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Monday, July 11, 2011

pop-we Fishing: Learn the Role the Internet Plays in Fishing & Friendship in the 21st Century

Fishing on Dewey Lake with family & friends
It was more than 15 years ago when I realized the Internet could help me catch more fish. I was surfing the Net and came across a website called Walleye Central. The site had a directory where other fisherman submitted their name, where they are from and email address. We were planning a trip to Glendo reservoir in Wyoming. I had never fished the lake so I sent an email to a guy that lived in Wyoming. His name was Mike. I found his name on the website and he listed Glendo as one of the lakes that he fished. We exchanged several emails and to my surprise, he mailed me a lake map that was highlighted where to fish and what bait to use. Armed with this great information, we went to Glendo and had one of the most enjoyable trips ever. I kept in touch with Mike and eventually we became pretty good friends. We went back to Glendo for several years and even went fishing with Mike a few times.

Jacob's MA Bluegill Catch
About seven years ago, my father and mother-in-law were looking for some property on a lake that they could eventually move to from Omaha when they retired. My father-in-law Tom is an avid fisherman. They bought a house on Johnson Lake near Lexington, NE. Elwood, Plum Creek and Midway are just a few of the lakes in the area. Once again, I reached out on the Internet to find some information on these lakes. I met a fisherman named Greg from Kearney, NE. He came out to the lake, with his boat and we fished and got some great knowledge about the lakes. I think that I caught my first Wiper out of his boat later that summer. Greg introduced me to a friend of his named Brian. He is from Overton, NE, and lives just a few miles from Lexington. We have gone on several fishing trips together. I consider him one of my best friends and it’s all because of the Internet. In fact, we are going fishing together over the next several days.

Tom's MA Bass
January 2010, it was a beautiful day in western Nebraska. The weather was unusually warm for that time of year. We were ice fishing at Smith Lake in the panhandle. My seven-year-old son Jacob was fishing about 15-feet away from me. He gets a bite -- sets the hook -- and right away I knew he had a pretty good fish. I ran over just in time to see a huge Bluegill come out of the hole in the ice. It was more than a pound and 10-inches long. In the state of Nebraska, a 10-inch Bluegill or one over a pound, is considered a master angler. You get a certificate from the state, which displays the award and details of the trophy fish. I was so proud of Jacob, it was his first master angler. Not long after that, I caught my first master angler Bluegill. A few hours later, my father-in-law hooked into one of the most beautiful Large Mouth Bass’s I've ever seen. It was also a master angler fish. Holy cow – three master angler fish in the same day! Once again, this was all possible because I met a couple from Wyoming that had fished that lake several times the year before. I met Eric and Michelle on a Nebraska fishing forum one-year before this trip. We had planned on meeting up at the lake the year before but the ice went away too fast. The following year, as soon as the ice was safe, Eric emailed me and invited us to join them on the lake. I am sure glad that we did. Probably the best day ice fishing that we’ve ever had. We still keep in touch and we are definitely going to fish together again.

Corey's MA Bluegill catch
January 2011, my 13-year-old son Corey has never caught a master angler fish. I heard on the Internet that there were some big Bluegills being caught on some of the refuge lakes in Valentine, NE. I emailed a guy named Don from the area. A few weeks later we are fishing with him and some of his buddies on Dewey Lake. It did not take long, Corey hooked into a huge Bluegill. The fish qualified for a master angler award. It was bigger than the ones that Jacob and I had caught a year earlier. The smile on his face was worth a million dollars. He had finally done it. Got his first “MA” and again it was the Internet that helped us getting into the area that this was possible.

I have met so many great people on the Internet. Their kindness has certainly helped us catch more and bigger fish. More importantly, I have gained new friends. We have shared a lot of time on the water. Telling stories and catching fish. I must admit, while catching big fish is great, it is the memories and spending time with friends and family that will last a lifetime.
- population-we blog post by Chad Mayer
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  1. Chad: Welcome to the population-we™ team! I’m excited about our new partnership with your first-ever pop-we Fishing post. Great job highlighting your rigor for fishing and how the Internet has brought you new fishing locations and friendships. I can see your enthusiasm for fishing and look forward to reading future posts.

  2. Chad, I think it is neat that being wired can making escaping for recreation even better. Way to go Corey and Jacob on your awards! I'm glad you are able to make friends from the amazing resources online with people with the same passion.