Almost a decade ago, members of the Cave Spring Optimist Club recognized the importance of introducing kids to fishing, so they organized a youth contest to run alongside their annual Smith Mountain Lake fishing tournament which began in 1969. They kindly named it the Bill Cochran Youth Tournament.
I'd like to congratulate the winners of last weekend's ninth-annual event, especially Roger Perdue and Gurney Royal who dominated the event with big catches:
Large Fish Category (carp)
- Roger Perdue, Moneta, 8.62
- Hunter Clark, Moneta, 4.82
- Hope Nichols, Boones Mill, 4.38
Small Fish Category (sunfish)
- Gurney Royal, Meadows of Dan, .66
- Seth Gautier, Pearisburg, .30
- Laura Gautier, Pearisburg, .30
Award goes to Ken Neill
Ken Neill, a Yorktown dentist, has a fishing boat named the "Healthy Grin." It could just as well be named "Share the Fun." Neill is an expert angler, a record holder, with the knack of being at the right place when the big ones hit along the coast of Virginia.
Some successful fishermen keep word of their catches quiet, to avoid competition. Neill is just the opposite. He compiles a weekly saltwater fishing report frequently bearing pictures of his catches along with data on how and where they were caught. That information often is posted on this site.
Neill is the recipient of this year's Virginia Institute of Marine Science Freeman Volunteer of the Year Award for his efforts to promote fisheries research and advance the education of VIMS graduate students.
- Virginia's spring gobbler season has been marred by a fatality. According to information form the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Beach hunters Kevin Brooks, 46, and Raymond Weidner, 70, were stalking turkeys in Sussex County when Weidner saw movement and fired his shotgun striking Brooks.
- Orvis, a company that has a store and fulfillment center in Roanoke, has announced plans to acquire the Scientific Angler and Ross Reels from 3M. The two manufacturers of fly fishing equipment will continue to operate independently, the company said.
- Bass tournament fishermen hope their catches increase each day of competition, but sometimes the reverse happens. That was the case for John Crews of Salem in the recent Bassmaster Elite tournament on West Point Lake, Ga. He started the contest well with a 10-pound, 6-ounce first-day catch. But it was downhill from there — 7-11 pounds the second day and 7 pounds the third. His 25-01 total was good for 33rd spot and $1,000. Rick Morris, of Lake Gaston, finished 25th. The winner was Californian Skeet Reese.
- How good are those umbrella (Alabama) rigs that let you fish as many as five lures at the same time? Donnie O'Neal is sold on them. The Texas angler recently landed two bass on the same cast, one 11.8-pounds and the other 7.8 pounds, a better than 19-pound total. "I have got 10 of them in my box," he said of the lure. "Every time I go to Wal-Mart I buy two or three more."
- It is goodbye to Colorado for HEVI Shoot Systems. The ammunition business is moving to Wyoming following Colorado's recent tightening of its gun laws.
Events, seasons, dates
- Triangle Archers 3D tournament, May 19, on club range between Christiansburg and Blacksburg, $12, $25 per family, cub and pee wee $6, information from Jim Overfelt, 540-552-8023.
- Triangle Archers 3D tournament, June 23, on club range between Christiansburg and Blacksburg, $12, $25 per family, cub and peewee $6, information from Jim Overfelt, 540-552-8023.
- Triangle Archers 3D tournament, August 18, on club range between Christiansburg and Blacksburg, $12, $25 per family, cub and peewee $6, information from Jim Overfelt, 540-552-8023.
- 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.
- Triangle Archers 3D tournament, Sept. 22, on club range between Christiansburg and Blacksburg, $12, $25 per family, cub and pee wee $6, information from Jim Overfelt, 540-552-8023.
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