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Bait Fuel

By Louie Stout

LEWISTON, N. Y. – I fully admit I can be a bass snob at times. I just love catching them and honestly, don’t spend much time fishing for most other species.

Family fishing the Niagara River

However, the Niagara River is one of those places where you can go bass fishing, have a blast and never know what you might hook.

It’s a destination worthy of any angler’s bucket list. During the spring and fall, the river is full of fish of many different species that keep you guessing when you get that bite.

About nine of us media types were invited by the “Destination Niagara USA” to sample the mighty Niagara last week. Company personnel from Flambeau, Strike King, Lew’s, Seaguar, Mammoth Coolers and Rapid Fishing Solutions were also there.

By Louie Stout

Indiana and Michigan DNR Divisions of Fish and Wildlife hit the jackpot last year despite the pandemic.

Both states reported across the board license sales in fishing and hunting. When people were out of work or couldn’t do anything else, they took up outdoors activities

For example, Indiana fishing sales were up 21 percent and trout stamps 16 percent.

Angler’s First-Ever Bass Breaks Montana Record

By Louie Stout

Sure that expensive bass boat looks good and carries all of your sophisticated equipment.

There’s no question that the electronics unlock secrets of a lake and those premium rods, reels and line make you a more resolute angler.

But is all of that necessary to catch a state record bass?

Apparently not.

A Montana man fishing with piece of crawler on a No. 10 Eagle Claw hook and 6-pound line not only caught a record-breaking, 9.575-pound largemouth, but it was the first bass he’s ever caught.

Brandon Wright from Billings, Mont. was fishing Lake Elmo. He arrived around 10 a.m., cast out the worm and sat back to watch Tik Tok videos on his cell phone.

Fifteen minutes later, the fish bit and Wright became the new record holder, breaking the previous state record of 8.8 set in 2009.

That story brings to mind how the Michigan smallmouth record was broken in 2016. A man was fishing with a nightcrawler from the shore of his cottage on the Indian River when he hooked the 9.98-pound brute.

He had no idea of what he caught and planned to fillet the fish when a neighbor stopped him and suggested he have it checked for a state record.

Thousands of knowledgeable bass boat anglers have trekked across northern Michigan since then and none of them have come close to breaking that mark.

Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

Brandon Wright from Billings, Montana

By Louie Stout

Webster Lake Muskie

Indiana muskie anglers can breathe easy.

The egg-taking project at Webster Lake last month was a huge success and the healthy adult fish population bodes well for the immediate future.

DNR biologist set nets March 29, and in 21 net lifts over the next few days they caught 352 muskies that produced 645,250 fertilized eggs.

That is really good news since the DNR was unable to take eggs in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“The overall catch per net lift was the best we’ve had in all the years we’ve been doing this,” said Hoosier Biologist Tyler Delauder. “The fish looked good with the majority of the adult fish in the 32 to 36-inch size range.