Fishing Wire Ranger Boats
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

CONSERVATION
Country music star Shelton, who grew up hunting and fishing in Oklahoma, has been a longtime supporter of the Wildlife Department.
Tampa Bay Watch partners with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in their statewide initiative to recycle old fishing line, through a network of monofilament collection bins called “monotubes”.
ENFORCEMENT
Coast Guard watchstanders and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force crew interdicted two Dominican Republic-flagged ships Thursday illegally fishing off Diamond Point, Great Bahama Bank.

FISHERIES
The American shad’s Atlantic population remains at a historic low, despite longstanding commercial fishing bans in several states and millions of dollars invested in restoring the fish’s habitat.
The Wallowa Lake Irrigation District, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Nez Perce Tribe and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife signed an agreement last month regarding the release and protection of instream water from Wallowa Lake.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries will host a virtual question and answer session to provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions about the science and management of fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.

GEAR
Let everyone know what football team you support or show your patriotic spirit using one of Tigress' XD Flag Poles paired with your favorite flags.
Learn to tie 14 great fishing knots with this video from Sunline
INDUSTRY
Toyota and partner Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s announce the renewal of their longstanding partnership for an additional five years, which will lead the brands into 20 years of collaboration together.

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), being held virtually September 29 – October 2, 2020 announced resources and tips on having a successful event.
MARINE ELECTRONICS
No longer considered a luxury, modern autopilots conserve fuel, help keep eyes forward, and aid in getting to destinations safely and efficiently.
NEW PRODUCTS
SPRO's new performance shirts are designed to provide anglers with all the key aspects to make for a worry-free and comfortable day in the outdoors.
ORGANIZATIONS
Outstanding communicators who work in a wide variety of media platforms were honored by the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association during an online presentation Wednesday evening, September 23. Fifty members submitted 263 entries that were judged by more than 40 experts.
PASSINGS
Check out Chip Leer's moving tribute to his close friend here.
PODCASTS
This past weekend, the Association of College Anglers contested its first event of the 2020-21 season, the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley. Dalton Kelly from #1 ranked Murray State University won the tournament by weighing in a 5.53 lb. bass during Day 2.
RADIO
This week, Outdoors Radio features kayak instructor Jon Small, charter captain “Dumper” Dan Welsch, Buffalo Bill impersonator Wayne Rettig and pro angler Duffy Kopf. Jeff reports on last weekend’s Masters Walleye Circuit tournament at Cass Lake, Minn.
This week on America Outdoors Radio we'll be covering fishing and hunting from the Carolinas to Alaska.
STATES
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is gathering stakeholder input on the upcoming hydrilla treatments proposal for this fall and winter in the Harris Chain of Lakes in Lake County.
Check out these details on brook trout management and tips on how to catch them from Maine's Department of Inland Fisheries.
With fall fishing right around the corner, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking the public, particularly anglers, to report any sightings of hellbenders (water dogs) to the agency.
A section of Gulf State Park Pier near Orange Beach was knocked out by the storm, which had winds over 105-mph when it came ashore
Nonresident recreational clamming and crabbing closures that were in place due to COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted coastwide as of Wednesday, October 7
STREAMING VIDEO
This week on a new episode of Fish Addictions TV the guys traveled to Manitoba to Lac Du Bonnet for an unforgettable adventure with Jackson’s Lodge and Outpost.
TECHNOLOGY
Tracker Marine has announced availability of their popular 175 TXW all-welded aluminum bass boat in an electric-powered model.
TELEVISION
The fall programming lineup features original premieres and new episodes from returning series to help outdoorsmen and women hone their outdoor skills no matter what life tosses their way.
TOURNAMENTS
The NOCO Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 3, with takeoffs each day at 6:30 a.m. CT from Goose Pond Colony Resort Marina and weigh-ins back at that facility each day at 2:30 p.m.
FLW and Explore La Crosse announced Thursday that the 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship, will be held Aug. 17-22, 2021, on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
YOUTH EVENTS
Hosted by Urban American Outdoors TV (UAOTV) and SODAS Life, the second national virtual fishing derby will start on September 26, National Hunting and Fishing Day and National Public Lands Day, and continue through Sunday, October 4, 2020.

By Bernie Schultz

Now that the Northern Swing of the Bassmaster Elites is complete, I thought I would share some insight on that experience.

Going in, there was considerable debate among the anglers as to whether B.A.S.S. should hold any events up north — particularly in New York. With so much uncertainty over the Corona virus, required testing and potential quarantines, the entire Elite field had serious concerns for themselves and their fellow competitors.

Some felt those tournaments should be canceled or relocated. Others wanted to fish. And as the dates neared, we were forced to make a decision — go or stay home.

Negative perceptions

A week or so prior to the St. Lawrence event, a venue change was announced. Instead of using Waddington, tournament headquarters would be moved to the town of Clayton. That added to the confusion, and it sparked a lengthy thread of emails among the anglers — airing their concerns with each other.

Some were worried of testing positive for the virus and subsequently being forced to quarantine hundreds of miles from home. And I saw that as a very legitimate concern. Who wants to be stranded in a distant state, unable to compete and not knowing your fate? Even if you were healthy starting out, the possibility of contracting the virus while in route to New York was a concern. Considering the number of gas pumps and door handles each of us would be in contact with during the trek, infection was a real possibility.

Imagine yourself, traveling a great distance to compete in a tournament, then discovering you’ve contracted COVID-19 and being told you can’t fish, and that you can’t leave the state either — that you’re to remain in solitude for 14 days or until you eventually test negative for the virus.

Because of COVID concerns, many of the Elite anglers opted to camp rather than stay at hotels.

Those thoughts weighed heavily on the minds of the competitors. Yet, there were a number still willing to take the chance.

Other concerns

There was also the issue of the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) standings to consider. Should an Elite pro who tests positive for the virus be penalized for missing one or maybe two events? That topic made the rounds as well, with heated debate.

For many, the New York tournaments would become pivotal to the season — their hopes and aspirations for becoming Angler of the Year or qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic, or just requalifying for another season on the tour. A lot was at stake.

Some suggested having a “drop tournament,” whereby every angler in the field would be allowed to eliminate their worst finish — to protect them from losing ground in tournaments not fished because of the virus. Some recommended having as many as two drop tournaments.

By this time, B.A.S.S. officials were privy to the dialogue. And to their credit, they issued a statement — no angler would suffer elimination from the field going into 2021, regardless of how they tested for COVID-19.

It was a strong gesture by B.A.S.S., and it brought a great sigh of relief … especially to those anglers already flirting with elimination.

Positive outcomes

When we finally arrived in Clayton, mandatory testing ensued. One by one, we each submitted to the test — including all 85 Elite anglers, assigned media, service crews and B.A.S.S. personnel. We all passed.

That came as a great relief to everyone, including the local officials who put themselves on the line by hosting the event.

As the tournament got underway, officials made sure every aspect of the event was conducted within CDC guidelines. We wore facemasks and practiced social distancing. Even the weigh-in bags we used were sanitized between trips to the scale.

We limited our contact with the public at gas stations, restaurants, etc. — respecting everyone’s safety and welfare. And, as the event progressed, it was clear the majority of people in the area were glad we were there. We felt welcomed.

That proved true at Plattsburgh and Detroit, as well.

Testing went well for everyone, including the anglers, service crews, assigned media and tournament staff.

In the end, none of our fears were realized. It was pretty much business as usual.

The competitions were conducted in typical fashion, and the fishing was great. In fact, I think every angler in the field would agree that the Northern Swing was special and rewarding to fish. Our weights surely proved it.

Perhaps the biggest gain, however, was the amount of airtime we received from ESPN2. Because so many other sports are still on hold, the worldwide leader in sports programming saw the Bassmaster Elite Series as the perfect option for a nation of starving sports enthusiasts.

Anglers, sponsors and fans received more than 70 hours of live coverage over the three northern events. Combining that with Bassmaster.com and numerous other media platforms, it’s pretty clear the Northern Swing was a very positive experience for all involved.

Follow Bernie Schultz on Facebook and through his website.

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