Boy and His Dog - Norman Rockwell Press release and member announcement for
The Southwest Florida Young Anglers’ Society

Members and Friends,

The Southwest Florida Young Anglers' Society members who attended the August trip to The International Game Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum & Bass Pro Shops were astounded by all there was to do.

One could muse the IGFA Hall of Fame & Museum for hours setting on any of several interactive attractions. There is a computer a game that tests your 'Fish Friendliness' and another that plays clips from old movie archives of famous people fishing. One can watch a very interesting and beautifully done documentary type movie on an off-shore Blue Marlin fishing excursion. One can walk the boardwalk outside on the grounds. It is a replica of a native Florida Swamp. There one sees many native and non-native fish, reptiles, and birds. There are also otters and other animals native to a Florida Swamp. You can also feed the fish there.

However, the attraction that commanded the most attention was the virtual fishing. Five different fishing stations are set together in a room. Each station is equipped with mock-up bow or stern of a boat & the equipment (rod, reel, tackle box, seat, etc.) to target a particular species of fish. The stations were: Bass, Tarpon, Snook, Trout, & Marlin. The stages were set like real scenes and the fishing poles were rigged with the right reel and line for the target species. Each line was secured to a computer controlled machine behind the wall the angler was facing. Once started, the computer powered a video monitor and line tensioner that was able to simulate the casting, strike and fight of the fish the angler chose to 'catch' while a video depicting the fishing activity was played. The computer also keeps track of line tension, missed strike, lost hookset, etc. so sometimes an angler can lose the fish.(Note: The Marlin hits HARD. It almost pulled the pole out of my hand......lol)

Next door, at Bass Pro Shop we ate lunch in the restaurant, marveled at all the HUGE aquariums with very large and various fish. We played the virtual and mechanical 'shooting range' in the back downstairs, but did not go to the real shooting range upstairs. There was a lot of camping, hunting, shooting, archery,and fishing equipment. There was also a great array of boats. There is a really neat area dedicated to fly fishing where you can make your own flies right there. They also of course have lots of outdoor wear. It was an exhaustive trip, but one well worth it!

Please, read the "Flash News" and respond ASAP.  Our next meeting in October 2004, will be announced.

See ya'll there!

Visit our web site at by-the-sea.org and click on the "SWFYAS" icon.

The September meeting is cancelled due to the ongoing hurricane conditions. 

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Some of Our Young Anglers

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