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Entries in fishing (19)


"I believe that faster is not always the best way in fishing, and from that I have learned that it’s not always the best way in life either. Those who don’t see that miss out on the many pleasures of the journey, as they focus single-mindedly on the destination. We each have only a limited amount of time in this life. Why rush it?"

---from Why We Fish


But I knew for a fact that I had caught little or nothing on many of my fishing trips, and yet I couldn't remember a single time that I had come home from fishing unhappy.

From Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies--- Growing Up With Nature.


Alaska's Greatest Outdoor Legends

Most of us never will go to Alaska. And none of us can time travel.

          But Doug Kelly enables readers to do both, at least vicariously, via his new book, Alaska's Greatest Outdoor Legends. Incorporating historical records, anecdotes, and interviews, he profiles 27 of them who hunted, fish, trapped, explored, settled, managed, and promoted "the last frontier" during the past century, right up to present day.

          Black and white photos  add spice to the tales of adventurous men and women who blazed trails for the millions who followed, either to fish and hunt or to live. For example, the cover features a shot of Charley Madsen, Kodiak Island's original professional bear guide, packing out a brown bear carcass on his shoulders.

          But so intriguing were the exploits of more than two dozen others, Charley didn't even merit a chapter of his own! In fact, Kelly said that "hundreds of other men and women could justifiably be included as legends of rod or rifle in Canada."

          Consider colorful Capt. Andy "Frosty" Mezirow, who has put clients on fish for 25 years, and continues to do so, with giant halibut his specialty. On one trip, though, what was supposed to be a halibut turned out to be a 250-pound salmon shark. In helping to subdue it, "Andy leaped on the shark's back like a rodeo rider and concussed it with multiple swings from an aluminum bat," recalled a friend who was on the boat that day.

          And within the chapters of many of those who are featured lie stories worthy of  adaptation as movies. Missourian Nellie Neal Lawing didn't make it to Alaska until she was middle-aged. But once there, she was an unstoppable force, as she operated way stations for anglers and hunters. In 1920, she drove her dog sled into the teeth of a blizzard to rescue a mail carrier. And then, knowing the importance of mail in frontier Alaska, went back for the pouches and delivered them on time to the train station.

          And as Nellie was making her mark, so too were hunters like Frank Glaser, Bill Pinnell, and Morris Talifson. The latter two awakened hunters in the Lower 48 to the allure of hunting on Kodiak Island with magazine advertisements and video presentations. Glaser started as a wolf hunter for the feds, but later became an important voice in debates about predator control in Alaska.

          If you like hunting, fishing, history, and colorful characters, you will enjoy Alaska's Greatest Outdoor Legends.


Fund-Raiser for Florida Youth and Wildlife

Dust off those cowboy boots and shine up those big silver belt buckles! It’s time for Florida’s 3rd Annual BlueGreen Event at “Alligator Ron” Bergeron’s Green Glades Cowboy Ranch in Weston.

This once-a-year, fun-filled, boot-stompin’, heel-kickin’, fund-raisin’ gala on November 15 is fast becoming the place for the movers and shakers of the fish and wildlife conservation world to meet, greet and raise money for the future of Florida’s kids and wildlife!

This is the night to open your wallets and put your money where your heart is: In the future and well-being of our youth, wildlife and all they share in the great outdoors. BlueGreen will feature live entertainment, a live auction, raffles, an authentic Florida Cracker cowboy cook out, and an unrivaled opportunity to mingle with major fish and wildlife conservationists, supporters and experts from around the state.

“BlueGreen promises to be a rip-roaring event, but its purpose is to raise awareness and money to ‘Create the Next Generation that Cares’,” said Rodney Barreto, the newly appointed chairman of the Wildlife Foundation of Florida (WFF). “Believe me, if you give a hoot about our kids and our wildlife, this is where you want to be to open your hearts and wallets.”

Research has shown that today’s kids spend less time in the outdoors than any previous generation.

“The reasons are many, but the point is that these kids are losing touch with nature and we’ve got to get them outside and into the natural world again,” Barreto said. “We need programs to reconnect kids to their outdoor heritage, and we need funding to do it. That’s why we started the BlueGreen event three years ago.”

With support from BlueGreen participants and sponsors, the WFF and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) created the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN), a web of conservation-related facilities and programs located throughout the state geared toward getting kids outside. 

“The success of these programs is vital to the health and well-being of our children, to Florida’s wildlife, and to the traditions handed down from generation to generation. Without them, we face a future where Florida has no place to hunt, no place to fish, no place to hike, and no one who cares,” Barreto said.

During the gala, the WFF will also be honoring Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as the 2014 winner of the BlueGreen Award for Conservation Leadership in Florida.

Everyone – individuals, governmental entities, businesses – is encouraged to attend and participate. All money raised at the BlueGreen will go directly to the WFF to fund youth and wildlife-related programs and projects, in particular the renovation of the famous Everglades Youth Conservation Camp, an integral part of the FYCCN.

For more information about BlueGreen or to purchase tickets, visit To become a sponsor, email or call (850) 212-5454.

About the Wildlife Foundation of Florida

The WFF is a 501c3 nonprofit started in 1994 as the citizen support group for what is now the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Its mission is to partner with the FWC to ensure the conservation and enhancement of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources so they survive and thrive for current and future generations of Florida residents and visitors. Remember, Florida is like no other place on Earth; working together we can keep it that way.

For more information on the WFF and how every Florida resident or guest can support the Foundation, visit To stay up-to-date with its latest news, join the WFF Facebook page at


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.