Ice Fishing, Coyotes, and Remembering George Smith
Here at The Maine Sportsman, our hearts are heavy this month, with the loss of long-time columnist George Smith. George died February 12, 2021 from the effects of ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He actually had a lot in common with the famous Yankee first baseman. Two comparisons come quickly to mind – first, Gehrig’s nickname was “The Iron Horse,” because he played in more than 2,100 consecutive games, much in the same way George produced column after column for The Sportsman, as well for daily newspapers, for more than 30 years. And second, just as Gehrig declared himself “the luckiest man in the world” who simply got a “bad break,” George had the good fortune to live his life doing what he loved and then got to write about it. And like Gehrig, George had the grace and courage to face his illness head-on, inspiring others who are dealing with immense challenges to their health and their lives. Our Page 4 editorial this month, “Remembering George Smith,” signifies that we are dedicating this issue – and our energies and determination going forward – to George.
Elsewhere in the issue, the big news is ice fishing, starting with our action-packed cover photo taken by Travis Elliott, showing our Maine Sportswoman columnist Christi Holmes hauling a nice togue through the ice at Moose Pond in Bridgton. And the theme continues – Page 16 features the tale of the “three-patch pike,” a story of cooperation among a trio of ice anglers; fisheries biologist Wes Ashe tells readers where and how to catch black crappie in central Maine (Page 23); Nolan Raymond recounts the scary incident of falling though an unmarked “sight hole” in the ice in northern Maine this winter (Page 54); and Tim Caverly sets forth the story he swears is true about a pair of ice fishermen in sub-zero temperatures who were more worried about their bait than their personal well-being (Page 59).
The rest of the 84 pages (which makes us truly the “largest”) celebrate all the Maine outdoors has to offer, from a new state record crossbow buck (Page 8) and our Reader Poll results (Page 21), to late-winter snowmobiling (Page 26) and a “Best Boats for Maine” special section (Page 30).
Hal Blood busts coyote myths (Page 37), the aforementioned Christi Holmes climbs Katahdin in the winter (Page 42), and Luke Giampetruzzi salvages an old 12-food V-hull aluminum boat and turns it into a sportsman’s dream vessel (Page 51). And Al Diamon is clearly finding his outdoor groove, poking good-natured fun at birds and those who watch them (Page 77).
All this, plus cartoons from Jonny Hawkins, JC Duffy, Jerry King and Robert Summers, and the best Youth Edition and Adults-Only jokes west of Eastport!
So enjoy, and get out there and safely give your business support to restaurants, guides, sporting camps and outdoor supply stores as they work to offer curbside service and safe-distance shopping, expertise and accommodations.
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