Freshwater anglers from Cape Cod to the Berkshires who reeled in the biggest freshwater fish from Massachusetts lakes, ponds, and streams were honored by the state fish and wildlife officials yesterday at the New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo in Worcester.
If you read this column last week, you already know that Lou Baker of Lanesborough received an award for his 18-pound, 3-ounce tiger muskie which was taken out of Pontoosuc Lake.
There was a new state record caught this year and that was a 46-pound, 5-ounce carp which was taken out of Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury. Shane Felch of Shrewsbury landed it using a crossbow. Spears, bows and arrows are legal to take suckers, carp and eels only and a fishing license is required.
Some other interesting winning fish caught in Massachusetts waters last year were: Largemouth bass -- 10 pounds, 5 ounces out of Mary's Pond in Rochester; smallmouth bass -- 6 pounds, 6 ounces out of Quabbin Reservoir; rainbow trout -- 5 pounds, 4 ounces out of Carbuncle Pond in Oxford; brown trout -- 11 pounds, 11 ounces out of White Pond in Concord; and northern pike -- 25 pounds, 12 ounces out of Quaboag Pond in Brookfield.
The 2012 Massachusetts Angler of the Year is 14-year-old Jake Souza of Berkley. This award is given to the angler who weighs in the largest number of species that qualify under the Freshwater Sport Fishing Awards Program.
Souza landed 20 pin fish, 11 different species, in bodies of water in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. Two of those fish won gold pins in the youth division: a 9-pound, 7-ounce largemouth bass out of Big Sandy Pond in Plymouth and an 8-pound, 8-ounce brown trout out of Peters Pond in Sandwich.
All of the 2012 adult and youth award winners are posted on line at: www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/recreation/fishing/awards/2012_sportfish_winners.htm.
Remember that large antlered buck that was shot by Craig Luscier of Dalton and featured in this column on Dec. 2? It was thought that it might be a state record. According to Luscier, the Northeast Big Buck Club's final gross scored the antlers at 2145 8 inches, breaking the Northeast Big Bucks Club overall Massachusetts record as well as breaking the existing Massachusetts muzzleloader record.
While the gross score was 2145 8 inches, the net score was 2005 8 inches. The Boone and Crocket scorers only recognize the net score and Boone and Crocket's state record is currently 201 inches. Luscier's buck came within 3 8 of an inch of taking the Boone and Crocket state record. Oh well, two records isn't bad.
Luscier is having it mounted (pedestal mount) by Kevin's Taxidermy of Middlebury, Conn. It will be on display at the Big E Sportsmen's Show in West Springfield, which runs from Feb. 21-24.
On Monday, Feb. 18, the Lenox Sportsmen's Club (LSC) will have its annual President's Day Rabbit Hunt. It starts early in the morning and weigh-in at the clubhouse will be at 4 p.m. Entry fee is $10, payable at weigh-in. Prizes will be awarded for the heaviest cottontail and snowshoe. Following weigh-in, there will be a meal of venison stew. Call Ron Carr at (413) 442-5122 for more information.
The LSC recently held its annual elections and the elected officers are as follows: President -- Tom Ferguson, VP -- Mark Jester, Treasurer -- Bernie Abramson and Secretary -- Derek Dubin (all of Pittsfield).
Past secretary Martha Lee of Adams has stepped down to "take a breather."
Month after month she put out excellent newsletters that, in my opinion, were unrivaled by any of the other clubs. I have mentioned in a past column the wonderful job that she did and had frequently used information from her newsletters.
Recently, the Lenox Sportsmen's Club's membership crossed the 400-member mark. I am quite certain that Martha's newsletter played no small part in its growth. She speaks highly of Derek Dubin and is confident that he will do a good job. He certainly has large shoes to fill.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will have a prime rib and chicken marsala buffet dinner at the Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club next Saturday at 5 p.m. The cost for an individual supporting ticket price is $70, which includes meal and membership in the RMEF. Couples tickets cost $105 and include two meals and one supporting membership.
Many quality items will be offered through live and silent auctions, drawings and door prizes. Contact Gary Johnston at (413) 298-3623 or Howie Wilson at (413) 528-2497 for more information.
I received some late fishing derby information which didn't make it to the derby schedule in my Jan. 27 column. It is as follows: The Onota Fishing Club's derby will be held next Sunday on Onota Lake from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration will be at The Onota Lake Pavillion and entry is $10 for adults, $5 for children. Trophy and cash prizes will be awarded and all children will receive a prize. Food comes with the purchase of a ticket.
The Cheshire Rod and Gun Club will also have its derby next Sunday at Cheshire Lake from sunrise to 4 p.m. Adult tickets cost $10 and they can be purchased on the causeway, on the lake or in advance.
Smitty's Sporting Goods will be holding its derby on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Ashmere Lake in Hinsdale. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids 14 and under. The fee includes derby prizes and door prize drawings.
Lastly, the Wayne Mickle Memorial Derby has been changed from Sunday, March 3 to Saturday, March 2.
To reach Gene Chague:
or (413) 637-1818.