Fishing’s leaky bucket and more outdoor news

Posted on: February 10, 2020 | Bob Frye | Comments

Take a quick look around the outdoors world with a tip, a fishing lure and more

Tip of the week

Interest in recreational shooting is on the increase across America, with many of the newcomers – younger ones in particular – focused on handguns. But which one to buy? Walk into any gun shop and the options can seem endless, even endlessly confusing. The answer is to try before you buy. Car dealers, after all, let people take test drives. Similarly, many indoor shooting ranges rent handguns for use in their facilities. Visitors can try different models to see which ones best fit their hands, which calibers they are comfortable with, what sights work best for them and more. A test shoot, as it might be called, can answer a lot of questions in a hurry and keep you from plopping down hundreds of dollars on a firearm you ultimately don’t feel comfortable with.

Lure of the week

Lure name: Verninator Stinger

Company: Ohio Pro Lure Inc. (

Fishing has a leaky bucket.

Verminator Stinger

Lure type: Soft plastic

Sizes and colors: Available in a 4-inch model in dozens of colors, including blue flash, chartreuse pepper, Junebug, molten craw, sapphire, orange crush, watermelon red, sprayed grass and mean money.

Target species: Largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Technique: Perhaps best known in Ohio – it’s sold at sport shows through the Buckeye State — the Verminator Stinger is a soft plastic trailer that can be fished in a multitude of ways. They can be fished on a flipping jig, weightless or in combination with a spinnerbait trailer, a presentation that allows them to be fished slowly through weeds. Each is infused with garlic and ribbed to give off maximum vibration. They come with six legs, which can be left as is or clipped off in any number to give it a slightly different action. Angles can likewise split the tail to mix things up.

Sugg. retail price: $4.99 to $6.99 per 10.

Notable: Since last year, these are available with “firetips.” Those are a version of the lure where the inside of the tail – the flat part between the outer edges – is a different, contrasting color. They’re said to not only present fish something different, but work well in off-colored water especially.

Outdoors oddity of the week

They call it “the leaky bucket.”

It refers to fishing’s tendency to lose anglers – men and women, rich and poor, white and otherwise – each and every year.

That doesn’t mean fewer people are fishing. In fact, just the opposite is true.

Participation in 2018 rose for the 11th straight year, according to research done for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. Roughly 49.4 million Americans – more than 16 percent of the total population – cast a line, more than any time since 2007.

Some of the largest growth came among women and Hispanics.

But veteran anglers left the sport almost as fast as newcomers came on board.

The report says fishing gained 9.4 million people in 2018. But it lost 9.1 million.

That “churn,” as it’s also known, was most pronounced in what the report defines as the South Atlantic region of the country, which stretches from Maryland to Florida. It was least evident in the New England region.

So what causes people to quit fishing?

That decision isn’t tied to gender, age, income and education. The report found people left the sport in relatively equal numbers in each category.

Rather, urbanization seems a problem.

When asked why they stopped fishing, 33.3 percent of people said they had limited access to waterways. An equal amount said their waterways were just too far away.

Only one other answer – that they prefer other outdoor activities – was as common.


Check this out, too: Float tube fishing for channel cats and other species

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Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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