- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2001

The Sept. 11 attack on New York's World Trade Center and our town's Pentagon obviously has affected the way people do business, even those who are engaged in the recreational hunting and fishing fields.

For example, members of the Safari Club International, who will fly almost anywhere for a memorable big or small game hunt, suddenly are faced with the possibility that they can't ship their cased rifles or shotguns to a hunting destination.

Jim Brown, the director of public relations for SCI, writes, "To help sportsmen stay abreast of [airline] changes including any that may create hardships relating to our legal freedom to transport the firearms we need in the cargo bays of passenger aircraft Safari Club International has created an on-line resource at www.safariclub.org."

Just click on the American flag at the bottom of the Web site's home page, or key in www.safariclub.org/travel/welcome.htm, and you will receive timely information from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation and the Air Traffic Control System Command Center.

You can also access warnings and notices from as many as 200 airlines and 100 airports in the U.S. and Canada (as well as 50 of the largest airports worldwide), to help you decide what's best for your itinerary whenever you plan on traveling with sporting firearms.

BASS cancels two tournaments Because of the sneak attack on U.S. targets the international Bass Anglers Sportsman Society canceled this week's New York CITGO Bassmaster Open fishing tournament in the town of Clayton, as well as the upcoming New York CITGO Bassmaster Tour event in Catskill. Makeup dates will be announced as soon as the Alabama-headquartered BASS can find future dates that do not conflict with the professional tour anglers' schedules.

Said reigning bass fishing champion, Kevin VanDam, of Kalamazoo, Mich., "Authorities are asking people to stay clear of the region. There's no question this was the right decision by BASS. Like all Americans, our thoughts are elsewhere right now. Our [anglers] travel great distances to these events and there is so much uncertainty because of this senseless tragedy."

Professional tournament angler, Brent Chapman, said "It's too soon to be fishing here or anywhere. The country is really shaken up and as important as sports are to our culture, they need to take a back seat at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and our president."

Next year's bass championship After recent BASS Masters Classic world championship events in New Orleans and Chicago, the 2002 BASS Masters Classic will return to Birmingham, Ala., July 25-27. The Birmingham area's Lake Logan-Martin last saw the Classic contenders go after its bass in 1997. It was won by Missouri's Dion Hibdon, who is the son of former world championship angler Guido Hibdon.

Incidentally, the BASS organization recently received the American Fisheries Society's Conservation Achievement Award.

"BASS is recognized for promoting the now widespread practice of catch-and-release fishing and competitive fishing," said the AFS president, Tim Hess. BASS also received the Society's commendation for its encouragement and support into critically important bass virus research. The virus has been a mysterious kill of bass in some parts of the U.S.

"Best Bass Tips" book is topnotch No one is better at writing about the intricacies of bass fishing than Steve Price, an award-winning author and photographer who specializes in outdoor recreation and travel. Price's latest book, "Best Bass Tips" ($16.95, Falcon Guide/Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, Conn., www.falcon.com) consists of 133 well-illustrated pages that take the serious recreational bass angler into the world of touring bass pros. Price passes along much inside knowledge on finding and hooking bass when common mortals can't.

For example, when retrieving artificial lures how many weekend anglers know not to set a hook until they can feel the fish's weight at the other end of the line. The tendency, of course, is to set the hook the moment a fish touches the lure, only to see it break off or not take it at all. Hundreds of other proven pro methods are in the book and you will most definitely benefit from all of them.

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