- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Take a hard look at the just-released Bass Pro Shops Hunting & Fishing Directory and you'll quickly realize that somebody either was too lazy to do a thorough job, or those who appear in the state-by-state, country-by-country listings paid for the privilege even though a blurb on the book's jacket denies it.
The Hunting & Fishing Directory, compiled and edited by Marv Fremerman (Derrydale Press Publishers, Lanham, $18.95, from Bass Pro Shops, or www.derrydalepress.com), indeed provides extensive categories and listings of outfitters, hunting and fishing lodges and guides, so you'll have no trouble finding somebody who will take your money.
But the only barometer an outdoors writer has of judging the value of a directory that promises to deliver only ethical, professional operators, is to take a look under various categories that he's familiar with.
For example, should you want a hunting or fishing guide in Maryland, turn to page 38 and there is Captain Bo Toepfer's Saltwater Fly Fishing Guide Service, of Prince Frederick, Md. (Toepfer also guides waterfowl hunters.)
That's it. Not another one.
On the other hand, the Bass Pro Shops chain's home state, Missouri, has no fewer than 25 guide outfits listed. That means that Missouri is among the top recreational fishing/hunting paradises in the world and Maryland, the home of the saltwater fish-rich Chesapeake Bay and some of the finest bass rivers in the United States, simply doesn't make the grade. I'll wager this will not sit well with proud Marylanders who are asked to come and spend their bucks in the new, about-to-open Bass Pro Shops outlet in Anne Arundel County.
I'll further bet that our Potomac River bass guide groups, including the multi-guide Reel Bass Adventures and Ken Penrod's Life Outdoors Unlimited, aren't very happy about it either. Not only that, imagine how the Chesapeake's many super-talented fishing captains must feel when they see that only one made the book, a fly fisherman.
Wait, there's more.
What really hurts is the poor rundown of peacock bass outfitters in Brazil, something I am also familiar with.
Only two outfitters made the directory for what might be the finest freshwater big-game fishery in the world the Amazon's tributaries and their peacock bass populations. To be sure, the two that are listed, River Plate Anglers, of Brazil, and Amazon Tours, of Coppell, Texas, most likely are staffed with competent help, but if you leave out the likes of Ron Speed's Adventures, of Malakoff, Texas, you are doing a disservice to your readers. Speed runs a wonderfully efficient, productive operation and everybody from here to Manaus knows about it and its boss, Ron Speed Sr.
The same holds for Mexican bass fishing lakes and various outfitters. Speed was left out of the listings, too, even though he is well represented there.
To top it off, imagine the many wonderful waterfowl hunting outfits, trout lodges and saltwater or freshwater guides and captains to be found in Virginia. Not one Virginian was listed, but 25 outfitters and guides made it in Missouri.
Give me a break.
More than 50,000 apply for 30 Pa. elk licenses Elk hunting fever has gripped Pennsylvania. Some 50,700 people have applied for one of the 30 elk hunting licenses during an upcoming hunt in a relatively concentrated area of the state. Applications were received from every Pennsylvania county 67 in all plus every state in the Union with the exception of North Dakota and Hawaii. The latter is pretty impressive when you consider that only two non-residents will be granted an elk-hunting permit.
Pennsylvania's elk herd numbers around 700. With a 14-percent annual growth rate, the state's top elk biologist, Rawley Cogan, OK'd the limited hunt. Game officials will permit the removal of 15 antlered and 15 antlerless animals.
World record fish book available The International Game Fish Association's "2001 World Record Game Fishes" book is out and you can have a ball checking it out or going for a record. The IGFA is the only recognized keeper of world-wide fresh- and saltwater fish records. The IGFA book lists more than 850 species in all-tackle, line class and flyfishing categories. Included are illustrated articles, as well as new international angling rules for the establishment of freshwater, saltwater and flyfishing records.
The record book is part of the IGFA annual membership package that costs $35 a year (it also includes a bimonthly newsletter), but single copies of the book are available for $12.95, plus $2 shipping. Write: IGFA, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, Fla. 33004; phone 954/927-2628; e-mail IGFAHQ@aol.com.

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