Tributes


lots of luck

I’ve been lucky in life. I was able to follow my dreams to work in advertising, have a terrific family, travel, and pursue many interests (especially bass fishing). Once newly semi-retired, I was hired as a part-time Professor at Farmingdale College where I now teach Advertising and Marketing courses to graduating seniors.

One course I teach is “Ad Agency.” It allows me to bring in Non-Profit organizations allowing students to get “real world, hands on experience” with clients and their products and/or services.

Lucky for “us,” Long Island Bassmasters is a Non-Profit and in need of a Website redesign. Lucky again, that they asked me (a member of LIB) to take on the project and luckier even still that I had three very talented students who were up for the task; Danica Killelea, Damian Martinez, Brendan Millerick.

After meeting with Bassmasters; Jay Stiklickas and Dave Cangro, who came to the college and gave input and direction, the designers went to work. Three designs were presented to the LIB Board, and after a lot of deliberation, Danica Killelea’s creative design was selected. The three designers then formed a team and proceeded o create and built our LIB Website.

If I’m not mistaken only Brendan had ever seen or held a largemouth bass, but it didn’t matter, the three students jumped in with all “six feet.” The club members tell me that they loved the results, and since fishermen don’t lie (LOL), it seemed it was a great experience all around.

From all the members of LIB, we send out a BUG THANK YOU to Danica, Damian, and Brendan. And by the way, these three excellent design students all received A’s, and graduated a few weeks ago. Now let’s hope they get “lucky” and land great jobs. I’m betting/hoping they will…they sure “hooked” us.

-Chris Nehlen

Serendipity

by Chris Nehlen

In late summer of 2009, as I stood in line at Dicks Sporting Goods (with a dozen golf balls in my hand), I notice that the gentleman in front of me was holding
a white spinnerbait. Being an old Ohio boy, and a freshwater fisherman most of my life, I couldn’t help but strike up a conversation with him. I’d fished a few little ponds on Long Island when I first moved here in the early 80’s, but I hadn’t wet a line in sweet water for many years.

Mitch is his name. And as it turned out, not only is he a really great guy, he is also a long- standing member of the Long Island Bassmasters. I’d never heard of the club before that day, but Mitch invited me to the next club meeting, and even offered to take me fishing if I was so inclined.

Long story short, I went to the meeting. Mitch introduced me to all of the members and I was hooked. Thanks to Mitch a few weeks later I was invited to fish in
a club tournament on Forge Pond in Calverton with one of the clubs best anglers, Robin C. There I was with old rods, out of date fishing line, and a tackle box most kids would be embarrassed to carry. But Robin treated me as if I’d been in the club for years. I only caught a 2 lb bass that day, but I was in heaven. And on top of that, all of the guys congratulated me like I’d won the tournament. That’s just the caliber of men you’ll find in our club.

Well it’s been over two years now, and I’ve made a lot of great friends. I’ve been fishing on average 30-40 days each year, including 10 club tournaments, and a few other events. Early spring through late fall, Mitch and I fish weekly either on Long Island or Connecticut lakes. Robin, who is also a great saltwater fisherman and Captain/guide, has taken me on some great adventures as well. Since joining, I’ve been able to fish with nearly all of the great fishermen in our club. They graciously taught me about all of the “stuff” a good angler must know. I’m a very happy member.

I wrote this little tribute for two reasons. One was to thank Mitch, Robin, and all of the guys in the club. But secondly, for those of you that found our Website,
I want you to know that Long Island Bassmasters is a great club. Whether you have a small boat with an electric motor, a $50,000 bass boat, or no boat like me—you’re welcome. You can join the club and just fish for fun with members, become a tournament fisherman, or both as I have. We have a ton of fun, fish great lakes and ponds, and catch some amazing fish. There will always be an open seat on someone’s boat—or someone looking for an open seat on yours.

My sincere thanks to the club members for many seasons of great fishing, and my best wishes to future club members to come aboard.

Chris Nehlen


Where did you go, Joe Moe?

by Steve Socko

Where is that man with the perpetual smile greeting everyone at the meetings? The booming voice and infectious laugh we could all hear across the water.
The leader, who would lead people to their own unexpected heights, who would show by example and by deeds?
Mr. LIB so adequately describes him, for it is through his greatness more than anyone else, that our Club has endured and continues to be the leader of all things good in the sport of bass fishing The paradox is that he could be as ferocious as Rambo when fighting for what he believed to be in the best interest of the Club, but yet as kind and compassionate as Mother Theresa to friend or foe alike. Foe, did Joe Moe ever have a foe? Perhaps for a minute or two, but when someone would have a chance to speak to the man, and although they may not always agree, they would certainly walk away with respect for him I’ll tell you one place that Joe did not go, out of my heart, my mind and soul Joe made me a better human being, and I will always strive to choose the right way no matter how hard it may be, no matter what the obstacles’ or personal price may befall upon me, It will always come back to the question, “Would Joe Moe Approve” and if the answer were yes, I can rest assured that I did the right thing and that is solace to me Where did you go, Joe Moe; nowhere, you are still with me and all who were fortunate to call you a friend. Say hello to Pete, Pat and Wally for me

PS. How’s the fishing up there?


Through my Tournament Season Life

by Steve Socko

Through my tournament season life, I have been fortunate to fish with over 40 Long Island Bassmasters; counting New York and New Jersey Federation events, the number increases to over 50 men and women of which I have spent the day on the water with, mostly from the back of their boats. I have learned something from every one of them, overwhelmingly with positive results. A few however
have taught by example of what not to do.

The very first tournament I fished was an LIB event at Blydenburgh Lake, with the President and already a fishing legend, Pat (Spike) McNamara. I met him
at the lake in the wee hours of the morning, and it soon resembled a covert operation than a fishing tournament. He took me and his equipment away from the other guys putting their boats in the water and up the road to an opening in the brush. Here we put his Jon boat in and packed it with our equipment. At the time, my equipment was little more than some cheap open faced reels and no name rods. I’m glad I left my Zebco 202 reel at home, even though a member
of the club does exceptionally well with such equipment. Having packed the boat and putting away the vehicle we slowly, stealthily joined the other contestants, or should I say combatants.

Pat was an intense individual, some would say his way of running the club was a bit dictatorial, but it worked and he was one of the best Presidents the club has ever had. On the water he was even more intense or should I say focused, almost frightening. Certainly to a newbie as myself who never imagined what
it really is like to be on the water with someone whose sole obsession is to catch a fish; not talk, look at the birds or fauna, or enjoy the day, but catch a fish,
get it in the boat and cast again for another one. The idea of “catching” a fish took on a whole new definition; it no longer meant hooking and seeing the fish,
it meant getting it in the boat as fast as you can, no more dilly dallying and “tiring” the fish into submission, no more enjoying the “fight”, get it in, measure it (because if it wasn’t the obligatory length requirement” it didn’t count, and cast again, like a machine, not a human being.

It sure didn’t seem as fun as it looked like it was on TV; thank God I caught some fish, or is that hooked some. At the time, Blydenburgh was notorious for a really big fish like the eight pounder washed up on shore, or more likely the 11-1/2 – 11-3/4 inch fish on a 12” limit. Being new to the sport of bass fishing, heck just the concept of targeting one specific species was foreign to me, I had very little equipment designed for just such the task. I was from a finesse type of background, so I did have some plastic worms, no jigs, nor crankbaits, but when Pat said we would through spinnerbaits, I knew about them and felt confident.

At the time we would have two weigh-ins, fish four hours, weigh your catch, keep one in the live-well if you had it, and go out for another four hours and try to
fill your five fish limit. In the morning section, I caught 10 “Blydenburgh” fish, which of course were too small to count. For the second half, Pat introduced me
to my very first lesson of a new bass fishing technique of using a tube; I think we used to call them gitzits at the time. I never achieved the skill that Pat possessed with these lures, but I did get another ten “Blydenburgh” fish in the afternoon. Pat would say that he “could feel the wake” of the bass as it was opening his mouth just before he inhaled the bait. I know I still do not have that kind of extreme sensitivity in using plastics, but somehow I believe Pat did. Because, between my swinging hooks just past his ear, and as Pat said “you talk allot” of which in my nervousness I did, he still won first place that day.
I on the other hand, had an amateur limit of twenty non-counting short bass.

 Mentally, I was ill prepared for tournament fishing, physically as well, preparation ally I lacked the resources and knowledge to fish with the big boys, and I’m sure I had that classic, deer in the headlights look at the end of the day, but for some reason, I liked it. Maybe it was the challenge of something new in my life;
I was at the time getting a little tired of the scuba diving thing and needed something new. Maybe, I just got my a$$handed to me and knew I could do better, whatever the reason, I came back for more and I’m so glad I did. Because if that was my first and what could have been my last day on the water as an LIB member, I would have never known any of you guys, how considerate you all are, how your devotion to conservation and the environment supersedes mere fishing excursions, how the true meaning of being a Long Island Bassmaster is in what we give back to the community and environment and to expand one’s knowledge of the great sport of bass fishing and all things outdoors.

Thank you all, Steve

 

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