Thursday, May 10, 2018

A simple issue of catch and long-range release

Okay gang, normally I would tell you all about this at Friday's Loveland Fishing Club breakfast.  But I will be gone tomorrow.  So consider the following to be a trustworthy account of the events of May 10 at Rivers Edge Natural Area, submitted by a beloved past President and verified by Dennis Kelsey, a long-term club member never known for exaggeration:

As we trundled onto the dock on Dragonfly Pond, we could not help but notice an enormous largemouth bass cruising along the shadowy side of the dock, a conservative 19, maybe 20 inches in length.  Call it 20, and weighing at least 4 1/4 pounds.  Trying to entice a bite was wasted effort; this bass didn't get this big by being gullible.

Anyway, about an hour into the fishing, and relying on my trusty ultralight rig -- 4-pound Nanofil line, 1/32-ounce jig and one-inch Gulp Minnow -- I hooked a fine, fat 10- or 11-inch rainbow.  Call it 11.

Skillfully I reeled it to within a foot or two of the dock, when -- SUDDENLY!  the giant largemouth emerges from the shadows and chases the trout down the length of the dock.  Then back.  Then ENGULFS that poor fish with one giant swallow, leaving 3 inches of trout tail protruding from its jaws.  Then the victor slowly headed for deeper water, a loose drag the only thing between it, me and a broken line. 

After a battle that seemed to last an hour, and was likely at least two minutes, the bass turned and swam back toward the dock, where I waited in premature triumph and Dennis waited with net in hand.  That's, uh, where this report gets a bit awkward.  The damned bass then coughed up the rainbow and swam back under the dock. The damned trout emerged from its ordeal mortified but otherwise unhurt and - this is important - still firmly hooked until given its release.

So here is the question:  Was this not a legitimate case of catch and release?  And with the victim's tail protruding at least 3 inches from the largemouth's large mouth, the combined catch was a full 5 inches beyond minimum criteria for Colorado Master Angler status.  (With a short-term weight of 4 1/4 pounds of bass plus 12 ounces of trout, it was also a nifty 5 pounder.) Even Norm and Dan, not to mention my brother Paul, should have no problem with this reasoning.

So, Dennis and I will leave the math to our esteemed judge, Jim Roode.  But it sure seems like I am now the leading contender for Loveland Fishing Club Angler of the Year.  Congratulations are clearly in order.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Prater


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Tell young friends about the Loveland Police Fishing Derby! Saturday, June 3

Under the oversight of Keith Gentry, the club's role in the annual event at North Lake Duck Pond is taking shape.  We'll be handling event registration, tackle loans, measurements and the free raffles and prizes for biggest and smallest trout.

The event opens at 8 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.  If you've not signed up yet to volunteer, look for the signup sheet at Friday breakfasts.  This is our largest annual volunteer project.

As in years past, Colorado Youth Outdoors will be cleaning and cooking the kids' fish, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife will stock the pond with trout.  Loveland Kiwanis clubs will provide family priced food and drink and Colorado FOP lodge 27 and 52 will provide free child identification cards to children up to age 14.  The event is sponsored by Loveland Police.

Keith with last year's big fish winner

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Former club member Jerry Belko has passed away in Utah

Gerald F., Jerry, Belko, 86, died peacefully at his home in Sandy, UT on April 23.  

Born in Hobart, Indiana April 16,1932, he received full scholarship to Idaho State to play basketball, where he is a member of the ISU Hall of Fame. He also played Semi-Pro Baseball for the Orioles and Pirates organizations. Gerry served in the US Army's 5th Armor Battalion at Fort Chaffee. He moved to Chicago to start a family and serve as VP of HR at American Hospital Supply where he remained for over three decades and received many awards for his contributions and community service. 

Married to Sandra Locke Belko after the death of his first wife Diane Turner Belko, he lived in Loveland and Hawaii before moving to Utah. He is survived by wife Sandy; three children Frank, Barry and Savannah; three step children Marty, Mike, and Steve Locke; and many grandchildren. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Club hosts kids at Rivers Edge

About a hundred youngsters and parents turned out Saturday for an introduction to fishing at Rivers Edge.  The catching wasn't too great, but the fishing was terrific.

Tom Miller offers advice at Bass Pond.
Some kinda bugs. Club President Dave Johnson
helps with Big Thompson insect identification.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Club helping city with Neighborly Service fundraiser

The Loveland Fishing Club volunteers will staff a beer garden for a fundraiser for House of Neighborly Service on Sunday, Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Loveland Fairgrounds Park on Railroad Street.

The event is sponsored by the City of Loveland; in exchange for our volunteer help, the city will donate $1,200 to the Loveland Fishing Club's Parks and Recreation Foundation account, which we use for our kids' and senior derbies and other charitable projects.  Participation in the event has been approved by the LFC Board.  About 10 volunteers will be needed to help with the beer garden.  So mark off time on your calendar for Aug. 26.  Further details are forthcoming.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Thompson special needs fishing day now May 15

Here’s the original notice...

Brad Nelson, adaptive needs physical education teacher at Conrad Middle School, needs volunteers to help Big Thompson School District kids for a day of fishing 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 3.

The event will be held at two private Redi-Mix concrete ponds on the east side of Namaqua Road just north of 1st Street.

About 60 middle school kids from across the district are expected, and we'll be doing whatever's needed to see that they have a good time.  Questions?  Contact Fred Riehm by e-mail or at breakfast Friday.

Nifty new online info about Horsetooth

Larimer County has created a new website with current information on the lake, including things like current temperature (45 degrees), water level (21 feet below full) and wind speed 8 mph).  Here's the link:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kayak fishing tournament is Saturday, April 28 at Boyd

Here's something new:  a "catch/photo/release" fishing tournament is planning for April 28 at Boyd by the Colorado Kayak Fishing Club.  For more information, click here

Just got the following note from Keith Gentry. My sentiments exactly ...

"Bill, Look at what was caught yesterday at Lake John on a fly rod!!!!!!!!Can you believe it? 9 lbs. 27.5 inches.!!!! Right where we all usually icefish by the boat ramp. Ahhhhhhhh! I am so envious. Keith

Boating may be banned at Pinewood

The Loveland Reporter Herald says motorized boats likely will no longer be allowed on Pinewood Reservoir this season because of required aquatic nuisance species inspections, "though kayaks, float tubes and canoes will still be welcome on the waters."
The Larimer County Department of Natural Resources expects to change its rules regarding small motorized boats launched from a trailer on Pinewood Reservoir, west of Loveland, after receiving a letter from the Bureau of Reclamation this week requiring live inspections before launching.
"It's all but inevitable," said Ken Brink Jr., visitor services manager for the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.
The requirement of live inspections — or locked gates — is to protect the water from invasive mussels that destroy the ecosystem and can cause billions of dollars in damage to infrastructure as has been seen in other states.