Largest Freshwater Fish on a Fly Rod?

Mike Sadar may have landed the largest freshwater fish ever caught on a fly rod. The guide estimated this arapiama to be around 300 pounds! It was caught on a Wright & McGill 12Wt fly rod and Wright & McGill Sabalos Reel. Who wouldn’t want to got to the Amazon and try and catch one.

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Addictive Fishing Giveaway

Lazer TroKar has teamed up with Captain Blair Wiggins of Addictive Fishing for this one of a kind giveaway. Blair has brought together some of his sponsors to create a prize that would make any captain’s dream come true. In this pack there are over $200 worth of TroKar hooks, a Wright & McGill Flats blue rod and Sabalos Reel, and a large assortment of boat care products from Star Brite. To enter follow the link or look for the Addictive Fishing Tab on the Lazer TroKar Facebook page.

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ICAST 2013: Wright & McGill Blair Wiggins Flats Blue Inshore Rods

DENVER, COLORADO – The already popular Blair Wiggins Inshore saltwater rod series has a new look and is improved. Each of the seven new models have been designed around Wright & McGill’s exclusive S-Curve blank technology because of its strength, sensitivity, lightweight and incredible lifting power, and now with a faster firm tip section. The new cosmetics on the handle and fore handle section have been updated with a classy metallic pearl white color. Combined with the flats blue rod blanks, you have a one of a kind color design on these rods that makes them almost invisible to fish in clear water.

W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series specs:

• S-Curve blank construction for superior strength, lifting power, sensitivity and weight reduction
• Split-handle design for weight reduction and improved balance, with zirconium guides for improved casting distance
• Custom split foregrip of rubber cork allows for finger tip recognition of sensitive bites
• Revolutionary high-density rubber handles provide incredible feel and a sure grip
• Oversized fighting butt delivers performance and durability

Wright & McGill S Curve Signature rods are available in 7 specialty actions, designed to tackle the toughest saltwater conditions. They are family priced with a suggested retail of $99.99.

WMFBL69S1 W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series 6’9” Spin
WMFBML72S1 W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series 7’2” Spin
WMFBML72C1 W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series 7’2” Cast
WMFBM76S1 W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series 7’6” Spin
WMFBMH79S1 W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series 7’9” Spin
WMFBMH79C1 W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series 7’9” Cast
WMFBH80S1 W&M S-Curve Blair Wiggins Signature Series 8’0” Spin

For more information about Wright & McGill Co. contact us at 720-941-8700 or visit the web site at Connect with us on Facebook® as well.

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California’s Skeet Reese Jumps From Seventh Place For Bassmaster Elite Series Win On West Point Lake

California’s Skeet Reese Jumps From Seventh Place For Bassmaster Elite Series Win On West Point Lake

LAGRANGE, Ga. — Skeet Reese is on fire — again.

The Auburn, Calif., superstar of bass fishing was victorious Sunday in the Bassmaster Elite Series’ West Point Lake Battle after starting the final round in seventh place, almost 2 1/2 pounds behind leader Tommy Biffle.

But when Reese weighed 15-4 Sunday, he squashed the other 11 finalists’ hopes of winning the four-day Battle out of LaGrange, Ga. Closest to catching Reese with a 46-6 total was Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., who finished second with 44-6, exactly 2 pounds back.

Reese won $100,000 and his 14th Bassmaster Classic qualification. He also racked up points in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, rising eight steps in the standings into third place.

“We play for the win — and the money’s always nice. But I fish for one title — Angler of the Year. For me, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Reese, who has won the AOY crown once in 2007.

The West Point event win, the seventh of his Bassmaster career, was his first since he won two Elite competitions in 2010. He was in contention for the AOY title throughout 2010, but Kevin VanDam took it.

Then Reese’s streak stopped — until Sunday, that is, when as quickly as a kitchen match bursts into flame when scratched against a rock, Reese again was on fire.

He was not confident about success on West Point Lake, even up to the last minutes of the final weigh-in, drenched by a driving rain. He watched from the official Toyota Hot Seat as the other finalists weighed their bass.

“If they’re sitting out there,” Reese gestured to the crowd unsheltered from the rain, “I can sit out here.”

Soaking wet, Reese savored every minute of the win, at one point jumping up and down on the stage.

Reese talked later about his expectations going into the West Point event.

“I thought if I could win, I’d win on a swimbait,” said the California angler who often turns to that lure. “I couldn’t get a bite on a swimbait. I didn’t think I’d be picking up a spinning rod, but I adapted to conditions.”

In fifth place with 13-0 the first day, he said, “I was excited. But on Day 2 it was back to reality. I had 9 pounds — just a normal limit. Yesterday, I had 8 1/2 pounds, and I didn’t think it would put me in the 12-cut.”

It did. Saturday night he studied the Top 12 weights. He decided he had a chance.

“I saw how tight the Top 12 were,” he said. “I realized it was one of those tournaments wide open for any of the 12. I thought 15 to 16 pounds today would wind up winning it. Fortunately, I was the one who caught 15 pounds.”

Reese targeted bedding bass all four days, even trying for one large female several times before she seemingly disappeared.

Sunday he caught his first two fish of the morning on a Lucky Craft LV100 lipless crankbait, fishing shallow flats in the backs of ditches. Then he picked up a dropshot rig with a 4-inch smoke-purple Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper. That yielded two more keepers.

“Then I went quite a while without a bite,” he said. “I tried for spotted bass, and it just wasn’t happening.”

Reese checked on that big female again — no dice — so he fished banks. He boated a few more that weighed between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds. His total of 15-4 was the largest bag of the day, hands-down.

“I was just fortunate I had all decent fish today,” Reese said.

Martens walked away with second place for the 11th time in his Bassmaster career.

He lamented the loss Sunday of a 5-pounder about 12 feet from his boat. That was the bass that could have given him a win, he said. It broke off when the line wrapped around a tree.

“You have to have a flawless event to win one of these, and Skeet did,” Martens said.

Finishing third was Pete Ponds with 44-1. Ponds started in 24th place on Day 1, then hopped into 10th, and then into second. His 11-1 of Sunday wasn’t enough to overtake Reese, who got the better of Ponds by 2-5.

Fourth was Elite rookie Hank Cherry of Maiden, N.C., with 41-2, including the day’s largest, a 5-15. Fifth was Todd Faircloth at 39-1. Faircloth rose from 40th place on the first day to become one of the 12 finalists.

Day 3 leader Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla., fell to 10th place after weighing one bass that went 1-5.

The Battle’s results did not bump Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., off the top of the standings in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, but the mix under him changed. Seven-time Angler of the Year winner Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., moved up one tick from third place to be Evers’ closest challenger. A margin of just six points separates the two leaders.

The other three pros now within the first five positions in the AOY race are Reese, 14 points behind Evers; second-year Elite pro Chris Zaldain of San Jose, Calif., 26 points in back of the leader; and Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., also 26 points behind Evers.

Pros earn points according to their finishes at each of eight regular-season events. At the end of the season, the pro with the most points will win the $100,000 AOY award.

Credit – B.A.S.S.

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Angler lands 54-pound Chetco king on Wright & McGill steelhead rod

BROOKINGS, Ore. – Nearly two hours after his rod tip was slammed down by a giant fish, a Ferndale man landed a 54-pound king salmon on the Chetco River using a light steelhead rod and 12-pound-test line.
Brian Renner was fishing with his girlfriend Jen Anderson Dec. 11 on the Chetco with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. While there were still a few salmon in the river, they were targeting steelhead, using light rods and small plugs.
Near the rip-rap at Pete’s Place, a hole about halfway between Loeb State Park and Social Security Bar, Renner hooked the trophy king on a silver 3.5 MagLip FlatFish. The salmon immediately splashed at the surface, then held up in the middle of the hole for a few minutes before turning and heading down river. The anglers had to navigate the salmon through the logs below Pete’s Place, the pilings below Mill Creek, more logs above Moffit Rock and then the riffle that leads to the North Fork before they were able to tire the big king and bring it to the net.
“The fish was so big Brian wasn’t able to force it to the surface,” Martin said. “We saw it several times during the fight, but couldn’t get it close enough to net.”
The 7-foot, 9-inch Wright & McGill Hot Shot rod was doubled over the entire fight. With 12-pound-test mainline and leader, Martin stressed to Renner not to put too much pressure on the salmon. Several times during the fight, the line counter on the Shimano Tekota reel showed more than 130 feet of line out. Much of the fight, however, the line counter showed only 5 feet, as the fish hugged the bottom directly below the boat, out of reach of the net.
Midway through the fight, Renner thought he lost the fish as his line went slack. But the salmon had switched directions and ran straight at the boat.
The king finally began to tire in the shallow water in front of the Piling Hole, then made one final desperate run to escape, going down the riffle toward the North Fork. Martin netted the salmon midway down the riffle.
“The fight put up by the fish was unreal,” Martin said. “It just wouldn’t tire and wouldn’t give up. I kept saying we had to get it here or it would get into the logs, and then it would go downstream through logs and rocks to the next hole. It was an epic fight.”
Before landing the giant Chetco king, Renner’s biggest salmon was around 20 pounds. His girlfriend treated him to the guided trip as a birthday present.
After Renner landed the salmon, Anderson caught her first steelhead, a chrome-bright hen in front of the North Fork.

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Wings on the Water

Wings on the Water

Written by The Online Fisherman Team on 04 October 2012.


This is the story of an American company called Wright & McGill. The company that made it a habit to support women’s sport teams (in the 20’s), employ the disabled as well as “people of color” at a time when few companies would even consider such “progressive” ideas. This is a story of fishing, a story of two guys meeting on a stream, and a love of trout fishing. And a story of America.

“To those needing introduction to Dame Nature’s greatest battler, a little explanation is due. Mr. Trout is a freshwater fish whose family includes about forty species, most of them commonly allied to the Salmon. The wet warrior is found in many mountain streams, rivers, and pools.” Reading this copy from a book graciously given to me by the wonderful people at Wright & McGill makes me think about fishing for trout. And writing about the outdoors and about fishing.

The first fish I caught was a bluegill. I used a red worm taken from a little white cardboard box with a metal handle. They are still around. There were no styrofoam cups of worms back then. Styrofoam would not come around for a while. But as much as I remember that, I remember standing in a Pennsylvania stream waste deep. Unlike our local waters, wading there, you never get far from being a little scared. Lose your footing while trying to get in the right position to cast where the fish are (sound familiar?), and you could die. Uncle Eddie used to growl the words just that way. “You can die. Be careful.” The fish we were stalking were brown trout. There were rainbow there too, and a Brook at times. But it was those browns that I remember most of all. Now older, there is some of me that is going to be sure to chase them again. The color, the smell of the forests you catch them in, the sound of the water, and yeah, the chance you are gonna hurt yourself all come together to make those trout magical. Not many of our readers know about those stream and mountain fish, but those who do know that it is different – and maybe the best – that there is. I can only imagine Russia after fishing in Alaska for salmon and grayling.

The company that makes those Eagle Claw hooks you’ve been using all your life has been in the world of fishing since the turn of the century. The two guys that actually formed the company in 1925 had been fishing the same Rocky Mountain waters for the same healthy trout for a long time before fate brought them together — and changed fishing in America forever.

That quoted statement above sounds like it came from a fishing magazine in 1920. It didn’t; it is copy for a product a guy from Colorado invented. The story of the company you have known all your life is a story of our sport, our lifestyles, our country, the free market, and what can be done for communities when a couple of guys have a good idea.
Two fishermen on the same water…

The story of people meeting each other and becoming lifelong friends is not a new one. It might be relatively new to read it on an iPad, android tablet, desktop or laptop – but it sure isn’t new. Hemingway wrote that story about an old man based on a guy he loved who he fished with. A local whiskey drinker who loved baseball even more than the papa. And could hand-line marlin as easily as Hemingway could pull them to outrigger metal on the true love of his life – a custom fishing boat.

The two guys in the story are named Drew McGill and Stanley Wright. They both lived in a state where the city of Denver had just crossed a half-million people. McGill was a salesman for a company that made sporting goods. They manufactured sporting uniforms, mostly, but employed a team of ladies who hand-tied flies. Trout fishing was popular and becoming more so. Another local angler who he knew was a banker named Wright. They both loved to fish the same streams for the same fish. Like any good angler, they knew that to catch fish you had to fish where the fish are, and you had to present a natural-looking bait in the right way.

And they both tied their own flies. One of the problems flies had then was keeping their form. Fish them for a while and they limped. Drew had an idea. Hell, this was America in the twenties. You had an idea you ran with it. He started tying his own flies and treating them with a chemical mixture he had designed. He went to the women who tied dry flies, nymphs, and streamers for the company he worked for and hired them in their off-hours. He designed a new wingless fly, and taught them how to tie them. He was buying feathers from India, having women in Spain tie gut leaders and work silk worms, and he started selling his flies. When his friend the banker found out, it is easy to see a beer or three being drank after a day waist-deep and creel-full on a Colorado mountain stream. I have not fished that water, but I have seen it. And people in the water are a common site. Things do not change that much, do they? The idea for a company called Wright & McGill was born. The company is still run and owned by a McGill – a man named Lee.

And although they are now covered with regulations, and have people on staff to make sure they follow them closely – they do not have to have the authorities command them to be the same community-minded individuals and company they were almost a hundred years ago. When Colorado was leaving the wild west behind, they did the right thing.

And they still are. When you are as big as the company that makes those Lazer Sharp and Eagle Claw hooks and all the rest of their incredible American-made tackle, you do not need to pay attention to a small start-up web site like ours. But just like those two friends who fished together and saw themselves having an impact on the entire angling community, the people at Wright & McGill / Eagle Claw have become part of this site.

Times have changed since 1925 — and so too has the level and sophistication of the equipment the company manufactures. But just like the old guys did in the twenties, the company still keeps an eye on social situations without having been told to be nice with regulations and law. If you have to do something nice, or do it so you look good, it doesn’t really count all that much in the scheme of things. This company has meant something from day one. It’s why doing business with them is a cool and healthy thing for any and all of us to do.

We hope you will use their products. To make sure they are talked about, we have a couple of dozen bags of grouper hooks – circles, of course – to give away to our readers. So make sure you catch the fish of the week so you can win the picture of the week (so TOF can also send you some free premium Lazer Sharp hooks while they last). And the next time you tie an Eagle Claw hook onto your line, think about those two friends – the sporting goods salesman and the banker who contributed so much to the sport that we all love. They are watching us all from that mountain stream in the sky.

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Sabalos Fly Reel wins Best in Show at ICAST

The new Wright & McGill Fly Reel wins best in show at ICAST. Accepting the award is product manager Al Noraker and President Donn Schaible.

Wright & McGill Co. is proud to introduce a new series of completely sealed and saltwater tested fly reels called the Sabalos Fly Reel.
This new series of reels not only sets new standards for quality and performance but deliveries these exceptional features at prices that no one ever thought possible. Starting at just $199.99 for the 7/8 wt reel, even the giant 11/12 reel retails at only $219.99.
Beautiful and durable two tone anodizing and detailed machining make this reel look as good as it performs. These new reels were designed and tested to be the perfect complement to our Flats Blue saltwater fly rods but they’ll be just as happy sitting on any rod that you currently own.
Key Features – W&M by Eagle Claw Sabalos Saltwater Fly Reel
*Ultra lightweight and strong, 6061 bar stock aluminum frame
*6061 bar stock aluminum spool
*Highly machined custom cutting for weight reduction/balance
*Comfortable and durable aluminum handle
*Hard anodized two-tone finish impervious to saltwater
*Powerful dual core disc drag system – Cork & improved Teflon®
*Sealed ball bearings
*Large/wide arbor design

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Flats Blues Traveler #2- Aristotle Galanopoulos

Aristotle Galanopoulos caught this speckled trout free-lining live shrimp in mullet schools off drop-offs.  The trout was 22 inches long. It was caught and released in the banana river in north cocoa beach.

Atistotle is part of an angler club and caught this fish in a bass pond in Cape Canaveral, FL.  Zoom jerk bait was used to catch this approx 3 pound bass.    20-30 bass were caught on the set up.

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Don”t Be Afraid To Ask Someone To Take A Picture Of Your Catch

On May 28, 2011 I decided to go do a little Memorial Day fishing at Clear Lake.  As I left the house I remembered leaving my camera at work so all I had was my cell phone.  I was also going fishing by myself.  I ended up launching the boat and starting off at the south end of the lake at around 5:45 in the evening.  With the spawn coming near the end I decided to target the docks which were adjacent to quick drop offs.  I was fishing Yamamoto Tube baits in green pumpkin w/ large black flake, on a Lazer Trokar EWG size 1/0 hook.  As I skipped under docks I had fish follow my bait but not commit.  So I decided to throw a reaction type bait like: spinner baits, crank baits, and jerk baits, something to get the fish fired up and give less time for them to think about whether they want to eat it or not.  After working the whole south end of the lake and not getting any strikes on the reaction baits it was time to go back to where I started and throw the tube again.
The first dock I came to and skipped my tube bait underneath I had a bite which turned out to be about a 2 1/2 lb smallmouth.  Two more docks away again skipping under the dock as far as I could I get I hooked another 2 1/2 lb smallmouth.  The fish were obviously fired up so I continued to go with this pattern until I had a limit of about 13 lbs in the boat in about an hour.  Which leads me to my point I needed someone to take a photo of the fish I had caught so I could release them and return home.  I had been watching a couple on a dock catching trout during the time I was out and proceeded to work my  way towards them.  I politely asked them if they could take a photo of me and the fish I had caught.  When they saw the bass they didn’t realize the bass were that big in the lake.  They welcomed me to there dock where I handed them my phone to take the photo’s.  After they had taken the photo’s I thanked them and in return I handed the gentleman a Skeet Reese Victory 3000 spinning reel.  The gentleman was in shock after receiving the reel and thanked me.  I told him it is just a little gratitude for taking the photo’s so I could have a memory of the day on the lake.  So the next time you are out on the water by yourself and wish you could get a photo of that trophy,  just ask someone and I am sure they will help you out.

Curtis Blunck

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Flats Blues Traveler #4 Kenny Connolly

The travel rod was presented to Kenny at a Dick’s Sporting Goods appearance in Brandon, FL.  Kenny is a member of the Mogan Lounge ( and is always handing out fishing tips and advice online to young anglers and members.  He’s come out to see us a couple of times at events and so we made him our next choice!

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