fishing with my kids.’

“For us, a bare-bones production shop that we are, it completely fit our sweet spot. It was a simple idea that didn’t take vast production gear, staff or resources to go film a show like that.”

The focus of Family Fishing Connection is a “special approach to fishing with family and kids,” says Zimmermann at the start of the episode.

He is joined by his sons Max, 9, and Zachery, 11, in both episodes and covers a plethora of tips for when taking kids fishing.

Zimmermann explains how to choose a fishing spot that is kid-friendly and gives some helpful tips on how to set up camp for the day. He gives a list of items one might want to bring, such as extra socks, jackets, bug repellent, sunscreen, toilet paper, bear spray, snacks and, of course, a fishing licence.

He covers topics such as rods, lures, bait, casting, bobbers, weights – all in terms of what might be right for youngsters – and even how to deal problems like snags in the line.

“It is one of my passions and it’s my way of connecting with the community and, I guess, giving back to the community,” said Zimmermann. “I like to see as many people out fishing as possible. If we’re connecting with the resource, we’re going to value it, and if we value it, we’re going to protect it.

“I see fishing as one of those great activities we can all do. It’s affordable, it puts food on the table, and it’s a great way to communicate and interact with nature.”

The award-wining episode was filmed at Hidden Lakes and the ice-fishing episode, which is airing every day this week at 9 a.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Whitehorse channels 9 and 269, was filmed at Pumphouse Lake.

“I think one of the interesting things about these videos is we haven’t caught any fish yet on video,” said Zimmermann. “While that’s humbling and a little embarrassing – we do catch fish – I think there’s a bigger message there. It’s about focusing on the experience and the connection. Fish are a bonus after that … It’s not about bringing in a fish necessarily.”

“Catching fish is secondary. What you’re trying to do is to go out and have a good day with your kids outdoors,” added McNutt.

You can check out the winning episode on YouTube by searching Family Fishing Connection.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Eric Schroff, executive director with the Yukon Fish and Game Association, poses for a portrait on Feb. 20. Schroff says he is puzzled as to why the Yukon government is cutting back on funding for the association. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
YG cuts Yukon Fish and Game Association funding, tried to vet outgoing communications

Yukon Fish and Game Association says 25 per cent government funding cut will impact operations


Wyatt’s World for Nov. 27, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Most Read