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Smallmouth Angler Catches Monster Muskie

Record-Eagle photo

Imagine connecting to this monster muskie while fishing for smallmouth bass with 8-pound line and a single-hook tube bait.

That’s just what happened to Jim Vozar, while fishing the east arm of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay.

Weighing 52-pounds, the fish pulled the boat around for 20 minutes before tiring enough for Capt. Tony DeFilippo to get it into a net.

The fish then broke the net in two as the guide tried to lift it into the boat.

“It’s a miracle we got that fish in the boat,” said Vozar, who released it after weighing and measuring it, as well as taking photos.

The fish is 6 pounds shy of the Michigan state record for Great Lakes muskie. Coincidentally, that fish also was caught on 8-pound line.

Go here to learn more


Fishing Tops List for Lightning-Strike Fatalities

NOAA caption

Three of us were fishing on Florida’s Lake Crescent one afternoon in early summer. Skies were partly cloudy, and bad weather was the farthest thing from our minds. We were concentrating on trying to find crappie.

But then Jay from New Jersey said, “Look at my line. What does it mean when it’s standing up in the air like that?

Dave, a long-time Florida resident, knew exactly what it meant. “It means we have to get out of here. Now!” he said as he cranked up the big engine.

Just as we reached the shelter of a boat house, thunder cracked and lightning lit up the sky.

If we hadn't moved quickly, that lightning just might have struck one of our graphite rods, causing a boatload of fatalities.

And we had almost no warning.

I’m sure that’s happened to other fishermen as well, some of whom were not as lucky as we were. In fact, since 2006, fishing tops the list for lightning-strike fatalities among leisure activities, according to the National Weather Service.

In other words, golfers are no longer primary targets. As a matter of fact, fatalities for that activity rank not only behind fishing, but camping, boating, and soccer.

Go here to learn more and to find out how to better protect yourself.

By the way, Florida from late May through September is a prime location for lightning strikes. Check out the stats here.


Why We Fish Revealed in a Child's Smile

That’s 9-year-old Dalton Perry in the photo. He’s holding an 8-pounds-plus bass that he caught on a Father’s Day fishing trip with his father, Steve.

With the recent publication of my new book, Why We Fish, on my mind, I couldn’t help but think that Dalton’s joy show why.

Coincidentally, Steve contacted me when learned about the book because he plans to talk about that very subject to youngsters attending this year’s Texas Bass Brigade camp for high school students at the Warren Ranch. (I’m sending copies of my book for Steve to share with the kids.)

Bass Brigade is a unique educational program designed to teach youth about aquatic ecosystems and natural resource management. In addition to fishing, ethics, stewardship, and water safety, they learn about wildlife and plants, as well as water quality and quantity. They’re also instructed in life skills, including leadership, team-building, critical thinking, and communication.


Inspiration for Why We Fish Explained at Mystery Tackle Box


Please check out my guest post at Mystery Tackle Box, explaining what led me to write my new book, Why We Fish.

And while you are there, find out what Mystery Tackle box is all above and maybe get a subscription. Anglers love mystery; it’s one of the reasons we fish.

With a subscription, a “mysterious” assort of some of the best fishing lures and tackle will be delivered to your home monthly.”


B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund Will Enhance Fisheries Conservation Efforts

B.A.S.S. Nation members create fish habitat with spider blocks in Oregon's Prineville Reservoir. Photo by Chuck Lang

The FishAmerica Foundation, the conservation arm of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is partnering with B.A.S.S. LLC, to form the B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund. The B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund will fund activities, projects and programs related to fisheries and aquatic resource conservation and research. The fund will be used exclusively by B.A.S.S. Nation state clubs to implement projects that enhance fisheries conservation on the grassroots level.

A donation from Simms Fishing Products provided the seed money for the new Conservation Fund which emphasizes grassroots approaches to restore fisheries resources and habitat in the U.S. and parts of Canada. The Conservation Fund will specifically target projects which benefit black bass species and their habitats.

The B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund is seeking proposals for new grant projects from B.A.S.S. Nation clubs beginning July 2013. The deadline to submit grant proposals is October 31, 2013. The awardees will be announced at the February 2014 Bassmaster Classic in Birmingham, Ala. The call for proposals will be sent from B.A.S.S. LLC to B.A.S.S. Nation clubs the first week in July 2013.

“The FishAmerica Foundation is pleased to partner with B.A.S.S. and its many B.A.S.S. Federation Nation clubs,” said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. “B.A.S.S. has a long tradition of investing in fisheries and aquatic habitat conservation. Working with B.A.S.S. clubs to improve fisheries habitat is a natural extension of FishAmerica’s mission.”

According to B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director Noreen Clough the partnership with FishAmerica provides B.A.S.S. a unique opportunity to expand their grassroots conservation efforts. “Grants made at a generous one to one match will allow B.A.S.S. clubs to expand their capabilities for fisheries and fish habitat conservation,” said Clough. “We thank Simms Fishing Products for providing their contribution to kick off our fundraising efforts. It’s important that we all do our part to ensure our fisheries and their habitats are healthy now and in the future.”

The FishAmerica Foundation, the conservation and research foundation of the American Sportfishing Association, is dedicated to keeping our fish and waters healthy. FishAmerica unites the sportfishing industry with conservation groups, government agencies, fishing tournament clubs and organizations, corporations and charitable foundations, investing in fisheries conservation and research across the country. FishAmerica’s matching grants empower citizen conservationists in their own communities. Since 1983 FishAmerica has invested more than $11 million in 1,000 fisheries conservation and research projects nationwide.

B.A.S.S. is a membership organization with approximately 500,000 members nationwide. Approximately 20,000 of those individual members are organized into clubs that are affiliated with B.A.S.S. Federation Nation chapters in 47 States, Canada, Italy, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Japan. In addition to participation in competitive fishing events, B.A.S.S. members are dedicated to fisheries conservation and youth education activities. Although B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its member, it remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access.

(Press release from the American Sportfishing Association.)