- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2002

The new owners of Johnson and Evinrude outboard motors, Bombardier Recreational Products, aren't wasting any time letting the fishing world know how two of their bass-fishing "Team Evinrude" members, Denny Brauer and Davy Hite, are whipping up on the competition. Not only that, one local Johnson/Evinrude dealer says the improvements in the Bombardier-produced outboards can be noticed immediately.
Meanwhile, Missourian Brauer, who's been a loyal Evinrude pro staff member for 15 years including those when the now-bankrupt Outboard Motor Corporation (OMC) owned the two world-famous motor brands, has won every major honor in competitive fishing. He's worn the crown of BASS Masters Classic world champion, won the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society Angler of the Year title, had 13 tour victories, and qualified an incredible 17 times among an exclusive contingent of contenders for the annual world bass fishing title. Most recently, he won the three-day Citgo Bassmaster Tour event on Lake Eufaula, weighing in nearly 56 pounds of bass for a $110,000 winner's check.
South Carolinian Hite, who won the BASS Masters Classic in 1999, also captured this year's BASS Angler of the Year title his second in five years. The title is given to the fisherman who competes in a required number of events, earning points for top finishes. For the 2002 tournament season, Hite had 717 points, outdistancing the nearest competitor by 45 points.
Another Team Evinrude member, Larry Nixon, won the BASS Masters Classic in 1983, and Nixon again will compete in the upcoming BASS Masters Classic on Lay Lake, near Birmingham, Ala., from July 25 to 27. All three of these bass-fishing superstars give much credit to their outboard motors as concerns being able to run anywhere they wish on the competition waters without experiencing problems.
Is there something so special about Evinrude and Johnson motors that they need a mention in a newspaper column? No. There are other outboard motors that function wonderfully well. In fact, my own outboard bears the Yamaha logo. But what needs to be said to the tens of thousands of outboard owners who have a Johnson or Evinrude or might be planning to purchase a new model is that you couldn't find a better-made motor right now.
Francis Guy, one of the owners of Guy Brothers Marine, in Clements, Md., says one U.S. government agency that uses patrol boats which the Guy Brothers rig, had them remove a certain brand of 4-cycle outboard motors and install two new Johnson outboards. Said Guy, "Even though there was nothing wrong with the other motors, they weren't happy with their ability to reach top speeds. Now they're all smiles. They love the more powerful Johnsons."
Guy also points out that since the Canadian Bombardier, Inc. took over the old OMC outfit, tougher-than-ever quality control programs have been put into effect and, on an industry-wide basis, the Bombardier-produced outboards already enjoy a national reputation for more trouble-free motoring than ever before.
Incidentally, Bombardier Recreational Products also builds Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Bombardier ATVs, Sea-Doo personal watercraft and sport boats, as well as the Fish Hawk boat. On the Evinrude outboards, it uses the German-developed Ficht fuel injection technology. Bombardier also is a leading manufacturer of executive jets, regional aircraft and rail transportation equipment.
State record thresher shark A 2743/4-pound thresher shark caught on May 29 by Jim Bishop of Elliott City, Md., has been certified as a state record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, a state-sponsored, year-long, open-to-all contest for dozens of species.
Bishop caught his fish off Chincoteague in 30 fathoms of water. The thresher attacked a whole squid that was lowered into a drifting chum-slick. Bishop, who was aboard captain Ray Twiford's charter vessel "October Moon," was entered in the Captain Bob's Marina Sweet Revenge Mako Shark Tournament when he caught the huge thresher. Unfortunately, the fish was not eligible for tournament prizes in this event because only makos were eligible.
Bishop's thresher measured 82 inches in length from the tip of its nose to the fork of its tail. Thresher sharks are easily identified because of their unusually tall tail fin. Bishop's shark's tail measured an amazing 6 feet high. The length of the top portion of thresher sharks' tails, which often can be seen slashing the surface of the water, give rise to their name and many nicknames, such as Whiptail or Thrasher.
The old Virginia thresher record, a 115-pounder, was caught off the Virginia Beach coast in 1980 by Tommy Hall of Virginia Beach.
For details about the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, contact Claude Bain, VSFT, 968 S. Oriole Drive, Virginia Beach, Va. 23451, phone 757/491-5160, or mrcs[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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