Mike Borger

Using the Freedom of Information Act to Suss Out a Guy's Secret Fishing Spot

Some anglers will go to great lengths to find a secret fishing spot, even employing the government to aid them in their pursuit.

That's exactly what Mike Borger discovered when he received a letter from Canada's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry telling him that someone had filed a Freedom of Information request to find his honey hole.

Borger, an Ontario fishing guide and pro, posted a youtube video of himself and his 10-year old son fishing an unnamed lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, a large wilderness area in southeastern Ontario. In the video Borger and his son catch some huge brook trout.

In the video, Borger didn't name the lake where he caught the trout, even though he received over 125 private message requests for it. He politely declined them all.

"I haven't told anybody about this lake," he said. "I wouldn't even tell my best friend about this lake."

Borger had fished the lake 15 years earlier and scored big on it back then. He decided to take his son with him on his return and the pair did just as well as he had 15 years before, only this time he videotaped the trip and got a lot of anglers' mouths watering at the size of the brookies they caught.

The video garnered more than 6,000 views, crushing all of Borger's other videos on his youtube channel. Obviously, a lot of people were trying to figure out what lake Borger had caught his trophy brook trout from.

"I kind of just have kept it in my back pocket," Borger said. "I've been busy these last few years. I haven't had time for a trip of that substance, because frankly, it takes days to get in there and days to get out." 

Well, apparently, some enterprising and determined angler wouldn't let Borger's refusal to divulge the lake's name deter him. He filed an Access to Information request with the government, requesting access to Borger's camping permits during the time he and his son were at Algonquin Park.

"If somebody has a copy of my interior camping permit, which shows which lakes I camped on each night, they can clearly and easily figure out which lake I caught these trophy fish in," he said.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry sent Borger a five-page letter detailing the request. Borger replied with his concerns and the ministry told him that they 'would not confirm or deny the existence of his record to the person pursuing it.' But they did also tell him that the person requesting the information could file an appeal if they so chose.

"It just goes to show you how popular brook trout fishing in Algonquin Park is and the lengths some people will apparently go to find your fishing spot," Borger opined.

Borger seemed to get a little philosophical about the unusual request.

"I'm going to give him credit," he said. "because it was an incredibly smart — underhanded and a little bit devious — but also very smart way to get this information."

I thought that Borger could have easily avoided the pursuit of so many determined anglers by simply telling them the name of a different lake. But that would be lying, and we all know that fishermen never lie.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

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