Following last year’s unique “Friends Without Borders” gathering north of the border near Toronto that featured ice fishing on Canada’s Lake Simcoe hosted by well-known Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats customers, Dave and Dawn Scotto, the expectations were high heading into last weekend’s event at the place their friends refer to as “Scotto Land.”
Participants of the second annual Friends Without Borders ice-fishing event on Canada’s Lake Simcoe were treated to good times, good food and good friends thanks to Dave and Dawn Scotto (click image to enlarge). All photos courtesy Dave Scotto
“It never occurred to me that I would actually like ice fishing—it doesn’t sound fun at all, honestly,” said Stephen Miles, the talented painter behind Stephen Miles Design in Kentucky. “But my wife and I decided to go to the event this year to enjoy the company of our customers and friends like Burton and Yvette Kirsten, Jason and Laurie Moe, and of course, the Scottos. And boy we were glad we did. The Scottos are incredible hosts and the ice fishing was awesome.”
Miles said they had a guide assisting them with the ice fishing and that the Scottos’ fleet of 10-passenger Bombardier Snow Bus snowmobiles was “phenomenal.”
“Anyone who has spent time with Dave and Dawn know what amazing people they are,” added Miles, who was one of the fortunate participants to catch a fish while sitting in a warming hut five miles out on the lake in 60-plus feet of water. “Dave has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met. The quality of people he keeps around him, between family members and friends, is impressive, too. It takes a village of people to make the event happen and he has an amazing support group.”
Scotto seemed so thrilled with the turnout and the response to this year’s gathering that he texted me a couple dozen images of his friends experiencing what his family enjoys doing on Lake Simcoe when it’s too cold to boat.
Check out more pictures from the Scotto family’s ice-fishing excursion near Toronto in the slideshow above.
“Almost everyone caught a fish, which was cool, and the weather was perfect since we got some snow this year,” said Scotto, of Concord Hardware and Team Gotta Go. “First of all, I have to thank the crew of people who make this event possible. Without my family and friends pitching in to put this together, it would never happen. No one is getting paid, they all do it out of the goodness of their hearts.”
Scotto said the response from everyone who attended the event, which includes the daytime activities on the lake and nighttime fun in the Scotto’s massive toy garage that doubles as a kitchen and a nightclub, has been outstanding.
“Burton was one of the people who didn’t end up catching a fish and he sent me a text message afterward saying that while he was fishing he was so relaxed,” Scotto explained. “He said his phone wasn’t a distraction, so he was able to enjoy everyone’s company and have an awesome time. That’s the whole point of this. It’s about getting even closer to this wonderful Outerlimits family and customer base.”
Scotto, who pointed out that his wife turns 50 this month so they celebrated a few days early with a birthday cake, seemed genuinely happy to be surrounded by friends such as John and Julie Tokar, Dave and Nicole Weschler, Rich Szesnat, Joel Begin, Jay Anthony Cooke and more. He was ecstatic to have Donna Fiore—the sister of the late Outerlimits founder Mike Fiore—on hand, and he was gracious that the Moes, who are from Washington, brought dozens of king crab legs from the Pacific Northwest, which he said were delicious.
He also made sure to point out that the one-and-only Dan Kleitz of Outerlimits—who doesn’t like cold-weather activities according to Scotto—attended the event this year with his father Ken, who is also an Outerlimits owner.
“Dan wasn’t so keen on the whole ice-fishing thing; he doesn’t really enjoy fishing or wintertime activities, but I told him he had to come for the experience,” Scotto said. “He ended up catching a fish—we fish for lake trout and whitefish—and when we got back we cooked all the fish we caught and Dan said it was the best fish he’s ever had.”
Scotto, who has a new 50-foot Outerlimits being built (he expects it to be finished in a couple of months), believes Kleitz will be back next year when Scotto and company host the Friends Without Borders event again.
“I have to admit it was pretty frickin’ cool,” Kleitz said. “It was my first time at Scotto Land and my first time ice fishing. I think we had seven Outerlimits owners there, which made it one big party. I wasn’t sure about going but it’s definitely something you have to experience. Going to Scotto Land is an event in itself—even if you don’t take advantage of the ice fishing.
“Scotto’s crew put out a huge spread for everyone, and we ate what we caught—they filleted and prepared it all for us,” he continued. “The best part to me was the company. Events like this and the snowmobile one that Doc Janssen hosts at his resort in Wyoming really show how much of a family Outerlimits owners are. I really believe we have the best customers in the world. When you own and run an Outerlimits, you’re part of a big family.”
No one, especially the group who attended the second annual Friends Without Borders event, is going to disagree with Kleitz about that. And that’s exactly why the Scottos plan to keep it going each winter—weather depending of course.
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