- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2002

You have to hand it to innovative charter fishing captain Ferrell McLain, who runs Bayfish Sport Fishing Charters in Reedville in Virginia's historic Northern Neck country. McLain, fully aware that entrepreneurship is required to survive in the rough-and-tumble world of charterboat fishing, has announced a "Surf and Turf" deal for the upcoming fishing and golfing season.
Golfing season? Doesn't the good captain know that golf is anathema to many sport anglers? Apparently, he can't be swayed. McLain says, "Our special includes a day of golf, including practice balls and a cart, at one of the Northern Neck's great courses and a full day of fishing fun on the Chesapeake Bay."
To our knowledge that has never been done before by a Chesapeake captain, so McLain might have something there. His $159 a person package deal also includes lodging at a local hotel and discount coupons for tasty treats at a local restaurant, but it applies only if at least a foursome goes for the whole enchilada.
Incidentally, McLain's portion of the Northern Neck where you'll be fishing and whacking craters into somebody's manicured fairways is about 90 miles from Washington. The Northern Neck is abutted by the Chesapeake Bay, as well as the Potomac and the Rappahannock rivers, so super successful fish outings are common. McLain will work with fellow captains to accommodate folks who will go for the "Surf and Turf" fish-and-golf deal.
Says McLain, "Fish are abundant throughout the season. We target striped bass, sea trout and croakers. In the summer we also chase after bluefish and Spanish mackerel. In the fall we have another season on striped bass."
The golfing is fine at Quinton Oaks Golf Course in Callao, Va., where you don't have to wait for tee times or major course delays. Incidentally, Quinton Oaks also offers added attractions. For example, when was the last time you visited your golf course and found a flock of turkeys nesting behind the third tee box?
Interested? Contact McLain and ask about the "Surf and Turf" package at 888/229-3474 or www.bayfish.net.
If you're wondering why the Northern Neck's fishing captains have to do something to lure customers, consider that the lower Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay parts of Southern Maryland receive the bulk of the trade as newcomers to our area look to St. Mary's County, Md., charter operators. Across the river in Virginia a superbly qualified bunch of captains hopes to get more business.
A fearless Canadian How about a big American salute for Manitoba farmer Brian Buckley, who really riled Canada's "Big Brother" gun registration bureaucracy. During the current drive to register every firearm (or lose it altogether), Buckley asked for and received forms to register his guns, so he filled out papers for his Black & Decker heat gun and his Weller soldering gun.
By bureaucratic standards, the response from the government was amazingly prompt. Within weeks, Buckley received notice that his shop hardware "guns" had been duly registered in a national database. (Canada apparently believes it can protect its citizens from weapons-toting criminals by forcing the law-abiding people to register their firearms.)
Sadly, when someone in Ottawa discovered Buckley's tongue-in-cheek registration, the government threatened to prosecute him. He was informed that he could spend up to five years in jail for providing false information on a registration certificate.
Migratory bird celebration Virginia's Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will play host to the 8th International Migratory Bird Celebration, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., under the big tent adjacent to the Assateague Lighthouse. Refuge manager John Schroer says, "Come and participate in a variety of activities during the day including bird walks, lighthouse tours, face painting and tattoos." You'll also learn about animal tracks, learn how to make pine cone bird feeders, do a sand painting and possibly visit an art show featuring local wildlife artists and decoy carvers. A planned 5K Fun/Run Walk, however, will be postponed because of construction of a new administrative center.
For more information, contact the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 62, Chincoteague, Va., 23336, 757/336-6122.
Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday, and his Fishing Report every Friday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]

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