The Bronzeback Blowout

The Illinois smallmouth Alliance’s annual banquet, The Bronzeback Blowout, was held last Saturday. My streak of not winning any raffle prizes remains intact-I was skunked again-but I enjoyed the party none-the-less.

Catching up with old friends and acquaintances was great fun. Pete Plauck, an extraordinary fisherman, was recognized as an original member of the organization on its 20th anniversary. He looks like he was about 14 years old when the ISA was created.

Ed Buric was making fishing plans for spring that include me. Thanks Ed. Somebody needs to be thinking ahead.

The featured speaker was someone I’ve known for about 15 years, Dan Basore. I know Dan as one of the most persistent collectors of old fishing lures, and one of the most knowledgeable. He has a huge collection that he displays at outdoor shows around the country. For the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club, or NFLCC, Dan runs the honorary member program. His goal is to recognize lure making innovators and pioneers while they are still around to enjoy the recognition.

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But, Dan’s program at the Blowout was not about old fishing lures. I learned that he was around at the beginning of the bass fishing tournament  trail, hanging out with and competing against all the biggest names in fishing. Dan’s program was called “My Life in Fishing” and concluded with, “Fishing is not just what I do, it is who I am.” The program was interesting; a nice mix of self-disclosure, war stories, and information.

As always, the Blowout has me longing for spring, anxious to get out on a lake or river somewhere. It is going to be 50 degrees this week. April can’t be far away, can it?

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