Monday, February 8, 2016

 
CONSERVATION
Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteers to install oyster domes and a series of oyster shell bars off the shoreline of Fantasy Island on March 1 through 4.

EVENTS
The International Game Fish Association's New Jersey Representatives announce their 19th Annual Fund Raising Banquet and Auction will be held on Friday, April 8, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Doolan's located on Route 71 in Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey.

FISHERIES
Last week's Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) meeting of the Summer Flounder, Scup & Black Sea Bass Management Board in Alexandria, Virginia produced unanimous approval of New Jersey as its own region with the option to utilize a 17-inch fluke minimum in Delaware Bay and for shore fishing at Island Beach State Park while the rest of the state maintains the same regulations as New York and Connecticut.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board approved Addendum XXVII to the Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.
NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on Amendment 35 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 35).
A stretch of mild weather that loosens winter's grip is an alarm bell for stream smallmouth anglers fed up with being stuck indoors.

INDUSTRY
A commercial produced by Swanson Russell on behalf of their client Minn Kota won 2015 Best Commercial at the 16th Annual Outdoor Sportsman Awards held Jan. 21 in Las Vegas.
Twice as many exhibitors signed up to participate, looking to fill 250 openings, and three times the number of job-seekers attended as compared to last year.
Costa, one of the fastest growing sunglasses companies, received recognition as one of the top cult-like brands in the world at The Gathering, an annual summit and awards gala set in Banff, AB in Canada Feb. 3 – 4.

PRO TEAMS
Denali Rods has announced the signing of B.A.S.S. Elite Pro Jeff Kriet to its Tour Level Pro Staff.

SHOWS
Showcasing the outdoor traditions treasured by millions of Americans and their families, the nine-day experience running February 6-14 is the largest consumer sports and outdoor show in the world.
The annual Outdoors Expo and Boat Show takes place at the Florida State Fairgrounds March 4-6.
The 31st Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show is scheduled for Thursday, March 17 through Sunday, March 20 along Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach.

STATES
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) is seeking nominations to fill two vacancies on the FRGP Peer Review Committee (PRC).
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is requesting nominations to fill two vacant representative positions on the Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC).
A bloom of Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, persists along Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and northern Collier counties in Southwest Florida.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has closed five boating and fishing access areas in northwestern North Carolina due to damages sustained from severe flash flooding last week.
To make sure you're ready for another great boating and paddling season, the Arizona Game and Fish Department recommends all water users to take a boating safety course.
For their roles last March in rescuing two Belle Isle visitors who had fallen through the ice, four Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers have been presented with Lifesaving Awards from the DNR Law Enforcement Division.
Fisheries crews from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will be collecting sauger, striped bass, muskellunge and walleye in the coming weeks to supply the state's hatcheries with broodstock to produce fish for stocking across Kentucky.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will take place April 28-29 in the Port Huron and Saint Clair area.

TELEVISION
On Sportsman Channel, viewers experience hunting and fishing adventures spanning Miami to West Palm Beach, to the wilderness in Idaho.
Shows include World Fishing Journal and Major League Fishing the week of Feb. 7-14.

TOURNAMENTS
Hunter Schrock and Russ Johnson of Itawamba Community College weighed in a three-day total of 35 pounds, 9 ounces to take home the trophy Saturday during the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops held on Lake Martin out of Alexander City, Ala.
Participants from as far away as Italy were on Gull Lake trying to 'catch the big one' in hopes of winning $200,000 in prizes.

Collegiate Bass Fishing is on a Roll

By Frank Sargeant, Editor

Collegiate bass fishing may never approach the interest levels generated by college football, but there's evidence that competitive angling is following the footsteps of other popular NCAA sports as more and more colleges around the southeast add tournament fishing teams to their rosters, and a few even offer scholarships to attract young anglers who have already proven their skills competing at the high school level.

The Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional, fished this past week at Lake Martin in central Alabama, drew an amazing field of 225 boats, one of the largest fields at any level ever attracted by a B.A.S.S. event, and by far the largest college event.

"The College Series tournaments have seen growth each year," said Hank Weldon, senior manager of the college, high school and youth tournament series at B.A.S.S., which is headquartered in Birmingham. "But this year's field is more than 80 percent higher than the 124-boat field we had at last year's Southern Regional. This surpassed any of our expectations and is a clear indication of how desirable the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series is."

Most of the young anglers competing in the college events got their start in high-school level competitions, which are also booming around the nation. B.A.S.S. coordinated high school events are now available in every state except North Dakota, and there's even a team in South Africa. (For information on starting a high school bass fishing club, contact the Alabama state director, Darrel High at highdar@aubrun.edu, 334-707-7355. Full information on high school events nationwide is available at http://www.bassmaster.com/high-school .)

The high school events have become a bit of a proving ground for young anglers, just as high school ball sports are for NCAA competition. B.A.S.S. has set up an All-American program that honors the top young anglers not only for their success in competition, but also for their character, leadership, and maintaining solid grades--a 2.5 average on a 4-point scale is required. Nominations are accepted from coaches, school administrators and parents, with the open period this year continuing through Feb. 15.

Dave Precht, Editor in Chief of Bassmaster Magazine and Vice President of Publications for B.A.S.S., said there was a pent up desire for a college level circuit.

"Once a few states made it a team sport and high schools started offering fishing clubs, it grew itself naturally into college teams," said Precht. "It's a great opportunity for young men and women to get out in the outdoors with people of their own age and compete in a sport they can follow their whole lives, and just like in athletics, a select few will make it on to the ranks of the pros."

He said several former All American high school competitors have quickly advanced through the college and regional tournament circuits to become members of the Elite Tour, generally recognized as the NFL of bass fishing, where a few of the most successful anglers earn six-figure incomes.

"Bringing these young people in is also good for the industry," says Precht. "It results in boat and tackle sales, and for the ones that go on to the pro level, they become great spokesmen for their sponsors. They're well educated, well-spoken and some of them have marketing or business degrees that let them step right into the industry."

For more information on the College Series, visit Bassmaster at http://www.bassmaster.com/college

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.

Jan. 1 - Mar. 31: LCI Champlain Basin Derby – winter session – more than $25,000 cash paid for top three fish in 15 difference species; www.lciderby.com.

Feb. 1 - Feb. 9: North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets at Benson Hotel, Portland, OR;
http://www.npfmc.org/upcoming-council-meetings/

Feb. 9: Fishing Conversation with Captain Mike Anderson of REEL ANIMALS. TV/Radio and Eric Bachnick, CEO of MirrOLure, 7 p.m. at Gator Ford off I-4 east of Tampa, free food and drink.

Feb. 13: Skeeter Basschamps, East Regional Trail, Toledo Bend, www.basschamps.com

Feb. 20: Skeeter Basschamps, South Regional Trail, Lake Amistad, www.basschamps.com

Feb. 20: Texas Team Trail at Toledo Bend; www.texasteamtrail.com

Feb. 20 - Feb. 21: International Custom Rod Building Expo. M.C. Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, NC.

Feb. 26 - Feb. 27: Crappie Masters Louisiana State Championship, Lake D'Arbonne, Farmerville, LA, www.crappiemasters.net

Feb. 27: Skeeter Basschamps, North Regional Trail, Lake Fork, www.basschamps.com

Feb. 27 - Feb. 28: Big Bass Tour tournament with hourly big bass winners at Harris Chain; 2016 Harris Chain of Lakes, Florida.

Mar. 2 - Mar. 6: Fred Hall Show, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, Cal., www.fredhall.com

Mar. 5 - Mar. 6: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Punta Gorda, Fla..; www.ifatours.com

Mar. 10 - Mar. 13: 2016 Edmonton Boat and Sportsmen's Show. Expo Center, Northlands, Edmonton, Alberta. infoab@sportshows.ca or (403) 245-9008 infoab@sportshows.ca

Mar. 12 - Mar. 13: Big Bass Tour tournament with hourly big bass winners at Lake Conroe; 2016 Lake Conroe, Texas

Mar. 17 - Mar. 20: Fred Hall Show, Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego, Cal., www.fredhall.com

Mar. 19: Texas Team Trail at Richland Chambers Reservoir; www.texasteamtrail.com

Mar. 19 - Mar. 20: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Fernandina, Fla.; www.ifatours.com

Mar. 26: Big Bass Tour Tournament with hourly big bass winners at Clarks Hill; 2016 Clarks Hill Lake, Georgia

Mar. 30 - Apr. 3: Northwest Sportshow, Minneapolis Convention Center; http://www.northwestsportshow.com/

Apr. 2 - Apr. 3: Big Bass Tour at Table Rock, hourly payouts;
https://bigbasstour.com/events/2016/2016-table-rock-lake-missouri

Apr. 2 - Apr. 3: IFA Redfish and Kayak Tours at Port Aransas, Texas; www.ifatours.com

Apr. 4 - Apr. 12: North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets at Anchorage Hilton, Anchorage, AK;
http://www.npfmc.org/upcoming-council-meetings/





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