Coastguard launch unique 'Donate a Fish' fundraiser

Coastguard launch unique 'Donate a Fish' fundraiser

The Coastguard has launched a unique fundraising drive that will see people catching fish for charity in Auckland today.

Those out fishing today are encouraged to donate part of their catch at Okahu Bay, Westhaven, Half Moon Bay or Takapuna boat ramps, with the fish then being sold at auction tomorrow.

Coastguard spokesman Ray Burge said it’s a great way to support their “critical” lifesaving efforts.

“We’re the only search and rescue service out there that caters for the boating public, there is only one coast guard that goes out and helps these people when they’re in need.”

He said its a service everyone who boats should be supporting however they can.

“Everybody on a rescue boat is a volunteer so there’s been over 300,000 hours of volunteer time that Coastguard volunteers put towards saving people, educating them and just being out on the water and making sure people come home.”

The auction will be held at the Silo Park Produce Market.

(Why?)

Published at Sat, 04 Mar 2017 03:07:31 +0000

Female anglers add special touch to fly fishing

Female anglers add special touch to fly fishing

Rebecca DePole with a typical NZ brown trout.

Zane Mirfin

Rebecca DePole with a typical NZ brown trout.

If you ever read fishing or hunting publications it can invariably be a male dominated exercise.

In the past, female anglers, when they featured, may have been allocated a token spot somewhere toward the back pages or more commonly featured in a large page three photo, replete and proud in a stunning bikini.

Fortunately times are a-changing and women are becoming increasingly involved and accepted within the fishing and hunting fraternity.

Rebecca DePole supervises her husband Pat DePole catch a trout.

Zane Mirfin

Rebecca DePole supervises her husband Pat DePole catch a trout.

This is a great thing, and I’ve tried hard to encourage my daughters to enjoy the outdoor life like I do. In this modern world of gender equality and equal opportunity, there are a lot more outdoor female role models around for other women to emulate, and my guess is that women anglers and hunters will become a more common sight on local trout streams and in the mountains hunting in the years ahead.

As a fishing guide of 31 years standing, I’ve had the good fortune to have guided many female anglers both here in New Zealand and overseas. Many of these women, ladies, and girls have been excellent anglers and lots of fun to guide. Often they accompany fathers, husbands, and boyfriends, but increasingly they come on their own terms to enjoy nature and fly fishing success.

Fishing, and particularly fly fishing, is not an exercise in brute-strength, and success invariably occurs because of what you have between your ears, and not what you have between your legs.

Rebecca DePole navigates the backcountry boulders in search of the next trout.

Zane Mirfin

Rebecca DePole navigates the backcountry boulders in search of the next trout.

Women frequently show their menfolk how to really fish and can act as a moderator to the excesses of male behaviour onstream.

I find women anglers a real tonic for a guide’s soul because they enjoy nature and notice little things many males do not, like the subtle colours of a trout being released, or the sounds and smells of the countryside.

The other thing I appreciate about women onstream as a guide is the near absence of testosterone and ego. Female anglers are more prone to accept good advice and act accordingly than many of their male counterparts. One particularly hardcase female angler even joked with me that “if men menstruated, they would probably brag about how often and how much”.

Getting involved in the outdoors is much easier for women these days with specialist women’s clothing, online forums, women’s fishing events, and increasing media exposure.


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Unfortunately, the traditional roles and responsibilities of life often mean it is difficult for women anglers and hunters to get into the outdoors as much as they would like.

Aimee used to come fishing with me a lot before we were married, but the tyranny of childbirth, motherhood, and now managing four unruly teenagers, plus holding down a full time project manager job, running a household, and supervising her fifth child (me), doesn’t leave a lot of spare time for fishing.

In the future though, I’m hoping we can spend more time enjoying the outdoors together as a couple.

This fishing season I’ve been able to enjoy the company of more special lady anglers, and one of my favourites was Rebecca DePole of Texas. With flaming locks of red hair, petite figure, and over-sized enthusiasm for life, Rebecca was a true star onstream. Fishing with her husband Pat, Rebecca was fit and able, throwing a mean fly line, and a threat to every trout in the river.

Rebecca’s enthusiasm was contagious, and the 60-something Texan was a delight to guide.

We fished local waters and helicoptered into wild and remote wilderness streams. Many of our best trout were sighted in emerald green pools, hanging suspended near the surface for all the world like a leg of mutton. As the dry fly landed in front of such fish, they would tip upwards and gently sip the fake imitation before Rebecca would expertly drive the hook home, the flyline would sizzle and slice through the water, and trout would run or jump, often attempting to change postal codes.

We worked hard through a challenging moonphase, but Rebecca’s unfailing positivity added real value to each day and meant we were always going to win.

One day we even took a day off from fishing to see the sights of the West Coast, and a special dinner at Greymouth’s Speight’s Ale House capped off a great day of windswept surf, isolated beaches, limestone outcrops, tree ferns and nikau palms.

Best of all, Rebecca made the fishing seem like fun again for Pat and I. It’s true that lady anglers can be a real asset, and I can’t wait for us to fish together again next year.


 – Stuff

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 03 Mar 2017 20:02:39 +0000

Hooked: It's in there somewhere

Hooked: It's in there somewhere

Labradors can enjoy fishing, but owners need to be wary.

Mytchall Bransgrove

Labradors can enjoy fishing, but owners need to be wary.

OPINION: Fishing is a classic New Zealand summer pastime and I thought I knew a little bit about fishing from when my father used to take us to the rivers in the South Island.  But I have recently learnt a lot about hooks and the ever present appetite of the four-legged vacuum cleaner (labradors). 

Rick was having a blustery day at the beach last week and was getting ready to come home. With the back of the four-wheel drive open, he was loading everything and by the time he turned around he was in time to see one of his rods being towed down the beach by “Odie”, his yellow lab. Fortunately, someone else stopped Odie but not before she had eaten the baited hook. Rick managed to quickly cut the nylon and free her from the rod but the hook had disappeared down Odie’s mouth. 

If this ever happens, try to cut the line at a long length as it helps us to find the hook or whatever is at the other end.

Odie was with us within half an hour and we soon had her sound asleep on the anaesthetic machines. The hook, unfortunately, wasn’t in her mouth but the trusty X-ray machine quickly found it a little bit further down her throat.

This is where it gets tricky, because the shape of the hook is all important.

Odie’s hook, unfortunately, wasn’t a square shape, so the point was protruding and it was very likely that it had embedded in to the tissues. Next, it was the little flexible endoscope camera’s turn and we had it threaded in there to see if we could check out the hook and possibly retrieve it.

Luckily, we could see the hook clearly but, unfortunately, it was well-embedded in the soft tissues of Odie’s throat after she pulled back from the rod. So it was out with the stitch-up gear and a little incision on the side of poor Odie’s neck.

I have in the past, and I guess it is common belief, that the best way to get a hook out of anywhere is to push it through and cut off the barbed tip and then easily slide it back through the other way, Rambo style! But, oh no. Most hooks nowadays are specially strengthened – news to me. So there was no way this hook was coming out easily, but with a bit of delicate dissection around all those vital structures in the neck, we managed to retrieve the hook at last and within two days Odie was back looking for food.

But then in came Cammie, who had at least waited to get home before gobbling the fish hook. This time the hook was a long way down and we had to make a little zipper underneath to open up her stomach and “fish” it out along with the attached nylon. These surgeries are major, both in the procedure itself and recovery, as the patient is not allowed any solid food for several days so that the stomach can heal. Cammie is a model patient and is back home with a very relieved family.

Cats aren’t exempt from the list of patients that eat what they really shouldn’t and we get at least one call a year to search for a darning needle from a very guilty looking cat with a piece of thread dangling out of its mouth.


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The nastiest object that they eat has to be that elasticised wrapping around roasts. You see, string-like objects can also cause obstructions because it attaches to the lining of the bowel in several places and then as the bowel tries to move it along it just concertinas the bowel up into a tight bundle. One dog ate a whole wrapping once but, fortunately, it was in cling film and when we made him vomit, it all came up in a neat bundle. So please, make sure the roast and leftovers are in a secure four-legged-proof bin!

So when you are fishing in the weekends, keep a close eye on the vacuum cleaner with four legs  and when you are mending the kids’ clothes, hold on to that needle.

Anderson’s Veterinary Hospitals in Palmerston North, phone 357 9993 for Pitama Rd or 356 9993 for Hokowhitu, open till 7pm Monday to Friday and open Saturday and Sunday.


 – Stuff

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 03 Mar 2017 23:07:01 +0000

Fishing for funds

Fishing for funds

Donate a Fish campaign proceeds going to Coastguard from an auction at Silo markets on Sunday. Photo / supplied
Donate a Fish campaign proceeds going to Coastguard from an auction at Silo markets on Sunday. Photo / supplied

Every fisherman has a hard-luck story about the one that got away.

But today, boaties across Auckland are being asked to do just that to support Coastguard, the charity saving lives at sea.

In a novel twist on the traditional bucket donation, Coastguard is not asking boaties to donate cash – they are being asked to donate a fish.

Fishermen coming off the water around Auckland boat ramps will be able to donate what they have caught.

Coastguard will keep those fish on ice overnight, and auction them at Silo Park from midday tomorrow.

“This is something entirely new for us and we are hoping for a great turn out,” Ray Burge, Coastguard’s northern region operations manager, said. “It is a relatively easy thing to do to support a great cause.”

The auction’s proceeds will go directly to supporting Coastguard. It means Kiwis get to keep doing what they love, be that catching or eating fish – all the while supporting the service that looks out for them on the water.

“It is not just the fishermen and women who can enjoy the day, anyone who likes to eat fish can make an important contribution too.”

Coastguard is encouraging local boaties to get out on the water today and drop off any spare freshly-caught, legally-sized fish.

The fish will be collected between 7am-11am and 5pm-7pm at public boat ramps at Half Moon Bay, Takapuna, Westhaven, and The Landing (Okahu).

The fish will be available for purchase at auction tomorrow at the Silo Park Produce Market, from 12pm to 3pm.

And in true fisherman style – it is a donation you can exaggerate about later.

For more information about how to take part, visit donateafish.co.nz

- NZ Herald

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 03 Mar 2017 16:07:30 +0000

Fishing: Remarkable men who fuelled quest for 'grander' – more than 1000lbs

Fishing: Remarkable men who fuelled quest for 'grander' – more than 1000lbs

Zane Grey fishing at Bird Rock, in the Bay of Islands, in one of the two boats he had built for him - the Avalon and the Zane Grey. Both boats have been restored and are still in use. Photo / Supplied
Zane Grey fishing at Bird Rock, in the Bay of Islands, in one of the two boats he had built for him – the Avalon and the Zane Grey. Both boats have been restored and are still in use. Photo / Supplied

The giant blue marlin which three blokes from Muriwai caught last weekend off 90-Mile Beach from their runabout earned first-time marlin fisherman Wade Wilson membership of an exclusive club.

In game fishing terms it is known as a “grander” – which refers to a marlin over the magic pre-metric weight of 1000 pounds, equal to 454.54kg.

Even though metrics has been the official system of weights and measures for a generation now, serious anglers still rank their catches the old-fashioned way.

The snapper equivalent is 20lbs (9.1kg) and trout aficionados dream of catching a 10-pounder (4.54kg).

There have been a few granders – both blue and black marlin – landed in our waters over the years, and the record for blue marlin stands at 483.4kg (1063.5lb). This fish was caught on April 16, 2009, by R Jameson while fishing off North Cape.

Black marlin grown even larger than the blues, and the biggest specimens among all marlin species are females. The local record is a monster of 473.2kg (1041lb) hooked off Gisborne by a local angler, Alan Jorion, on February 9, 2002.

Big game fishing in this country goes right back to the early 1920s when the famous American writer and sportsman Zane Grey first visited.

He put our marlin fishing grounds on the map, and made several visits to fish out of Mercury Bay and the Bay of Islands.

Grey made so much money from writing his western novels that he operated his own ship which he sailed from California to New Zealand, and he also ventured into remote areas of French Polynesia and discovered giant blue malin in the waters around the Tuamotu and Marquesas groups of islands.

He introduced the first game fishing tackle and techniques and taught Kiwis how to handle the huge fish like marlin and sharks.

International game fishing really took off in the 1930s, a time when America’s sporting aristocracy viewed the sport on a par with big game hunting.

Game fishing started on the east coast from Miami to the Florida Keys, expanding north to Montauk and Novia Scotia, and 80km across the Gulf Stream to Bimini in the Bahamas.

Sportsmen realised they needed improved tackle to bring big fish to the boat quickly, or they would be eaten by sharks. The writer Ernest Hemingway, a fanatical game fisherman, carried a Thompson submachine gun to ward off sharks which attacked the hooked marlin and tuna.

Another keen game fishermen who was to become almost immortal in fishing terms, Alfred Glassell Jr, wrote to a friend: “Since the beginning of time it has been the dream of man, particularly those who follow the sea, to view or take a game fish weighing 1000 pounds.”

And he became the first person to achieve that, successfully hooking and boating the world’s first grander in 1952. Glassell caught the 1025-pound black marlin at Cabo Blanco, a new fishery on Peru’s Pacific coast.

But this was only the beginning. No story of big game fishing would be complete without the story of Hemingway’s 1952 novella, The Old Man and the Sea, Cabo Blanco and Glassell Jr’s still-standing world record 1560-pound black marlin (709kg).

The Old Man and the Sea was made into a motion picture in 1953 starring Spencer Tracy.

When the picture went into production they sought a filming location with the greatest likelihood of getting good footage of a large marlin being caught.

What the Old Man’s film crew got at Cabo Blanco on the afternoon of August 4, however, must rank high on the list of all-time luckiest film shoots ever made.

That afternoon Glassell hooked up with his record black marlin and the footage used in the film was that of Glassell catching the largest billfish ever taken on rod and reel.

An astounding total of 38 grander black marlin were caught in the first 12 years of the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club. Peru’s political instability coupled with a decline in the fishery led to the eventual closing of the club.

But we are still catching granders in New Zealand waters.

Tip of the week

Today most marlin hooked are tagged and released, with the data obtained from subsequent captures contributing valuable information about the habits and growth of these magnificent fish.

When using live or dead bait anglers should always use galvanised hooks rather than stainless steel hooks, as these will quickly rust out if they break off in the fish’s mouth. And circle hooks will snare the fish in the corner of the mouth, rather than being swallowed, which also raises the chances of survival after release.

It is the efforts of game fishermen through organisations like the Billfish Foundation and the International Game fish Association, founded in Florida in 1939, which have contributed the most to game fish research and international measures to limit commercial catches of these fish which roam the oceans of the world.

Bite times
Bite times are 5.50am and 6.15pm today, and 6.45am and 7.10pm tomorrow. More fishing action can be found at GTTackle.co.nz.

- NZ Herald

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 03 Mar 2017 19:01:46 +0000

Nicky Sinden's top weekend family boat & trailer destinations

Nicky Sinden's top weekend family boat & trailer destinations

A Weekend & Ford Promotion

Nicky Sinden, host of TV show
Nicky Sinden, host of TV show “ADOS Addicted to Fishing” names her favourite weekend boat and trailer destinations.

Weekend asked Nicky Sinden, host of TV show ADOS Addicted to Fishing to name her favourite weekend destinations with boat and trailer that offered something for everyone in the family.

The location needed a boat ramp for easy access to that awesome fishing spot, along with a rich mix of great attractions nearby that, combined, made for a great weekend away.

Matakana Village Farmers Market

I’m a Mangawhai local and I love to visit the surrounding markets for a change of scenery.

The famous Matakana Village Farmers’ Market is one of my faves.

I can pick up a delicious hot coffee and something tasty for breakfast.

There are also plenty of stalls of fresh produce, organic treats, artisan breads as well as cheeses, olive oils, preserves and meats.

Leigh Harbour Boat Ramp

If you’re after a variety of fish rather than just snapper, then there are some great fishing spots just around the corner from sheltered Leigh Harbour.

My Ford Everest and trailer easily handles the concrete boat ramp near the wharf.

I just chuck it in 4L, and get my 750 Game King Extreme Boat out no worries!

Nicky says the Ford Everest easily handles the concrete boat ramp near the Leigh Harbour wharf with a trailer.
Nicky says the Ford Everest easily handles the concrete boat ramp near the Leigh Harbour wharf with a trailer.
She just puts her Ford Everest in 4L
She just puts her Ford Everest in 4L “and get my 750 Game King Extreme Boat out no worries!”

Tawharanui

On the way home Nicky likes to stop off for a walk through the native bush at Tawharanui Regional Park.
On the way home Nicky likes to stop off for a walk through the native bush at Tawharanui Regional Park.

Keeping fit is important to me, so on the way home I like to stop off for a walk through the native bush at Tawharanui Regional Park.

You can check out the birdlife, and of course there’s the majestic white sandy beach where you can stretch your legs and soak up some sun.

Music

I listen to a huge mix of different music when I’m driving the Everest.

Some days I throw my hair up in a bun and listen to Snoop Dogg “Drop it like its hot”.

Then there’s nothing better than cranking some Netsky “Go To”.

It’s all right there using Spotify through Ford’s SYNC3.

Sawmill Café

After a busy morning catching fish, the Sawmill Café in Leigh is the perfect spot to soak up some sunshine.
After a busy morning catching fish, the Sawmill Café in Leigh is the perfect spot to soak up some sunshine.

After a busy morning catching fish, the mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas at the Sawmill Café in Leigh will always fill the gap.

In the afternoon, their patio area is the perfect spot to soak up some sunshine.

It makes me feel grateful to live in such a gorgeous country.

Morris & James pottery studio

If you're looking for a gift, the renowned Morris & James' Pottery Studio has a magnificent display of locally made handcrafted and glazed terracotta, made from   clay excavated right from the banks of the Matakana river.
If you’re looking for a gift, the renowned Morris & James’ Pottery Studio has a magnificent display of locally made handcrafted and glazed terracotta, made from clay excavated right from the banks of the Matakana river.

If you’re looking for a gift, the renowned Morris & James’ Pottery Studio has a magnificent display of locally made handcrafted and glazed terracotta.

The clay is actually excavated right from the banks of the Matakana river.

- NZ Herald

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 03 Mar 2017 06:06:07 +0000

Second Hawaii bill seeking fishing industry oversight dies

Second Hawaii bill seeking fishing industry oversight dies

HONOLULU (AP) ” Another Hawaii bill that sought more oversight of the state’s commercial fishing industry has died.

The bill would have required boat operators to provide contracts between foreign fishermen and employers.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing said Thursday the House bill is dead because it wasn’t scheduled for a final committee hearing before a legislative deadline.

“The lobby was out full force to kill this bill, just as I expected,” Ing said. “It’s difficult because there’s very few advocacy organizations for these sorts of migrant workers, so their voice is not as loud as the moneyed lobby behind the longline guys.”

The Hawaii Longline Association opposed the bill saying it wasn’t the job of the state office that issues fishing licenses to review contracts. They also said the industry is already highly regulated by the federal government.

In the past decade the leaders of the Hawaii Longline Association contributed more than $19,000 to state politicians’ campaigns, mostly for gubernatorial candidates, according to state records.

“I think we all share an interest to ensure that there’s safety for the crews of these boats, but we just felt like the bill was more of a federal issue,” said Rep. Scott Nishimoto, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which killed the bill. “I read through the bill and I didn’t really see how collecting contracts in different languages would do anything to ensure their safety.”

A related Senate bill to restrict fishing licenses to people legally allowed to enter the country and to make potential licensees apply in person died Wednesday.

An Associated Press investigation found hundreds of foreign fishermen confined to boats and some living in subpar conditions. It also found some instances when fishermen weren’t paid as promised.

Both bills aimed to find ways to get more information about what’s happening on the boats and to catch potential problems.

Having copies of fishermen’s contracts would help the state determine whether the men are getting what they’re promised and whether a human trafficking investigation should be launched, Ing said. But contracts with foreign fishermen are often held by overseas companies, making them difficult to obtain. Boat captains often contract with an international broker to provide workers, and then the broker has a separate employment contract with the workers.

The longline industry also created its own universal contract to be signed by crew members and boat owners and said many boat owners have returned the contract. The industry contract includes space to record payments made and a phone number fishermen can call if they’re victims of human trafficking. But critics say it’s ineffective to have the industry police itself.

Ing says he’s surprised at the strong opposition to his bill. “I was only asking for record keeping,” he said. “I wasn’t even asking for regulation.”

Ing said he would attempt to resurrect the bill by adding it as an amendment to another bill later in the session.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 02 Mar 2017 22:18:45 +0000

The Latest: Hawaii bill on commercial fishing industry dies

The Latest: Hawaii bill on commercial fishing industry dies

HONOLULU (AP) ” The Latest on Hawaii bills seeking more oversight of the commercial fishing industry (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

A Hawaii bill seeking to change the way commercial fishing licenses are granted has died after industry representatives told lawmakers it would wreck the industry.

State Sen. Brian Taniguchi says the goal of the bill which sought more oversight of the fishing industry is the role of the federal government, not the state.

Two committees deferred the bill indefinitely Wednesday, killing it for the legislative session.

The bill sought to restrict commercial fishing licenses to people who are legally allowed to enter the U.S. It also would have required fishing license applicants to appear in person.

A House bill to require collecting fishermen’s contracts is still alive, but faces a legislative deadline.

An Associated Press investigation found some foreign fishermen were working without most basic labor protections while catching premium seafood.

___

11 a.m.

The sponsor of a Hawaii bill seeking to change the way commercial licenses are granted to foreign fishermen says the bill is in danger of dying.

State Sen. Karl Rhoads said fishing industry representatives have told lawmakers the bill could wreck the industry.

The bill would restrict commercial fishing licenses to people who are legally allowed to enter the U.S. It also would require fishing license applicants to appear in person before state officials.

Rhoads says he doesn’t think there’s enough political will to pass the bill but it may survive if it’s substantially changed.

A Senate committee is planning to consider the bill Wednesday.

An Associated Press investigation found some foreign fishermen were working without most basic labor protections while catching premium seafood.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 02 Mar 2017 02:03:45 +0000

We've all gone fishing

We've all gone fishing

Hundreds of ‘gone fishing’ signs might be hung on the door handles of many Tauranga homes for the next four days, as about 400 anglers head to the waters for the annual One Base Fishing Tournament.

Boats were released from the Tauranga Harbour entrance on Wednesday for the four-day tournament hosted by Tauranga Sports Fishing Club.

Anglers will search the seas as far as Whitianga and East Cape for the biggest fish they can find in a bid to claim fishing glory and be in to win thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes from furniture suites to chilly bins, barbecues, TVs and power tools.

Event organiser Roly Bagshaw says during the competition anglers can communicate through a radio channel called Tauranga Game Base.

“They’ll be calling in and letting us know what they’ve caught – and we’ll hopefully see the odd fish back at the weigh station.”

Roly says there’s a big emphasis on tag and release, which means most of the fish caught will be released.

“There’ll be the odd one that we hang up, which draws a good audience, but not every fish needs to be taken.

“A lot of the guys choose to tag fish so all the data can be stored by Ministry of Fisheries and over time we can build a picture of how the fish migrate and see how fast they grow etc.”

The tournament encourages anglers to reel in the pelagic fish species such as marlin and tuna. Roly calls those the ‘glamour species’.

“This time of year we’ve also got things like mahi mahi, spearfish and those sorts of species that have arrived here in the warmer water in summer.

A measure and release section is in place for snapper and Kingfish, which Roly says presents people with “incentives to release nice fish, only taking a photo”.

“It’s up to them if they choose to release those fish or to bring them home. The idea is if there’s a big Kingfish or snapper taken, there’s a good chance that’ll take out the weigh section – we can communicate that to all the guys and all the fish after that can be released.”

Anyone can fish in this tournament, although Roly says these days it does have a waiting list and you must be a member of a club.

“However it tends to attract people who are a bit more serious about their fishing.”

“It’s a four-day event so obviously you need a bit of endurance.

We’ve got some really keen juniors and plenty of women, who are just as keen as the guys and tend to show them up from time to time.”

Roly says the One Base fishing competition is an iconic tournament that been hosted by Tauranga Sport Fishing Club for many years.

“We’ve had some really great fish caught and released. Last year we had a great run of blue marlin, I think about four of those weighed more than 200kg.”

But Roly says what keeps people coming back is the competition’s change in nature from being open to thousands of anglers to about 400 entries.

“It’s got a wonderful local club feel, there’s a real sense of camaraderie.”

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 02 Mar 2017 20:43:12 +0000

Fishing out the winners and losers on NHL trade deadline day

Fishing out the winners and losers on NHL trade deadline day

Although the NHL trade market produced no whopping deals this year, just about everybody had their nets in the water all the way up until the deadline Wednesday.

Several Stanley Cup contenders caught good players for the postseason grind ahead, while several struggling teams made judicious use of their assets.

Standard disclaimer: Nobody really wins or loses on deadline day because the results of their endeavors are revealed in the coming weeks, months and years. Nevertheless, here is the league consensus on which teams made savvy moves ” and avoided foolish ones ” over the past several days:

WINNERS

WASHINGTON CAPITALS: The overall NHL leaders bolstered their loaded lineup with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, and they gave up nothing more painful than their low first-round pick this summer. They also didn’t lose any assets that could disrupt team chemistry as they chase that elusive first Stanley Cup.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: The defending champs didn’t get Shattenkirk, but general manager Jim Rutherford fleshed out his defense with the additions of veteran blue liners Mark Streit and Ron Hainsey.

Rutherford also kept Marc-Andre Fleury, giving the Pens goaltending depth if they need it.

MINNESOTA WILD: Sensing a pattern here? The NHL’s best teams mostly got better, and they usually did it without giving up major assets. The Central Division-leading Wild added steady center Martin Hanzal and Ryan White in a deal for draft picks ” a small price to pay for a team with a wide-open window to reach its first Stanley Cup Final.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: Perhaps there was nostalgia involved in the return of defenseman Johnny Oduya, but the Blackhawks have some awfully good times to recapture. Putting him back alongside fellow Swede Niklas Hjalmarsson down the stretch immediately makes Chicago a nightmare for opposing forwards.

COLORADO AVALANCHE: Their season is a wreck, yet the Avs didn’t panic by giving up on Gabriel Landeskog or Matt Duchene. GM Joe Sakic also gave Jarome Iginla freedom to chase his first Stanley Cup, albeit with the longshot Los Angeles Kings.

FLORIDA PANTHERS: Steady scorer Thomas Vanek for a conditional mid-round draft pick? That’s a no-brainer, and it could be a big factor in the Panthers’ playoff hopes.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS: Good returns for Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows have created goodwill for embattled GM Jim Benning. The rebuild finally might be underway in earnest.

LOSERS

BUFFALO SABRES: They were the odd team out, failing to make a deal on the NHL’s trade deadline day for the first time since 2002. General manager Tim Murray couldn’t move defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson before their contracts expire, and captain Brian Gionta wasn’t interested enough in a move to pursue it. He acknowledges that’s a “speed bump” in his rebuilding plan.

MONTREAL CANADIENS: They’ve already got a fine team, yet they added no scoring depth and did little to get faster or more versatile in the postseason. Steve Ott, Dwight King and Jordie Benn are capable NHL players, but Washington and Pittsburgh still appear to be a cut above the Habs in total talent, particularly in the offensive end.

ST. LOUIS BLUES: Almost nobody thinks they got enough for Shattenkirk, who could have just stayed and played a key role in helping his longtime club’s playoff push, even if the Blues didn’t re-sign him this summer.

EDMONTON OILERS: They largely stayed pat, deciding to lean on the young core around Connor McDavid as they attempt to end their 10-season playoff drought. And for that, the Sharks, Ducks, Kings and Flames all thank them.

SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN

ARIZONA COYOTES: Millennial GM John Chayka got a decent return for Martin Hanzal and Michael Stone, as long as the Coyotes draft well. But they didn’t appear to maximize their available assets when they kept Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata, who seemed almost certain to bring something to help the Desert Dogs’ latest rebuild.

LOS ANGELES KINGS: Goalie Ben Bishop’s pre-deadline arrival revealed the top brass’ deep ambivalence about Peter Budaj, one of the league’s feel-good stories. If the Kings are actually committed to giving rest to Jonathan Quick while they attempt to get into playoff position, Bishop is an immense acquisition. And while some have scoffed at the addition of the 39-year-old Iginla to an already slow team, they haven’t calculated the importance of Iginla’s leadership and hunger ” and let’s just say they’re probably overestimating the importance of departing two-time Cup champion Dwight King.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: GM Steve Yzerman did some nifty roster shuffling to help his chances of re-signing Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat this summer, but he gave up a chunk of his club’s identity to do it. Valtteri Filppula and Brian Boyle will be missed, and Yzerman really didn’t get much for the well-liked Bishop, one of the NHL’s best goalies over the past four years in Tampa Bay.

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AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow in Buffalo contributed to this report.

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Follow AP Hockey Writer Greg Beacham on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gregbeacham

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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Published at Thu, 02 Mar 2017 09:03:02 +0000