Thursday, March 23, 2017

 
BIG CATCHES
Richard Albritton of Bogue Chitto, MS caught the 14.4 pound channel catfish on March 19 from the lake near Monticello.

BOATING
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section, in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), encourages boaters to enroll in a boating education course before the kickoff of the boating season.

COLLEGE FISHING
The second major televised event of the 2017 Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series gets underway this Friday.

CONTESTS
Artwork for the 2018 inland trout stamp contest and Great Lakes salmon and trout stamp contest must be received or postmarked by July 3, 2017.
States and around the world have the opportunity to win awards and national recognition while learning about a state-fish species, its behaviors, aquatic habitat and conservation.

EVENTS
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will auction its annual collection of wildlife assets March 25-26 during the 2017 Outdoor Expo at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, just west of Interstate 17 on Carefree Highway.
Hit the water and take a short paddle around the 90,000-gallon kayaking pond at the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Outdoor Expo, presented by Shikar Safari Club International.
Antique boats, examples of classic and traditional vessels, workboats, and fiberglass and aluminum classics will all be on display throughout the day.
The 32nd Annual CCA Tampa Chapter Banquet and Auction Presented by TECO at T. Pepin Hospitality Center April 13 beginning at 6 p.m. is filling up fast.

FISHERIES
DNR fisheries biologists and partner organizations hope to develop more than 350 fish habitat features in the lake by the end of 2018.
A healthy pond needs aquatic plant habitat, but too many plants can limit the pond's use and cause imbalances in the fish population.
The fish was recaptured after just over a year of liberty by the same boat, only about 1.2 miles from the location it was caught originally.
Two public meetings, set for April 4 and 6, are being held in Vilas County to gather public input on a multi-agency plan to address declining walleye numbers in Lac Vieux Desert.
A controversial exempted fishing permit (EFP) to initiate a commercial privatization program for at least six species of fish in the South Atlantic was shelved this week after widespread public outcry.

INDUSTRY
Over the past few weeks Bass Cat and Yar-Craft have expanded their brand presence adding six new dealers from coast to coast.

INVASIVE SPECIES
The Joint Mussel Response Implementation Team will host an open house at Montana WILD in Helena on March 27 to discuss the upcoming watercraft inspection season, new regulations, and local boater program certification.

MARINE ELECTRONICS
This industry's thermal imaging leader combines new technologies and cost-effectiveness into the new M100/M200 series.

NEW PRODUCTS
The virtuoso rodcrafters at St. Croix Rod unveil a new heavy-power, moderate-action, Legend Glass casting rod (LGC88HM), which spans 8' 8" from butt to tip and is ideal for making mega-casts with crankbaits.

PADDLE SPORTS
West Marine Carolina Cup, the world's largest gathering of professional and amateur standup paddleboard athletes, has added the World Paddle Association's World SUP Tour in 2017.

SHOWS
The Wesley Chapel Boat Show, including the Captain Joe Fishing School, comes to The Shops at Wiregrass April 21-23.
The Expo will feature exhibitors showcasing boats, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, power sports, outdoor living accessories and more.

STATES
State shellfish managers have approved a razor clam dig beginning March 24 with openings alternating between Mocrocks and Copalis beaches for three days.
A new live release record fish program being rolled out by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources aims to end a dilemma and provide anglers with the win-win satisfaction of achieving a state record and a successful live release.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with the N.C. Coastal Federation, is hosting its sixth annual "Outdoors Day" on April 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla in Currituck County.

TOURNAMENTS
Aside from the impressive $300,000 first-place prize and internationally renowned world title, the stakes are high at the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods taking place in Houston and on Lake Conroe, Texas, Friday through Sunday.
Ty Nelson, of Gulfport, Florida, measured a combined limit of 67.25 inches to win the first 2017 regular-season event for the Florida East Division of the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour presented by Hobie Fishing on March 19 at Jacksonville, Florida.
Jesse Rain and Luis Jaramillo, both of Jacksonville, Florida, weighed a two-fish limit that totaled 13.71 pounds to win the first event for the Florida East Division of the IFA Redfish Tour presented by Cabela's on March 18 at Jacksonville, Florida.

Heading for Texas

Today's feature comes to us from Outdoor Wire Publisher Jim Shepherd, who's headed to Lake Conroe, Texas and the Bassmaster Classic this week.

This morning I'm hustling to get ready to head for Houston, Texas and this year's edition of the Bassmaster Classic. It's one of those events that I've missed the past couple of years despite being one of my favorite annual events in the outdoor industry.

It's also one of the most frustrating for me because it always brings home just how little opportunity I have to actually fish. One of the dirty secrets of the outdoor industry is that covering it means darned little time to actually enjoy the outdoors. Yesterday I was sitting at my computer working on planning for the next edition of the Starlight 3 Gun Series (more on that in a few days) and looking out as my neighbor was casually walking around in his yard enjoying the sunshine.

The trip to Houston won't get me any fishing time, but I'm certainly stoked at the opportunity to see and touch some of the new bass fishing gear at the Classic Expo. It's nothing like the volume of equipment we'll see in July at ICAST, but it's always a pretty impressive assortment of "cool gear" and this year there'll be everything from new hooks to extra long rods now that B.A.S.S. has approved increased lengths.

Boats, motors, rods, reels, tackle and virtually anything else you can use on a bank or a boat to land a fish will be represented -and we'll be able to see once again that the B.A.S.S. elite guys really are capable of catching fish when no one else can.

The Bassmaster Classic Expo is a good chance to check out new gear for 2017- and there's a chance you'll also run into one or more of the Elite series anglers there as well. They'd rather be competing, but they're always willing to talk with the fans.
There will be some very interesting story lines there as well, so there won't be a shortage of good material.

For example: Alton Jones will be fishing two boats. OK, it's former Classic champ Alton Jones Sr. on one boat fishing his eighteenth Classic and his son, Alton Jones, Jr. fishing the other, but the story's a good one. If Alton Jr. were to win the Classic, he and his dad would join Guido and Dion Hibdon as only the second father/son to win the Classic.

And it's a brother versus brother deal when Chris and Bobby Lane blast off. If Bobby were to win, they'd become the first brothers to be Classic champs.

Odds would seem to favor a Texan winning on Lake Conroe. Five of the fifty two anglers are Texans-or call Texas home today. And when you consider those five are the Alton Joneses (Sr./Jr), Todd Faircloth, Takaharo Omori, and Keith Combs there's a considerable amount of bass fishing horsepower being brought to bear.

And the fact that Conroe seems to be a bit ahead of much of the country weather-wise means there's a good chance we'll see a wide variety of baits and fishing techniques used. It's always intriguing to learn which techniques the anglers are using- although many of them aren't very loose-lipped with their information while the competition's ongoing. According to those with more experience than me, we can expect to see almost any bait imaginable used before a champion's crowned this weekend.

It looks like fun- and if you happen to spot me there- say hello. If not, well, relax, as always we'll keep you posted.

—Jim Shepherd

The Fishing Wire welcomes your comments and actively solicits letters and guest editorials from readers as well as fishery managers, scientists and industry experts in boating, fishing and related equipment. Please send your comments and suggestions to frank@thefishingwire.com.
Outdoors Calendar

» Got an event you'd like to see posted here? Send it to frank@thefishingwire.com.

Mar. 24 - Mar. 25: Crappie Masters Mississippi State Championship, Grenada Lake, Grenada, MS http://www.crappiemasters.net/

Mar. 31 - Apr. 1: American Crappie Trail Tournament, D'arbonne Point, Farmerville, LA - www.americancrappietrail.com

Apr. 7: Crappie Masters One Pole Ultimate Challenge, Lake Fork, Emory, TX www.crappiemasters.net

May 11 - May 14: Saltwater Shootout; www.bluewatermovements.com.

May 20 - May 21: California B.A.S.S. Nation State Team Qualifier #2, New Melones Reservoir, Angels Camp, CA, www.calbn.com





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