Skating video makes big splash

Averie Rose Bonin, 12, has become an online sensation for her videos related to fishing, and a latest post as she skates on Long Point Bay alongside her sister Claira, 7. Contributed Photo

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Even if you don’t know her name, chances are you’ve seen Averie Rose Bonin skating her way into your Facebook feed.

A 12-year-old from Port Rowan, Bonin has become known in the fishing world for her online videos that aim to get more kids involved in the sport.

With a recent cold spell falling across Lake Erie, Bonin and her younger sister Claira, 7, took to Long Point Bay with skates on their feet and sticks in their hands.

Following the action closely was their father Ryan, a filmmaker/editor/producer extraordinaire.

Their goal was to let residents know the ice is open for business, but they never thought the four-minute video (youtube.com/watch?v=lLeXyzOpb0M&t=8s) would be shared over 70,000 times within a few hours.

“I really wanted to get out on the lake before the ice melted,” said Averie, who plays for the Norfolk HERicanes. “We don’t usually get a lot of ice here and 4-6 inches is very thick and it’s really exciting to go out when the ice is here. I thought that it would be a fun idea to give a little support for people that live around here so that they know the ice is safe to go on.”

After Ryan made sure the surface was safe, the two – fitted with life jackets – took off into a picturesque portion of Norfolk.

“This (video) definitely popped off,” said Ryan. “I think it’s because more people can relate to it. It’s not all about angling, it’s skating and Long Point/Port Rowan and a lot of people either grew up in the area, cottaged in the area or skated on the lake when they were a kid and it really resonated with them.”

The video is far from the only popular one produced by the Bonin family. With the energetic and approachable Averie as the star, they’ve created a handful of online offerings at averierose.com inspired by a trip to the 2018 Bassmaster Classic in South Carolina last year.

“Just spending time there and seeing how much joy was in the people’s faces and how much fun they were having, it reminded me of how much fun I have (fishing),” said Averie. “It made me think that there should be more people getting into the sport. I don’t want something like this to die off one day because it’s so amazing.”

Since her first video was published eight months ago, Averie has been recognized by her school (Port Rowan Public), met with Grand Erie District School Board members in hopes of creating fishing clubs at schools across the region and has led seminars in Toronto. She’s even met with brands like Shimano who want their gear featured.

“We’re obviously very proud of everything she’s doing,” said Ryan, who formerly worked with pro Dave Mercer.

“It’s good for them and in the long run, if they get kids involved in the sport and in the outdoors now, they have customers for life,” said Ryan. “It’s a win that way, but at the end of the day, anything that has to do with getting kids out on the water and fishing, they’re pretty excited about.”

Chatting with Averie it becomes clear she was destined to make a splash in the world of angling – Ryan took her fishing when she was just seven days old.

“Spending time on the lake with family, having fun and experiencing new things is really what brings me back,” she said. “It’s great to be out in nature and see the beauty of our Earth.”

Already with a tournament win under her belt, Averie hopes to enter more and eventually compete at the Bassmaster Classic – the grandaddy of all derbies. Until then, she’s content to do what she can to spread the gospel of angling.

“It’s been very exciting,” she said of her new found fame. “I’ve met a lot of new people that maybe will become lifelong friends, which is very cool.”

jrobinson@postmedia.com

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