Accounting Issues

Gone fishin'
By Tamar Satov

Scott Huffman and Robb Mann are in the same boat - literally. As professional anglers, the St. Catharines, Ontario CAs spend 40 days a season together on the water, and they're quickly making a name for themselves on the tournament circuit.

Since few business professionals participate in tournament fishing, it was a surprise to Mann and Huffman when they met at the St. Catharines Bassmasters Club in 1998. "Someone suggested that as a CA, I could be club treasurer," recalls Mann. "Then Scott said, 'Hey, I'm a CA, too!'"

Their common career backgrounds (Mann, 36, is a public practitioner with R. K. Shaver; Huffman, 41, is the internal controller for Mountainview Homes) helped them become friends and, with the permission of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, to compete as Team CA. "When you're in a boat with someone for 10 hours a day, you've got to be compatible," says Huffman. "I spend more time with Robb than with my wife sometimes," he adds with a laugh.

It has proven to be a good match; the pair has won many club tournaments and made a number of top-five showings in local tournaments, including first place in last year's millennium Spring Bass series in Buffalo, New York. A tournament win usually requires a total weigh-in of about 16 to 20 pounds, which means an average of about three to four pounds per fish. "Most fishermen never catch a five-pound bass in their lives," says Huffman. "We caught about 100 five-pounders last season."

Huffman and Mann, who have about a dozen sponsors between them, are also partners in Trophy Angling Guide Services, which operates bass, musky and pike guide services on lakes Erie, Ontario and simcoe. In addition, they promote the sport by conducting seminars at trade shows and participating in local fishing days and casting competitions for kids.

The two chartered accountants believe their education gives them a competitive edge as anglers. "The CA mentality of problem...