Thursday, April 27, 2023

Maine: Jerry Packard Receives Legendary Maine Guide Award

 Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Maine: Jerry Packard Receives Legendary Maine Guide Award

AUGUSTA, Maine – Jerry Packard, a longtime guide in the Sebec Lake region and the fourth-generation operator of Packard’s Camps, was presented with the Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award by Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Deputy Commissioner Tim Peabody at the Maine Professional Guides Association annual banquet in Brewer last week.

Packard, age 77 of Willimantic, received the honor in front of over 300 people, including family, friends and other guides. Packard is the 13tth guide to be honored with the award, which is named after the late Wiggie Robinson, a longtime Katahdin area guide who was synonymous with the Maine outdoors.

Packard received multiple nominations from a variety of people, including state senators, state representatives, retired inland fisheries and wildlife commissioners, game wardens, biologists, county sheriffs, neighbors and friends. Everyone mentioned his outstanding skills as a guide and woodsman, and all the nominations also echoed how it didn’t matter who he guided -- professional athletes, politicians, or young children -- Jerry treated everyone the same, and that was unequaled.

Jerry was the face of Packard’s camps on Sebec Lake, the fourth generation of his family to run the camps. Having grown up at the camps on Sebec, Jerry knew the woods and waters of the area like no other. He always was the person to go to whenever there was any kind of issue or emergency happening at the lake, and he was always willing to help whether it was on foot, by boat, by ATV or snowmobile, or even plane. One nominee talked about how on a moonless night and a search was underway, Jerry was able to drive a boat from one end of the lake to the other by watching the treeline against the sky, and knowing where he was by navigating the lake by peaks and valleys of the trees against the dark skyline.

Jerry also was unique in that he recognized the importance of being a guide, and the importance and tradition of the Maine Sporting Camps. He was a founding member of the Maine Sporting Camps Association, realizing that their future of these camps and the families that ran them depended on working together with other camps to market and preserve this unique way of life. He later became president of that group.

Along with guiding, Jerry was very active in his community having served as a town selectman, and chair of the school board. He also was on the board of directors for Mayo Hospital, and the Sebec Lake Association. He even found time to make sure that future guides had what it takes as an examiner on the MDIFW Guides Examiner board.

Jerry was a conservationist long before the term was ever utilized. He recognized the importance of protecting and preserving the Maine outdoors. He always allowed water access to Sebec Lake on a ramp that was owned by Packard’s Camps. He later sold the access site to the state so there would always be access at the western end of Sebec Lake. Jerry also made sure that access to Earley’s Falls was preserved, selling that spot to the state as well, ensuring that the public will always be able to go fishing and sightseeing at this site.

Jerry also was very willing to help the Department whenever he could. Before there were organized search and rescue teams, there was Jerry Packard, leading the way through darkness of the night with a Coleman Lantern, leading successful searches for lost hunters and hikers. He also was always providing valuable information to game wardens, and his camps provided invaluable biological data for fisheries. His Lobster Lake Camps also housed game wardens and fisheries biologists during many an ice fishing season, protecting and enhancing the Lobster Lake Fishery.

As his daughter Laura stated in one of the many nominations submitted for Jerry, “the entire state of Maine has benefitted from his lifetime legacy of generosity, commitment to resource conservation, ethics, public service and devotion to promoting sporting opportunities.” And she concluded with “He is a man who left every place he went better than when he found it.”

The Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award is presented annually. Candidates must have held an active guide’s license for a minimum of 20 consecutive years and worked actively as a guide for at least a cumulative total of 10 years. Ideal candidates are also community leaders, and active on boards or committees that enhance and promote the importance of Maine’s outdoor resources such as youth programs, scout leader, conservation education, safety instructor, search and rescue volunteer, fish and game clubs, guide license examiner, and others.

Past winners include: Gil Gilpatrick, Gary Corson, Gardner Defoe, Matthew P. Libby, Don Dudley, Danny Legere, Richard Scribner, Donald E. Helstrom, Jr, Lance Wheaton, Bonnie Holding, Carroll Ware, and Polly Mahoney. Source: Outdoor Wire

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Special Birding Program on 1-15-23

 Posted by Wayne G. Barber and Photo of 3,000 black Grackles by Wayne G. Barber

The Outdoor Scene radio program returns for it' s 13 season on 1380am, 99.9fm and 11 other outlets live. 

Feel free to e-mail us at 

Podcast to follow at

Tentatively scheduled for 9:10am      "The Bird Perch'

The Bird Perch"

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Fish Harvesting Could Return at Harwich’s Herring River

 Posted by Wayne G. Barber 

HARWICH – Harwich officials have approved a Sustainable Fishery Management plan for fish harvesting at Herring River. 

River herring harvest was banned in Harwich in 2004 out of concern for dwindling fish populations, with Massachusetts following suit with a sweeping statewide ban in 2006, says Brad Chase with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries.

“The state felt like it was their job to shut it down, and Harwich was proactive. Harwich said ‘okay we’re going to shut it down early’ and the state said they couldn’t do that. And then two years later we shut it down for everybody. So it’s a credit to the town of Harwich in terms of natural resource management,” said Chase.

The plan calls for no more than 600 permits total over a maximum of a 5 week season, as well as a 20 fish per week bag limit. 

Chase told the board that the change would make a big difference for those who like to fish but can’t afford a boat.

“People like to collect these fish to use for bait or to eat them. It’s a practice that has faded away in recent times, but if you go back a few generations it was really important. A lot of people use these fish.”

The proposal will next be examined by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in October. 

If Harwich gets approval, it can hold harvest seasons when it chooses. Source:  Grady Culhane

Monday, August 29, 2022

Przekurat Shuts Door on Bassmaster Elite Rookie of the Year Race

 Posted by Wayne G.Barber 

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Calm, cool and collected. That is the demeanor Jay Przekurat exudes on the Bassmaster Elite Series each day, whether he is hoisting his first Elite Series trophy or fighting to stay above the cut line.

That attitude is what helped Przekurat weather a midseason storm and ultimately win the 2022 Falcon Rods Bassmaster Rookie of the Year race.

By qualifying for Day 3 at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Mississippi River, the Stevens Point, Wis., pro clinched the coveted award — and the $10,000 prize that goes with it — outlasting a late charge from Missouri’s Cody Huff and Tennessee’s Jacob Foutz.

“This is a lifelong dream of mine to be standing here right now,” said Przekurat, who sits in 12th place in the final regular-season event. “Hats off to the other rookies who competed against me this year. They caught them all year long and I had to catch them. I had some tournaments where I struggled as well, and it just happened that I was fortunate enough to take this trophy.

“Everyone you look at that has won Rookie of the Year is still fishing on the Elite Series today. I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but I know right now life has been pretty good bass fishing so far.”

Entering the season as a 22-year-old, Przekurat’s number one goal was to win the ROY race. It just so happened he was able to clinch the title in front of a baseball stadium full of friends, family and supporters in his home state.

From watching his father Jason, a renowned walleye tournament angler, Przekurat learned quickly that a calmer, steady approach to tournaments would be the way for him to succeed. That ability to center himself and focus on the task at hand is what helped him navigate the two-tournament setback.

“I think it carries through when you are like that,” Przekurat said. “When it comes down to a fishing day, there’s so much stress that comes into it. There are so many things to be thinking about, but when you relax and don’t worry about those things, good things seem to happen.”

As an angler, Przekurat quickly learned that having an open mind would be the best way to navigate the grueling four-day derbies. But more than anything, he said winning this trophy gives him a new level of confidence and lets others know he is here to stay.

“This shows I can compete with these guys over nine tournaments on places that I have never been to in my first year. It is a confidence thing for me. Obviously, I am happy and this is awesome, but it gives me so much more confidence.”

With Rookie of the Year under his belt, Przekurat heads out for Day 3 of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite on the Upper Mississippi River in 12th place with 28-3, with just over a 3-pound deficit between him and first-place Chris Johnston with 31-14.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Christie conquers the Bassmaster Classic

by Wayne G. Barber 

GREENVILLE, S.C. — For years, Jason Christie has had to live with the crushing weight of leading pro fishing’s biggest event twice on the final day, only to fall short.

But no more. 

The 48-year-old pro from Park Hill, Okla., led once again going into Championship Sunday and this time sealed the deal in dramatic fashion with a final-day limit of 17 pounds, 9 ounces that made him the champion of the 52nd Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk at Lake Hartwell. His three-day total of 54-0 was only 5 ounces better than that of second-place finisher Kyle Welcher, who shared the lead with Christie going into the final day.

The event drew a Classic-record 154,932 fans.

“Honestly, when I was sitting at the door waiting to come in and weigh my fish, I thought I had given it away again,” said Christie, who pushed his career earnings with B.A.S.S. to $1,668,011 with the $300,000 victory. “Stetson Blaylock had just weighed in a big bag, and Kyle Welcher used to be a professional poker player, so I knew he had more than what he was saying. 

“I knew it was gonna be close. I honestly thought there could be a tie, and that was scary for me because I didn’t have any fish left.”

Christie certainly found plenty of fish throughout the week as he alternated between deep- and shallow-water patterns that were about as different as two techniques can be.

He caught half of his weight targeting bass on Garmin LiveScope in a 15- to 30-foot drain that he said held “hundreds of fish” the first two days. He used a spinning rod with a 3/16-ounce jighead and a prototype lure from Yum that only this week earned an official name, the FF Sonar Minnow, which stands for “Forward Facing Sonar Minnow.”

“It’s a bait that I can cast to the fish and work the rod and keep it on him; the bait does not move forward,” Christie said. “It’s a technique that I’ve been working on for about five years now.

“A lot of times you throw a swimbait over the top of them and they’ll just trail it. But you can drop this bait right to the fish and keep it on top of him.”The event drew a Classic-record 154,932 fans.