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Outdoors notebook: Bassmaster tournament headed to Philadelphia

| Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, 4:09 p.m.

Big-time competitive bass fishing is coming back to Pennsylvania, this time at the other end of the state.

The schedule for the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series — a route to fishing the Bassmaster Classic — has been released. Pro anglers will fish eight tournaments, with the next-to-last one to be held on the Delaware River in Philadelphia from Aug. 7 to 10.

The visit to the city will be BASS' first.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officials estimate the event will generate $30 million to $40 million for the city. They're hoping to cash in, too.

Despite being the largest city in the state and one of the biggest in the country, Philadelphia is “under-serviced” in terms of residents who fish, said commission executive director John Arway. The commission is hoping the tournament will help change that, he said.

BASS was last in Pennsylvania when it held its Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh in 2005.

Aussie connection

Might the answer to controlling wild hogs in Pennsylvania lie in Australia?

Researchers are exploring the possibility. Australia has an estimated 23 million wild hogs, or more than one for every person on the continent. Pennsylvania has far fewer but considers them an “emerging threat” to habitat and native wildlife.

Scientists at Penn State and in Australia jointly are exploring ways to minimize the problems they create.

Oldest bear

The oldest-known wild black bear recently passed away of old age at 39 12.

“Bear No. 56” was first captured and radio collared by wildlife officials in Minnesota in July 1981. It was seven years old at that time and had three cubs. She produced dozens more over the years, with her last coming in 1999.

No. 56 outlived all of the other bears collared in 1981 by at least 19 years.

Unusual catch

A Minnesota man has a fish story to tell. Ray Groff was fishing Lake Winnebago when he found a 47-inch section of a flintlock muzzleloader believed to be more than 200 years old dangling from his anchor.

Much of the barrel and a large section of the wooden stock were gone. But the flint was still in place and the rifle half-cocked.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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