Thursday, January 17, 2013

2012 Master Angler Entries

51" Longnose Gar
I have been participating in the Vermont Master Angler Program since its inception in 2010. It is a fantastic program that recognizes and rewards anglers that have made exceptional catches in Vermont.  There is some incredible fishing to be had in the Green Mountain State, especially for fish that many people do not typically target. The program has been an overwhelming success story. My (fishing) hat goes off to Shawn Good and Jud Kratzer (and others) for all the hard work that they put into getting the program set up, running and keeping it going. They have to check every entry before it gets listed so it is a fair amount of work for them to do on top of what they already do as fisheries biologists. 
34" Lake Trout

In 2010 I was the first person to have earned a Master Angler pin. That requires catching 5 different species at or above the minimum length that qualifies it to be Master Class. I submitted 32 entries with 13 different species that year. In 2011 I entered 39 different fish and added another 5 species to my list. 

For 2012 I decided to change how I was going to enter the program. I realized that I really did not have to enter every single Master Class fish that I caught. That is just a huge ego trip for me. I catch a lot of big fish but there is no reason I need to show off like that. I decided that I would enter only the biggest of each species that I did get. I entered 11 fish this year, including one new species- the bullhead. 
35" Carp

I think it is a lot more responsible to be doing the Master Angler program this way. The state was sending out a certificate for each Master Class fish caught. That could get expensive and they did put in an option that you did not need to get a certificate for each fish when you entered them online. I personally opt out of this anyway. I got a pile the first year- they are very cool, but from here I will only ask for the first one of each new species I get. Starting this year they will only be sending out certificates for the first of each species entered and the largest entered by a person. 
21" Smallmouth Bass

One thing I am very proud of so far is that all of my entries have been done on the fly. Yep, all 19 different species have been caught on the fly- including the bullhead. Pretty cool in my book!

I am looking forward to getting my pin for 2012 which I will proudly display next to my 2010 and 2011 pins. Meanwhile, check out all my entries for this year!

I do realize that it has been a bit since I have posted on here but I am going to do my best to be more regular about posting. I have a lot of big things happening this year and I really look forward to sharing it all!

24.5" Brown Trout

11.5" Rock Bass

24" Largemouth Bass

26.5" Landlocked Salmon

9" Pumpkinseed

14" Bullhead

28" Bowfin