Gene Chague | Berkshire Woods and Waters: Locals Brave Time, Leave Onota with a Story to Tell | Local sports
Michael Fabrizio, singer / songwriter from Nashville and son of Dr Michael Fabrizio, a respected local pediatrician, sent us a fish story. We’ll let him tell you in his own words:
“This morning, July 2, 2021, my dad and I, and our neighbor Peter Rando, went ahead with a last minute fishing trip on Lake Onota. We booked a pontoon at Onota Livery the day before despite the risk of rain and got out at 6.30am. Livery owner Rick Wendling couldn’t believe we showed up. The rain was spat and we were doubting to get out on the water, but since there were no thunderstorms in the forecast, we figured we would face a little rain, dress warm, pack the essentials and see. what the morning would bring us. We’ve all wanted to get something great out of Lake Onota forever. Peter and I had fished the lake when we were kids and my dad and grandfather had fished the lake with me for over 30 years. We’ve been more focused, however, the last three summers since I came back from Nashville with my family for a month to enjoy a taste of summer at home.
“We weren’t on the water for more than 30 minutes when I heard Peter shout from the back of the boat,“ Get fishing! ”I rolled in my line and rushed to retrieve my phone ( in its waterproof case) to capture whatever was about to happen. Peter handed the cane to my dad to wind it up and grabbed a long-handled net. The next five minutes were so intense it’s hard to describe. We knew we had a bass and we knew it was fat. Peter was using a 10 pound test line on a sturdy midweight rod and it was being tested all the time. Peter pulled out his net and pulled the fish into the boat.
“My dad landed a smallmouth bass that was about 7 to 9 pounds. Incredible colorings and simply the natural beauty of a fish. We were all stunned like three kids who just caught their first fish. We did our photoshoot with a blurry camera lens (due to the waterproof case I had). We also shot a video that captures the emotion of the moment. We really wanted to weigh and measure, but the time the bass had been out of the water was dangerously close to death. The last thing we wanted to do was let a creature that had grown this big and lived so long die because of our need to document it. When we put it back in the water it was moving very slowly and slowly and we were nervous. I walked over to him, grabbed his tail and rocked him back and forth allowing water to quickly pass through his gills and within seconds he took off with a few strokes of his mighty tail. in the depths.
[Incidentally, they caught that fish on a purple artificial worm.]
“We were young again. We were free. We had conquered the invincible Lake Onota. To finish!
“However, we didn’t realize what we had. When we got back to the wharf, we asked Rick at Livery what the state record for smallmouth was. He wasn’t sure. His son Drew came out and looked at the photo and said it was the biggest smallmouth bass we have seen! That’s a lot from a family that sees fishermen day after day all year round, year after year. On the way back I looked for the official records and the world record is 11 pounds, 15 ounces. The Massachusetts state record is 8 pounds 2 ounces captured 30 years ago in the Wachusett Reservoir. We will never know if we have broken a record. But, overall, the persistence on a dark, rainy, wet and cold morning turned out to be one of the most exciting fishing stories I will be able to pass on to my children.
It was definitely a huge smallmouth bass, it’s undeniable, even though the photo was taken through a waterproof case and came out cloudy. You don’t see the faces of the lucky fishermen, but the main attraction, the bass, is doing quite well. Estimated to be over 22 inches long, this fish would easily have qualified for a MassWildlife Bronze Pin in the Catch-and-Keep or Catch-and-Release categories, possibly a gold pin. In recent years, little mouths in the 4 to 5 pound weight class have won the gold pin.
However; The regulations of the MassWildlife Freshwater Fishing Program clearly state that to be eligible, a fish caught and released must be measured at the capture site, photographed against a standard measuring device, and then immediately released. A close-up, side view, clear photograph of the fish against a flat, clearly labeled measuring device must be attached to all affidavits. The photo should include the whole fish and the measurement should be clearly discernible. A total length measurement will be used and all fish measurements will be rounded to the nearest quarter inch.
The fishermen have no remorse for letting this fish go and not having picked up a pin. They are glad that bass are probably still swimming in Lake Onota today. Who knows, without precise measurements, that fish can get a little bigger each time they tell the story.
Ashmere Boat Parade
During this time, on another local lake, there were different events. The 4th of July boat parade on Lake Ashmere in Hinsdale. The day started out a bit rough, cloudy and rainy, but by the time the parade started the weather turned fine. About fifteen boats, mostly pontoons all adorned with red, white and blue flags and pennants, took part this year. The parade traveled to most of the coves with boaters honking their horns, playing patriotic music and greeting everyone who had gathered along the shore. Of course, parade watchers raised, applauded and also raised their own flags. “Happy Fourth of July” could be heard all over the lake. It was nice.
Antlerless deer permit applications
If you want to hunt antlerless deer this fall, you need an antlerless deer permit. If you apply for a permit before the July 16 deadline, then you should check after August 1 to see if you have been granted the opportunity to purchase the permit. Hunters can apply online using MassFishHunt on a computer or smartphone. You need a valid hunting or sport license to apply for an antlerless deer license. There is no charge to apply; a $ 5 fee is only charged if you obtain a permit during the instant award period.
The instant allocation period begins August 1 at 8 a.m. and ends December 31. Your chances of getting a permit are the same regardless of when you check the status of your permit. You can check the status of your license through MassFishHunt.
Learn more about antlerless deer permits, including how to apply for and authorize zone allocations by clicking “Apply for Antlerless Deer Permit” on Mass.gov.
Good news for turtles
Recently, Eversource workers organized a Turtle-Palooza to teach others how to protect wildlife. The Turtle Protection Program is designed to train Energy Company crews to locate and protect endangered turtles. Denise Bartone, Licensing and Permitting Officer at Eversource Energy, explained that “these turtles are a state listed endangered species, so we are working with the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to make sure that we always protect the species while providing reliable services to our customers. “
This initiative is part of their work with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife under the Natural Heritage Program.