First off, thanks to everyone who stopped by the Anglers All/Freshcoast Angling booth at the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo this past weekend and an extra special thanks to those of you who donated to the Roger Lapenter Chequamegon Bay Fund. It's always a fun time to see friends and touch base with everyone before the fishing season gets into full swing. The highlight of the event for me was connecting with a great family from Duluth, MN. After giving my presentation about the Lake Superior fishery I'm lucky to have in my backyard, I was approached by Eric and Kat and they pulled out their phone to show me some photos.
Let's back up just a few mintures here.....Now, the last 10 minutes or so of my presentation involves some information on the history and the results of protective regulations on the Chequamegon Bay smallmouth fishery. I end the presentation with a photo of myself with a small bass I caught in 1995, a year after the regulations were put in place. Next to that photo is another picture with a young angler who was in my boat taken in 2013. His bass was 21 inches, mine was 13. Knowing how long it takes for a bass to grow to maturity in the bay, if you do the math, it is entirely possible that the two fish could be the same. I include the slide to show people that catch and release works, and that these fish will be available for multiple generations of anglers.
Back to Kat and Eric and their phone..... They started scrolling through photos of their daughter holding gigantic smallmouth that she had caught on the Bay last year. I almost had to hold back tears, as I knew that the work Capt. Roger accomplished had come completely full circle: the next generation is already enjoying these fish. Kat and Eric are people that get it, and thanks to them, their daughter is gaining the knowledge to show the generation beyond her how it works. This is why I got into guiding.
For a little more info on the Roger Lapenter Chequamegon Bay Fund, please visit: www.anglersallwisconsin.com/lapenterfund