Frye: Bass tourney, questions and more
A few notes from around the outdoors ...
• Some of the best bass fishermen in the world are descending on Pennsylvania.
B.A.S.S. is bringing one of its the Elite Series fishing tournaments to Philadelphia and the Delaware River on Thursday through Aug. 10. There's $600,000 in prize money at stake, with the top angler from among 107 getting $100,000.
Walt Dietz, outreach and education coordinator for the Fish and Boat Commission in eastern Pennsylvania, said some projections are the event will generate $30 million to $40 million in economic impact and draw 40,000 spectators to the city over four days.
The tournament is just the second major B.A.S.S. event in the state.
The first, infamously in some circles, was the 2005 Bassmaster Classic, held on Pittsburgh's three rivers. Michigan pro Ken VanDam finished first with what remains the record-low winning weight for a Classic: 12.15 pounds of fish caught over three days.
Commission executive director John Arway said he's hoping to use Elite Series event to sell fishing in Philadelphia and the surrounding countryside, which, for all its people and water, is home to comparatively few anglers.
• Speaking of the Fish and Boat Commission, during August and September, it's going to meet with issuing agents, the people who sell their fishing licenses and trout stamps. The goals are twofold, Arway said. First, to share information. But more importantly, to get feedback on what it might take to get more people fishing.
That's something the commission has never asked its agents before.
“We've got a tremendous sales force out there that we've never utilized to help us market and sell our product,” Arway said.
The return could be huge, he added, given that 90 percent of all fishing licenses sold go through agents.
• It's time to think about doe hunting again.
Starting Monday, first-round unsold doe licenses go on sale. Residents and nonresidents may apply.
There are plenty left.
Just four of the state's 23 wildlife management units — 1B in northwest Pennsylvania, 2G and 2H in the northcentral region and 4C in the east — were sold out of tags going into the weekend. A few others were close, though. Units 2E, 2F, 3A, 4B, 4D and 4E each had fewer than 5,000 remaining, and they will all likely be gone within a few hours.
Second-round unsold licenses go on sale Aug. 18. Over-the-counter sales begin in unit 2B, which surrounds Pittsburgh, on Aug. 25.
• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gave states last week the federal framework for the coming fall and winter waterfowl hunting seasons. States are told how many hunting days they can offer; they then determine where in the calendar to put them.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission will get input from hunters at its annual waterfowl symposium. It's 1 p.m. Friday at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon County. The commission will announce season dates by the last week of August.