The March, 2017 issue of The Maine Sportsman is available everywhere, and it’s a good one, but first things first – mark your calendars now to attend the March 31st – April 2nd State of Maine Sportsman Show at the Augusta Civic Center. Make plans to be a part of this, the 37th edition of the Show, which will feature the famous “Whitetails of North America” big antler taxidermy display; more than 100 vendors; the NAVDHA Hunting Dog Show; hunting and fishing seminars; art, carving, photo and duck stamp contests; fly-tying; kayak raffle; Veterans Outdoor Networking; and much more. It’s the biggest of them all, and it’s sponsored once again this year by The Maine Sportsman magazine, and Sportsmans Alliance of Maine (SAM).
Now – back to the March issue. Let’s start with the impressive cover photo – Holly MacKenzie of Oakland hefting a monstrous 37-inch Northern Pike she hauled up through the ice – a fish so big it barely fits in the photograph!
What a great introduction to the ice-fishing coverage found inside the issue, including Val Marquez’s “Southern Maine” column that describes how the lower part of the state is home to lunker fish like the state-record 23-pound brown trout and another state record, a 9-pound brook trout.
And Tom Seymour’s “Moosehead Report” keeps the ice-angling theme going, as Tom quotes fisheries biologists who are tracking a resurgence of brook trout, salmon and togue in Maine’s biggest lake – and Tom’s column is illustrated with a photo of a big brookie that was caught ice-fishing off the Rockwood shore.
In his “Washington County Report,” Steve Vose tells how to trap your own baitfish. If nothing else, the effort will make you appreciate the ease and convenience of patronizing the nearest of the 18 dealers listed in our “Bait Dealers Directory” (page 33).
It seems improbable given the ice and snow outside, but folks have boating and boat shows on their minds these days. In tribute, our March issue features a boating special section on drift boats, written by experienced guide Michael Jones. These unique crafts are designed to serve as fly-fishing platforms, especially in fast-moving rivers in Western Maine.
And speaking of boats, our “Self-Propelled Sportsman,” Jim Andrews, has a new (to him) classic – a 20-foot Old Town Tripper XL. Jim describes the boat’s internet-enabled purchase, and his plans to use the canoe to float home an XL moose, if his name or a buddy’s name is drawn in the upcoming moose permit lottery in Caribou.
The future of Maine fishing and hunting is our state’s youthful enthusiasts, and the Sportsman is proud to feature two of the best, our “Young Maine Sportswoman” Alyssa Sansoucy, who describes the joys of catching – and eating – smelts, and our “Young Maine Sportsman” Luke Giampetruzzi, who relates a tale of cold fingers and toes incurred in his successful nighttime pursuit of an unusual-looking fish – a cusk, or burbot.
This issue’s “Almanac” offers a diverse and fun mix of information, including coverage of the US Army’s new choice of sidearm (the Sig P320), mythical 80-pound Maine catfish (“Must be true – we found it on the Internet!”), bar-napkin navigational charts of Saco Bay, and Tannerite, a two-part explosive for those who subscribe to the “big boom” theory.
Our editorial staff revamped this year’s “Maine Sportsman Opinion Poll,” found on page 17, and we want to hear your views on a wide variety of topics. Some of the new questions were inspired by actual bills being considered during this year’s legislative session (as further described in George Smith’s “Capitol Report”), so put yourself in the lawmakers’ place, and tell us how you’d vote.
And our favorite retired wildlife biologist, Ron Joseph, weighs in on disappearing deer yards and the controversy that surrounds the issue of feeding whitetail deer.
There’s plenty of snow on the ground right now, and we see many snowmobiles on trailers heading northbound on 295 every Thursday and Friday. But how do you increase the capacity of your machine once you get to your destination, if you want to haul fishing gear or even additional passengers? Learn about your options in a special section titled “Pull-Behind Sleds for Your Snowmobile,” starting on page 26. This feature is supported by our loyal advertisers, including retailers for Ski-Doo, Yamaha, Can-Am, Polaris and Arctic Cat, as well as some Maine businesses that rent sleds and others that provide lodging, quality food and beverages.
It’s a big, fun 80-page issue, one that will get us through the sunny days of late summer and help us rocket into the upcoming spring of trout fishing and summer of boating.
See you at the State of Maine Sportsman’s Show! Please take the time to stop in, introduce yourself to the writers who will be staffing the Maine Sportsmans booth all weekend, and have some hunting and fishing stories ready!
We hope you’ll continue to support our advertisers and distribution outlets, and if you like something in the issue (or even if you don’t), let us hear from you at Will@MaineSportsman.com.