Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to win the Club Tournament: Catch the biggest fish*

Get your worms out, bring along a tape measure, and prepare to catch the Loveland Fishing Club’s largest fish of 2014.
Our new tournament rules, approved by voice vote at the February meeting and confirmed by the Board on March 4, provides first, second and third-place pins or patches to the club’s best anglers of the year.  The winner’s name goes on a permanent plaque. Here are the rules:

The way it’s set up, the winner doesn’t have to be the biggest or fattest of all fish pulled from a Colorado lake or stream:  just the one with the largest size as a percentage of a Colorado Master Angler’s fish for that species.*  So my 10-inch Dixon Lake bluegill (the minimum requirement for a Colorado Master Angler’s Award for the species) will win every time over Bob Scott’s 35-inch Stagecoach Reservoir Tiger muskie (which has a minimum requirement of 40 inches).  Decision of the judges – headed by Jim Roode – is final, and protests are likely to earn you serious kidding.
Here are the other rules:
  • All Colorado fishing regulations apply.  Snagging not allowed unless the fish was accidentally snagged in the course of normal angling using regular procedures and equipment.
  • Entries must be submitted to the record keeper in writing within 30 days of a catch. 
  • Requires a picture or witness verification.
  • Fish caught on a professionally guided trip do not qualify.
  • Prizes will be awarded at the annual banquet in January.

Here’s the link to a Parks & Wildlife brochure on the Master Anglers program.
Forty-three species are included on the state’s Master Anglers list.  Some of the more common include rainbow trout (24”), brown (22”), brookie (16”), lake trout (32”), northern pike (36”), walleye (26”), largemouth (18”), yellow perch (12”), smallmouth (17”), white bass (17”), crappie (14”), channel cat (30”),  common carp (30”).
Don't forget the pumpkinseed (8”).  And I know where there’s a nice little pumpkinseed spawning bed.

Ready, set, fish!  You have from now through Dec. 31, 2014, to catch the biggest splake of your life.   

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