- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 3, 2002

It has begun. The dumbing-down of the TV weather report watchers has started. It happens every summer, and for a guy like me who spends more time outside than inside, it's a real hoot.
So get ready, fellow weather fans. Just a few days ago when the temperature climbed into the 90s, one of our stalwart meteorologists (I believe it was the lovely Alexandra Steele on Channel7) came up with some serious hot-weather advice for the unwashed masses. Steele, by the way, isn't alone in this. Every weather guru in town is doing it.
For example, I heard that when the mercury hovers in the mid-90s, it would be a grand idea to drink plenty of fluids. Wow. Did you know this? I sure am happy I learned that plenty of fluids are a good thing when it is hot enough to fry an egg on a cement sidewalk. Luckily, I heard it just in time because I was getting ready to fill a thermos with hot tomato soup before heading out onto a steamy hot Potomac River. How stupid of me. This weather lady saved the day with such solid advice.
Then one of the other weather ninnies (it probably was Bob Ryan, on Channel4) suggested that the wearing of light clothing is recommended when heat-struck sparrows fall from tree branches. Wow, once again.
I had no idea that a light shirt and pants would be helpful. Thank you, weather folks. Now I understand why I've been so hot while running around in my boat, looking for a few fish. For goodness sake, I've been wearing ear muffs, a wool hat, snowsuit and a woolen scarf around my neck. No wonder I was so exhausted every day, but my friendly weatherman said I ought to wear light clothing. That man probably saved my life.
Now I can't wait until winter because when it's 17 degrees outside these professional meteorologists most likely will tell me to wear warm clothes and drink hot liquids.
Thank you, weather people. We are complete idiots without you.
He loses rod but gets the fish
John Mark Shambarger, who works for the Clinton Walmart, writes, "I have a 16-foot runabout boat, and last week something happened that I've never experienced before. I was fishing in the back, holding one rod. The other rod was on the floor of the boat when it was suddenly pulled over the stern and into the water. I tried to grab it, but it was out of my reach. Maybe it was a miracle, but that rod started floating. I asked my buddy Phil to quickly start the motor and put it into reverse so I could reach it. I retrieved it, and the croaker that pulled the rod overboard was still on the hook. Whew! I was one happy fisherman."
Way to go, John Mark, but remember that this probably wouldn't happen if you mounted several rod holders along the boat's gunwales. You're a lucky angler, indeed.
Slots still open in big bass event
The Maryland Citgo Bassmaster Open, Aug.8-10, to be headquartered at Smallwood State Park on the Potomac River's Mattawoman Creek, still has a limited number of slots available for amateurs. Have you ever thought about fishing in the back of a professional's boat as an amateur participant? The entry fee for amateurs is $300, and there's a payout of $78,750 in cash and prizes for the people who'll be fishing behind one of the pros. The winner takes home a fully rigged $24,000 boat.
The field of 200 tour pros and 200 amateurs will fish the first two days of the competition, and then there'll be a cut with only the top 50 anglers in each category continuing on to the third and final day. For information or to register for the event, contact the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society's Tournament Department, 334/272-9530.
An American does well in Canada
On the heels of our story Sunday about Canada and its insidious campaign to register every gun in the land or confiscate it if necessary, we receive other, more welcome news. It concerns Phil Morlock, an American transplant who owns and operates the Hay Lake Lodge near Bancroft, Ontario. Morlock is active in Canadian fishing and conservation organizations, writes fishing columns for magazines and is one of the top men in Canada in spreading the word about the joys of using Shimano fishing tackle.
Now comes word that Outdoor Canada, one of Canada's most widely read outdoor magazines, has chosen Phil Morlock as one of 30 people "who have had the biggest impact on hunting, fishing and conservation in Canada since 1972." A 10-page article, the feature piece in the magazine's 30th Anniversary Special Edition, puts Morlock in the company of prime ministers and premiers, scientists and outdoor advocates. Morlock is the only "corporate" representative of the chosen group.
I have fished and hunted out of Hay Lake Lodge in years gone by, and a more deserving person for the honor could not be found. Meanwhile, if you're interested in fishing for bass in the beautiful Hay Lake or hunting bear and other game, send him an e-mail, [email protected]
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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