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Robert Montgomery

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Friday
Jul282017

Jackall Lures Joins With KAF, BASS, to Expand 'Pledge to Pitch It'

Keep America Fishing, Jackall Lures and numerous B.A.S.S. Nation chapters around the country have joined forces to expand the "Pledge to Pitch It" campaign.

A nationwide effort, the Pledge to Pitch It program encourages anglers to properly dispose of, or even recycle, worn out and used soft plastic baits. Since its launch in 2014, the campaign continues to grow in strength and prominence.

“Too often, used soft baits end up as litter at the bottom of our lakes and rivers,” said Liz Ogilvie, chief marketing officer for the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the recreational sportfishing industry trade group and parent organization of Keep America Fishing.

“A bill introduced in Maine’s legislature a few years back would have placed a ban on the sale and use of soft plastic lures. That’s why, through the Keep America Fishing initiative, we created the Pitch It campaign to get anglers involved in the proper disposal of worn out soft baits by pitching them in the trash or recycling them.”

Shimano's Jackall Lures will provide up to $1,000 of soft plastic lures – including its Flick Shake worms for finesse use and the "crawling action" ScissorComb creature baits – to B.A.S.S. Nation state chapters that complete a soft bait collection/recycling program. Earlier this year, each state chapter submitted a short proposal outlining their plan for collecting used soft plastic lures to B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland.

“While most anglers – and especially those involved with B.A.S.S. – do their best to keep lakes and rivers clean, we’re hoping this small incentive from Jackall Lures will help them embrace the Keep America Fishing Pledge to Pitch It program,” said Steve Ferrara, Shimano’s fishing division Vice President.

While the plans differ from state-to-state, they all focus on collecting used soft plastics and keeping them out of the rivers and lakes. Illinois Bass Nation, one of the chapters spearheading the effort since 2014, collects, melts down, and recasts collected baits as trophies. They are shooting to break their 2016 record of 134 pounds of collected lures.

Recreational anglers who haven’t yet signed the Pitch to It Pledge to properly dispose of their worn out soft plastic baits are encouraged to do so by visiting www.PledgeToPitchIt.org.

Friday
Jul282017

August Sucks!

Ask me what I like about nature, and I can write a book. Ask me what I don’t like, and I need just one word: August.

Your August might not be the same as mine, especially if you live in a northern state. My August in the Missouri Ozarks is hell on earth, with no regard for the calendar. Typically it extends from the middle of July to the middle of September. But it could raise its demonic head in early July and its forked tail might not slither into fall until October.

What don’t I like about August? For starters, mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, sweat bees, and flies. August is a banner month for them all here at my house in the woods. Only then do I barbeque before an audience of thousands, none of them human and all of them believing that I am the entrée. Only then am I crawled on, sucked on, and stung so many times that I feel them scurrying up my legs, scooting along my back, and whining in my ears --- even when they are not.

Excerpt from "August" in Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies: Growing Up With Nature. Available at Amazon, the book has 43 five-star reviews.

Wednesday
Jul262017

IWL Announces Clean Water Challenge to Monitor More Stream Sites

Healthy streams and rivers are vital to healthy communities. Yet most Americans do not know whether their local streams are safe for swimming, fishing, or as sources of drinking water. There is a critical need for up-to-date information about water quality at the local level. The Izaak Walton League launched a national Clean Water Challenge today to mobilize and train volunteers to monitor 100,000 more stream sites for pollution by 2022.

Threats to America’s water quality include polluted runoff from farm fields, parking lots, industrial sites, and yards. It flows unchecked and untreated into our streams and rivers. It carries animal waste, bacteria, cancer-causing chemicals, and countless other pollutants.

Yet we have very limited information about water quality at the local level. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , 80% of streams  are not adequately monitored for pollution. And that’s only part of the problem. Of the fraction of streams that are monitored, EPA reports that more than half do not meet basic safety standards.

The nation’s water quality problems are  solvable. The Izaak Walton League is empowering Americans to collect water quality information where they live. With training and support from the League, volunteers can collect reliable information about water quality in local streams, which is the critical first step in protecting and improving the nation’s waters.

The Izaak Walton League is a national leader in volunteer stream monitoring. In 1969, it launched Save Our Streams (SOS), a program that gives volunteers simple tools to reliably assess the health of streams in their communities. SOS is a nationally recognized model for community-based water quality monitoring, and the League has engaged thousands of volunteers in this effort.

Every American has the right to clean water. Monitoring local streams is critical to finding and fixing water quality problems. To learn more about the Clean Water Challenge, visit the League’s website.

Monday
Jul242017

Listen to the BaitBitch

Fishing is supposed to be fun. But sometimes we forget.

That's why it's a good thing to have the BaitBitches around to remind us.

You read that right. A mother and daughter in Florida, along with some of their friends, founded this little company with the oh-so-politically-incorrect name: BaitBitch.

"Why not create a lure that would catch fish and add some extra fun while you're at it?" said Mindy Hayden, the creative force behind this business that has added some new and bordering-on-naughty words to fishing, including "boobhookles."

 “Some of the best times of my life have been spent drifting on a boat, with a line out,” she continued.  “I want to help everyone capture that simple joy.”

The lure created--- the "Bitch"--- is a soft plastic split-tail in a variety of colors. And since it's made without phthalates, it's more environmentally friendly than many plastic baits. Phthalates give flexibility to plastic, but they also have been linked to many human health threats, including asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, and diabetes.

It comes in a variety of colors, all of them named. Options include "Eat Schmidt" and "Ta Ta's."

 

In a quick field test, I found hot pink "Lucky Lani" true to her name, as the photos show. I rigged it Texas-style, with a belly weight, and fished it like a plastic frog. But you also can peg it on a jighead and swim it or bounce it on the bottom.

BaitBitch also sells shirts and sun guards, including one for your dog. And let's not forget the stickers, including "Bitch, Please," and the dip net, named--- what else?--- "Annette."

Every item, in one way or another, is intended to remind anglers of BaitBitch's motto: "Soft lures. Serious fun."

Sunday
Jul232017

Mining Threatens Boundary Waters, Says BHA

A sportsmen's advocacy group is sounding the alarm regarding a renewed attempt to develop copper mines within the watershed of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, one of the most visited wilderness areas in the country.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) reports that Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan hopes to convince the Interior Department to approve leases mines on the edge of the designated area. In December, both Interior and Agriculture declined to renew the leases.

"Minnesotans – including hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationists – have made clear the value of the Boundary Waters, of fish and wildlife, and of our treasured public lands traditions," said BHA's Will Jenkins.

 "That Congressman Nolan would attempt to dismiss these interests and jeopardize a crown jewel of America's wilderness system shows where his loyalties lie."