For Immediate Release:
Orillia Ontario. Award winning outdoor writer and seminar host Wil Wegman of Bradford Ontario is recognized far more within the angling community than among high level swimmers. He was voted into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, in 2017, so he might be better known for catching fish than swimming with them. However, it's exactly the latter that he will be doing once again on Saturday August 11th in the fish-filled waters of Orillia's Lake Couchiching. "I'll be swimming 4km across Couchiching in my sixth Sun City Swim fundraising event along with about 50 other dedicated swimmers", he said . It generally takes him one and a half hours to cross the lake with his best time coming in 2015 at 1 hour 27 minutes. “That will be the time for me to beat and I'm hoping my increased training regime will help me deliver a Personal Best time", he said. Wegman is still training by swimming laps 5-6 days a week at his local Bradford pool but has increased his overall distances and bettered previous times. The highlight came in early spring swimming a new Personal Best of 3 km in under one hour. "Swimming the lake vs the pool is way different though, and so many variables that you can't control in the lake you can in the pool," he said.
One of the factors that will definitely influence everyone's time is wind and anglers know all too well that Cooch is known for its rough water. In that regard they’re all in the same boat. Another handicap that will likely afflict Wegman more than any of the other swimmers is his peculiar inclination to search for big bass instead of focussing on the task at hand. "I just can't seem to help myself! Whenever we cross a weed patch or rocky isolated cover, I automatically start looking below for any of my beloved largemouth. My son Izaak who usually paddles his kayak alongside as my spotter, is continually yelling at me to stop looking for fish," admitted Wegman. This year his older brother Tyler will be Wil’s spotter and he’s already vowed there will be none of that foolishness on August 11.
In 2018, something completely new and foreign to Wegman's Swim with the Fishes, will be what he plans to wear while crossing the lake. “Bass Pro Shops is kindly supporting my swim with an XPS neoprene wetsuit. I never get cold while swimming the lake so that's not why I'm gonna wear it, but I keep hearing from other far-more accomplished swimmers, that these wetsuits will definitely make you more buoyant and therefore improve your time - so I'm going to give it a try", he said.
When he first started participating in this charity swim in 2013, he had no idea of the tremendous support he would get from family, friends, co-workers and especially the angling community he is so close with. Thanks to their generosity for the past five years, together they have been able to provide the Child Advocacy Centre for abused kids with a significant financial contribution - more than any other swimmer! Below is a quick breakdown of that support:
2013 = $2,025; 2014 = $995; 2015 = $1,910; 2016 = $1,300; 2017 = $1,700 Total= $7,930
About The Child Advocacy Centre: The Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka is a child-friendly and child-focused centre in which multidisciplinary professionals provide service to children and youth who have experienced abuse of any kind. This environment helps minimize trauma and fosters healing. Learn more at: www.cacsimcoemuskoka.ca For more information on the CAC Sun City Swim please visit: CACSM or call: 705-327-0118.
Finally, Wil would like to thank all past and future supporters of his Swim With the Fishes fundraising campaign. In 2018, he will provide a draw prize of a $50 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card, $50 worth of Rapala/Normark Tackle and another $50 worth of ice fishing tackle from HT Enterprises. All those who contribute $25 or more to his fundraising campaign will be eligible to receive this 1st place draw prize package. To be eligible please contribute here
To learn more about Wil and his connection to fish and the fishing community, please visit his website below:
Thank you for your support!
Wegman prepares to Swim With The Fishes again August 11th 2018 with his Cross-Lake Couchiching Swim to Raise Funds for the Child Advocacy Centre (CAS). Here he holds one of many big bass he’s weighed in over the years at catch and release tournaments in Orillia. Check out the new prize incentives for those who contribute to his 2018 Swim With The Fishes campaign.