Rob Ford makes big catch on fishing trip: Mississauga's 'Hurricane' Hazel
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, known for her grit and feisty attitude, was saved by her Toronto counterpart, Rob Ford, on Thursday during a day-long fishing trip in which the “Hurricane” snagged a 16-pound salmon that nearly pulled the 92-year-old overboard.
In a video from the trip, the Mississauga mayor is seen reeling in a giant Chinook salmon from the waters of Lake Ontario, near Port Credit, while Ford stands behind her.
“It was my turn to pull (the fish) in,” McCallion told CTV Toronto in a telephone interview. “I was working on it and all the people on the boat were standing right behind me,” she said.
The struggle between the giant fish and McCallion started six hours into the fishing trip. McCallion’s fishing rod in the video can be seen bending from the force of the struggling salmon.
“I lost my footing because (the fish) was so strong and Mayor Rob Ford was standing right behind me,” she said.
“When he saw what was happening, he grabbed me,” said McCallion, adding she didn’t think she was actually going to tumble into the water.
Ford, who wore a dark suit and a light blue dress shirt for the annual Great Ontario Salmon Derby, gave McCallion a bear hug during the impressive mayor-versus-fish battle, preventing her from potentially going overboard into the chilly waters of Lake Ontario.
“I got her, I got her, I got her,” Ford is heard saying in the video, while McCallion grips onto the fishing rod and pulls in the giant fish.
In the background, a female voice can be heard telling the “mayor to hold onto the mayor.”
Ford responds casually, telling the woman “not to worry.”
Another man on the boat jokes with Ford, telling him that they are “hug fishing.”
As the 16-pound salmon begins to give up, being drawn toward the boat, Ford comments on the size of the fish.
“Holy,” Ford is heard saying while still holding onto McCallion as she grips onto her fishing rod with both hands. “It’s a big one. It’s a dark one.”
After the fish is eventually caught and netted, McCallion, sporting a smile on her face, thanks Ford for helping her.
“Thank you, Rob,” she says, prompting a peck on the cheek from the Toronto mayor.
Ford later told reporters he was relieved he was able to anchor the 92-year-old mayor.
“It was close, you know. When a big fish hits you and it goes down, it jolts you,” Ford said. “I guess she wasn’t balanced and she went almost overboard so I’m glad that didn’t happen.”
A well-known football fanatic, Ford said he used his field skills to hold down the Mississauga mayor.
Minister of Veteran Affairs Julian Fantino was the other “big fish” onboard the boat on Thursday.
This is not the first time McCallion has caught a giant fish.
The experienced angler in 2011 caught an 18.5 pound Chinook salmon and presented Ford with the scaly gift.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s John Musselman