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Bass, Birds and Benefits

It’s great to see the mountains that line the West Branch Valley aglow in that special spring-green foliage. At times, it didn’t seem like spring was ever going to get here — let alone summer. We truly live in one of the most beautiful places on God’s green earth, and it’s great to see everybody returning to outdoor activities.

Tip of my Webb Weekly cap to all that organized and got out in support of the MS Walk – Together We Are Strong. Multiple Sclerosis affects so many families locally, including mine. My Uncle Ron Maietta has battled the disease for years. He is one tough son of a gun and an outstanding outdoorsman that continues to enjoy Penn’s Woods even if it’s from the deck behind this home.

The generosity of folks in our area is amazing. There are so many great causes that need support. One that comes to mind this time of year is Relay for Life. Please get out and support as many as you can. Most events can be found within our pages. Remember, every little bit helps, and often the greatest gift is that of your time.

We might as well stay outside and talk about the great fishing that can be found in the Susquehanna River. It is amazing to me, knowing this river from the time I was young during the 70s till today, how it has become a hotbed for bass fishing and much more. Yes, I said a hotbed for bass fishing; I know that might come as a surprise to many, but the West Branch is teaming with bass.
Bass fishing as a whole has never been more popular in our country. There are more professional bass tournaments than ever. Heck, there’s even college bass fishing. Many universities including Penn State have teams. There is a bass fishing national title at the college level.

Locally, a gentleman reached out to me with a great idea. Pat Neufer informed me about the creation of the Susquehanna Senior Bass League. A fishing league created for those 55 years and older, using our home waters of the Susquehanna between the Market Street Dam and the Jersey Shore Bridge as the designated fishing area.

The league launch point is the Antlers Club, and the time and dates for fishing are Tuesdays beginning June 19th between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., the season will run five weeks ending in July.

I spoke with Pat and Stosh Wisniewski about the league, and it sounds like a lot of fun at a reasonable cost. Their idea is to get out and have fun fishing, throw in a little competition, and at the end of the day have plenty of smiles and stories to go around. If you are interested, please reach out to Pat 570-971-4435 or Stosh 570-337-2678. I’ll let them cover all the information with you. PA boat and Fish Commission rules must be followed at all times.

Switching my thoughts from fishing to hunting, do you remember Abby Heatley winner of the Webb Weekly Monster Buck contest? Her father Bryan emailed Ron Mingle — my Senior Sales Executive, overseer of the Monster Buck Contest and all around good guy — about Abby having continued success. I should also mention Ron and his daughters were very instrumental in the MS Walk. Ron’s wife Stephanie is also fighting the disease as well as their nephew.

The Heatley family is one hunting bunch. The good news about Abby is that she had some great spring gobbler success. The Tom Turkey she harvested weighed in at 24 lb., with an over 10-inch beard and 7/8-inch spurs. Way to keep it rolling Abby!

Moving from turkey hunting to bird watching, or maybe they are one in the same? Please take the time to see what’s flying around your neighborhood. I cannot believe the number of cardinals, orioles, bluebirds, and just different bird species, in general, I’ve seen this year. I don’t know if it’s late arriving warm weather that has produced more bugs, or the fact they’re just happy it’s finally warm, but there seems to be a plethora of our fine feathered friends. It could also be I’m finally wearing my glasses.

Please, no matter what you’re doing in the outdoors pick up after yourself. Do not leave anything behind for the next person. However, if you are that next person, and somebody has left trash, please pick it up and throw it away. Nothing is more upsetting to me than when I have time to spend on Loyalsock Creek and its beauty is marred by ignorance. Thank you.

Oh, I almost forgot, the Montoursville/Loyalsock Bridge Project is moving right along. It was great to hear from so many of you about the new paint scheme I discussed last week. You may want to read the final paragraph of that portion of the story. I may have been spoofing you a little bit.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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