“To him, all good things—trout as well as eternal salvation—come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
“Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.” --- Author unknown
“The worse your line is tangled, the better is the fishing around you.” ---Author unknown
“I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.” --- W.C. Fields
“Some men would rather be photographed with their fish than with their wives.” Gwen Cooper and Evelyn Haas
Wheeler Lake continues its ascendancy as a world-class bass fishery according to results from Alabama’s Bass Anglers Information Team (BAIT) Report, published annually by the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF).
Impressive results that bass clubs reported from there were a surprise in 2012, but not in 2013, according to WFF’s Damon Abernethy.
“Although Wheeler has never been a poor fishery, there was a time in the late 80s and early 90s when it rivaled Lake Guntersville,” he said.
Then Largemouth Bass Virus took its toll there, as did the disappearance of aquatic grass.
“There would be years when it improved, and then it would slack off again,” Abernethy added. “We do have biological evidence the bass virus, along with the loss of the grass, impacted the fishery. It was a kind of double whammy.”
But in 2012, angler success “shot through the roof,” he said. “I didn’t really expect that to continue this year, but it did. And it was even better.”
While Wheeler came out on top overall, Abernethy doesn’t think that it has surpassed Guntersville.
“Our tables can be a little bit deceiving unless you pay close attention,” he explained. “Guntersville has a 15-inch minimum length limit, which affects a lot of things. It’s going to depress your percent success and number of fish caught because they are having to throw back the smaller fish. And it’s going to artificially inflate your average size.
“I think everybody will agree that Guntersville is the best bass lake in the state, but it never performs well in the overall quality indicators simply because of the length limit. For the hours it takes to catch a bass over 5 pounds, it’s still at the top and it usually is. Guntersville is still a phenomenal fishery.”
Read more about Wheeler at Bassmaster.com
Representatives of the nation’s 11 million saltwater anglers and the industries they support, which collectively have a $70 billion annual economic impact, commended Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for his work on the Florida Fisheries Improvement Act, introduced today.
The bill creates a strong base to ensure that the recreational fishing and boating community’s priorities are addressed during reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act, the overarching law managing the nation’s saltwater fisheries.
“Sen. Rubio worked closely with our community to understand our needs and concerns,” noted Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “We know it will take a bi-partisan commitment to enact this into law, and we have been equally impressed with the work of Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) to include our priorities in his draft Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act reauthorization.”
Rubio said, “Florida’s fisheries deeply impact the economic well-being of our state, as well as many Floridians whose way of life depends on them. But our fisheries are also a national treasure that feed Americans across the country, provide jobs across the food industry chain, and have become a favorite pastime for millions who provide direct and indirect benefits to our local, state and national economies.
“This legislation ensures necessary improvements to management and data collection are made to fully optimize our fisheries and help advance Florida’s interests when it comes time to amend the Magnuson-Stevens Act. However, I know there is more work to be done, and I will continue to work with Floridians and my colleagues in Congress to prioritize reauthorization of the MSA in the next Congress.”
Recreational anglers’ primary priorities are identified in the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management’s report “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.” The Commission, headed by Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris and Maverick Boats President Scott Deal, identifies six key policies that would achieve the Commission’s vision, including adoption of a revised approach to saltwater recreational fisheries management; allocating marine fisheries for the greatest benefit to the nation, and creating reasonable latitude in stock rebuilding timelines.
“We are pleased to see many of the Morris-Deal priorities addressed in Sen. Rubio’s legislation, reflecting his commitment to give long overdue attention to improving recreational fisheries management,” said Angers.
“We look forward to continuing our engagement with Sen. Rubio and Sen. Begich to incorporate several other priorities in the final version of any legislation, including a fix for the broken management of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf.”
Contributors to the work of the Commission include American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Berkley Conservation Institute, Center for Coastal Conservation, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and The Billfish Foundation.
California is at it again. This time, fishing tackle made with lead, copper, and zinc could be banned as a result. And what happens in California will affect anglers all over the country.
From the California Sportfishing League:
"The State has proposed new regulations targeting lead sinkers and fishing gear. As a consequence, fishing equipment made of lead, zinc and copper could be outlawed, forcing manufactures and suppliers to flee California’s market altogether and drive up the cost of fishing gear as much as 20-fold! If fishing is listed as a product of interest, every other State in the Nation will soon follow.
"We need your help. The Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) will be holding workshops on September 25th and 29th, and your voice needs to be heard. The public comment period closes October 13th, so don’t wait! Join our fishing coalition today! Attend these important workshops."
Go here to sign the petition to oppose the ban.