Fishing pro John Crews of Salem had one of those never-to-be-forgotten days Monday while fishing the fourth and final day of the B.A.S.S. Elite Series on Falcon Lake out of Zapata, Texas.
Consider this data from B.A.S.S:
- With three minutes of fishing time remaining, Crews landed a trophy 8-pound, 6-ounce largemouth, which was the biggest bass of the day for the 12 finalists.
- His 29-pound, 7-ounce total was the heaviest take of the day.
- His four-day catch of 103 pounds, 13 ounces was one of three tallies that smashed the 100-pound mark, earning him membership in the exclusive "Century Club."
About the only thing Crews didn't do was win the tournament. He finished third.
First place went to Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, who has guided on Falcon Lake for years. Second was B.A.S.S. legend Rick Clunn who was enjoying a couple of his best days, which have included four Bassmaster Classic championships. Combs had a 111-pound, 5-ounce total worth $100,500, while Clunn had a 105-pound, 6-ounce total with a $27,000 payoff.
Rick Morris of Gaston Lake, the only other Virginian in the tournament, finished 15th with a 71-pound, 9-ounce catch worth $10,000.
This was Crews' second Elite win. He has qualified for seven Bassmaster Classics. Monday's good showing will enhance his Angler of the Year standing following a disappointing 57th place finish just over a week ago at the season's Elite opener on Sabine River, Texas.
In addition to fulltime tournament fishing, Crews operates Missile Baits, which manufactures soft plastic baits for serious fishermen. He lives with his wife, Sonja, and children in Salem.
Here's how you can comment on hunting proposals
Roanoke is one of nine localities across the state where the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has scheduled a public hearing on proposed hunting regulations, including those addressing controversial foxhound training enclosures. The regulations were proposed last week during a meeting in Richmond.
The Roanoke event is scheduled for April 9 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Northside High School. Other scheduled hearings include:
- April 2, Gloucester Point, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
- April 2, Buffalo Gap, Buffalo Gap High School, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
- April 3, Franklin, Paul D. Camp Community College, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
- April 3, Abingdon, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
- April 4, Wytheville, Wytheville Meeting Center, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
- April 4, Richmond, DGIF headquarters, 4010 West Broad Street, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
- April 9, Warrenton, Taylor Middle School, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
- April 10, Farmville, Prince Edward High School, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
The hearings are part of a 60-day public comment period April 2-May 31. The DGIF board will take a final vote on the proposals at a June 13 meeting in Richmond.
The proposals, which are heavy on adjustments to the deer hunting regulations, can be found on www.HuntFishVa.com
In addition to attending the public hearings, comments can be made online at www.dgif.virginia.gov., by email to email@example.com and by postal mail sent to DGIF, Attn: Policy Analyst and Regulatory Coordinator, P.O. Box 11104, Richmond 23230. To be considered, comments must include the name, address and telephone number of the participant.
Big tuna being caught off Outer Banks
Some excellent tuna action is being enjoyed off North Carolina's Outer Banks when the weather allows boats to reach the fishing grounds. Some of the fish have weighed more than 600 pounds.
Anglers are permitted to keep one fish daily that is under 73 inches and one giant tuna for the year.
On a recent trip, Virginia Beach Capt. Rick Wineman and crew had the daily limit fish caught at 9 a.m., then caught a 400-pounder at 1 p.m.
"We had two other that pulled the hook," Wineman said.
"If you want to do battle with some giant fish, get out there soon, as they will not hang around for too long and regulations could change at any time," said Dr. Ken Neill III, who compiles a weekly fishing report.
- The unusually cold and unstable weather patterns have pushed back spring fishing, according to veteran Smith Mountain Lake Guide Dale Wilson. Anglers will need to change their normal early spring techniques to be successful, he said. Find the bait fish and you likely will find the game fish. "Try fishing wind-blown coves," Wilson suggested. Search for the warmest water you can find.
- A 42-pound, 1-ounce brown trout caught on New Zealand's South Island appears destine to become the new International Game Fish Association all-tackle world record.
- Four Tennessee fishermen have been cited for keeping 360 white bass over their legal limit while fishing the tailwaters of Cheatham Reservoir northwest of Nashville.
Events, seasons, dates
- James River Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society Banquet, April 4, Jefferson Lakeside Country Club, Richmond, information from Randall Strawbridge at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Youth spring gobbler hunting day, April 6, for youngsters age 15 and under, must be supervised by an adult information from www.HuntFishVa.com/youth.
- Banquet sponsored by Bland County Many Beards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, April 6, Rocky Gap High School, 123 Eagles Road, Bland, contact Lawrence Scott, 540-240-2424, email@example.com.
- Fly fishing basics by Josh Williams, April 8, Tri-County Forestry and Wildlife Association, Roanoke Moose Lodge 248, 3233 Catawba Valley Driver (Virginia 311), Roanoke County, social time 6 p.m., dinner 6:45, meal $10, RSVP required, call Marian McConnell, 540-309-4747.
- An update: The New River Trout Unlimited Chapter Spring Thawout April 11, 7 p.m., Montgomery County Government Center. Program on muskie, bass and trout fishing in the New River Valley. Speakers Joe Williams, fisheries biologist of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, along with Shawn Hash and Steve Pflieger of Tangent Outfitters. Guests welcomed. Information from Jason Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Spring gobbler season, April 13-May 18.
- Sportsmen and the (Chesapeake) Bay Clean Water Series, for anglers and hunters of the Eastern Shore, April 23, 6:30 p.m., new VIMS facility, 40 Atlantic Ave., Wachapreague, Va., details from Tatum Ford, email@example.com, RSVP requested.
- Botetourt Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation banquet, April 27, social 5:30 p.m., meal 7 p.m., Lord Botetourt High School, Daleville, singles $55, couples $75, additional information and tickets from Richard Pauley, 540-992-1883 (work) or 540-254-2564 firstname.lastname@example.org and Ed McCoy, 540-339-0622 email@example.com .
- Virginia Hunter Skills Weekend, May 3-5, Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center near Appomattox, ages 11 up, $110 includes instruction, food and lodging, classes cover everything from a variety of hunting skills to cooking game, www.holidaylake4h.com/vahunterweekend.php.
- Hunters for the Hungry banquet, Sept. 14, Moose Lodge on Virginia 311 in Roanoke County, tickets $25 for a single; $40 for a couple, tickets and information from Ralph and Lois Graybill, 540-427-5125, and John and Wanda Reed, 540-427-4788.
Have an event? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org