- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2007

BoatU.S., an organization that over the years has been concerned mainly with saltwater boaters of every stripe, now has come up with an idea worthy of a second look: a customized service program for freshwater boaters.

Imagine being stuck on the side of an out-of-the-way road, out on an open freshwater lake or river or perhaps on a slippery boat launch ramp with your tow vehicle’s tires spinning and there’s no one around to help.

For an introductory price of $12.50 a year, BoatU.S. and its ANGLER program pays up to $150 a roadside incident or breakdown, including flat tire assistance, fuel delivery, lock-out service, jump-starts and ramp winching service as well as on-the-water tows, jumpstarts and fuel delivery.

“With our new BoatU.S. ANGLER membership, the only thing [freshwater] anglers have to worry about is finding fish,” said Mike Pellerin, director of the new program. “This is the first comprehensive 24/7 assistance program that covers both the tow vehicle and boat trailer when they’re broken down on the side of the road as well as your boat on the water.”

Pellerin is right. Most auto clubs cover only the tow vehicle, not the boat. So if you get a tow, your boat and all of its gear is left by the side of the road unattended.

You might want to look into this program. Incidentally, the freshwater tow-and-help deal only is for boats up to 26 feet in length.

For more information on the BoatU.S. ANGLER program, call 866/906-0013 or log on to BoatUSAngler.com.

It’s wild turkey time — Various local spring turkey hunting seasons are under way or soon will be. In Virginia the bearded-bird-only season is now open.

It will continue through May 5, with shooting hours from 30 minutes before sunrise until noon; from May 7 through May 19 the shooting hours change from one half hour before sunrise until sunset. Bag limits depend on your success last fall. If you shot a turkey last autumn, you may be able to get only one more this spring. Check your regulations booklet for limits.

In Maryland, the spring turkey season for bearded birds only begins today and continues through May 23. Bag limits also depend on what you did last fall. Shooting hours are from one half hour before sunrise until noon. New this year in Maryland is a prohibition of electronic or battery powered decoys.

Pure Fishing acquired by Jarden — The Jarden Company’s Outdoor Solutions division has acquired the largest fishing tackle company in the land, Pure Fishing of Spirit Lake, Iowa.

Pure Fishing is an internationally renowned provider of tackle, lures, lines, rods and reels that were marketed under famous brand names like Abu Garcia, Berkley, Mitchell, Trilene, Stren, Power Bait and Gulp. In 2006, Pure Fishing had revenues in excess of $250 million. Detailed terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the purchase price consisted of $300 million in cash; a $100 million, five-year note with a 2 percent coupon; and warrants exercisable into Jarden common stock with a strike price of $45.32.

The Pure Fishing acquisition is part of Jarden’s strategy that includes the purchase of consumer-oriented brands with attractive cash flows and strong management. Pure Fishing will be joining the Coleman Company Inc. in the Jarden Outdoor Solutions lineup. Coleman is known world-wide for its camping equipment.

Celebrity shad angling — As hordes of hickory and white shad move upstream in the Potomac to go through their annual spawning paces, some members of Congress, state and federal agency officials, conservation groups and fishing industry representatives will gather April 30 at Fletcher’s Cove in Georgetown to cast a line and learn more about the need to protect fish habitat across the nation. By now you would think all of them already know what is needed to help the fish.

• Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report every Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]

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