Troy Bassham of Phoenix City, Ala., can argue that he is better with a .22 rifle than anyone in the land.
He has just won the 2001 Three-Position Smallbore Rifle Overall Championship at Camp Perry. The event includes matches fired from prone, kneeling and standing positions, 240 shots in all with a possible perfect score of 2400.
The overall title is an aggregate of two other competitions, the Three Position Any-Sight Championship and the Three-Position Metallic Sight Championship.
Bassham overall fired a 2267-81X, the “X's” referring to the number of perfect center-shot bull's-eyes. The X-score is kept to break ties. The shooter also won the metallic sight championship with a score of 1132-41X.
The winner of the any-sight championship was U.S. Army Maj. Michael Anti of Fort Benning, Ga., who fired an 1156-50X and who finished just behind Bassham overall at 2265-84X.
The .22 rifle championships continue with prone events through tomorrow. They are all part of the NRA's National Rifle and Pistol Matches, which are open to spectators. Camp Perry is west of Port Clinton on State Rt. 2.
High-power or centerfire rifle championships begin next week, and the U.S. Army Small Arms Firing School for rifle is scheduled for Saturday through Monday.
“I've taken a 10-incher out of there before, but never a 101/4,” enthused Bermick about one of his favorite fishing spots. He said that the big 'gill of the summer on the LaSuAn leaderboard had been 93/4 inches. Any bluegill 9 inches or longer qualifies for a Fish Ohio award.
The angler was casting a small floating Rapala when the big, slab-sided panfish struck. In all, Bermick caught 26 fish, a dozen or so of them catch-and-release largemouth bass.
The summer fishing season has been one of the best in recent years, according to Larry Goedde, fish-management supervisor of Ohio Wildlife District 2. He added that the LaSuAn chain should remain open until about mid-August, when catch-quotas for the season are reached.
Call Mondays between 8 a.m. and noon, 419-636-6189, for reservations to fish six of the 13 lakes Thursdays through Mondays. The other lakes are open to walk-in fishing.
Ohio's muskellunge fishermen are having a banner year, with more than 70 trophy-sized muskies taken during the first half of the year, the Ohio Division of Wildlife said.
The Ohio Huskie Muskie Club recognizes and records trophy fish, and so far has registered 74 “huskie muskies” of 42 inches or longer. Those measuring at least 30 inches receive honorable mention.
Salt Fork Lake tops the muskie production list with 17 trophy fish so far, followed by Clear Fork Lake near Mansfield with 15, and Leesville Lake with 13.
A 53-inch muskie was taken June 15 at Salt Fork by Howard Hamrick of Little Hocking, Ohio. The huge fish weighed 44 pounds and is the largest reported so far this season. It ranks fifth overall in the OHMC record book.
The state record muskie is 501/4 inches and 55 pounds, 2 ounces, taken in 1972 at Piedmont Lake.
The OHMC also has registered 517 honorable mentions, compared to 429 for the same period in 2000. West Branch Reservoir, Piedmont, and Alum Creek Reservoir also have been muskie hot spots this summer.
More than 97 percent of muskies taken by OHMC members are released safely after being measured.
In Lake Erie walleye news, the action continues to be hot, though winds at mid-week kept some anglers dockside.
Headboats continue to do well for their daily walk-on customers. The boats at Drawbridge Marina in Port Clinton had taken 15,600 walleye so far this season, as of early this week, according to Chester Chaffin at the marina. The boats some days have been working just three to five miles off the Portage River mouth.
The field office serves northwest Ohio and is in charge of issuing wetlands, waterway, and other permits. Biologists on staff are Gary Buck and Paul Wetzel.
Today - Program on brown bats and screech owls, night walk, Swan Creek Preserve Metropark, Yager Center, call for time and reservations, 535-3058 extension 101; also, Saturday, family program on animal play, 1:30 to 3 p.m., Secor Metropark Nature Discovery Center, call for reservations; also, Sunday, insect sounds of summer, 7:30 p.m., Secor, Discovery Center.
Tonight - Trapshoot, 6 p.m., Sandusky County Sportsmen's Club, State Rt. 600 east of Gibsonburg; also, Saturday and Sunday, cowboy action shoots, 10 a.m., club range, call Bob Caswall, 862-2861; also, Wednesday, bowling pin shoot, 6:30 p.m., club range.
Tonight - Public trapshoot, 6 to 9 p.m., Ottawa County Conservation League, Martin-Moline Road, Martin, call Rick Temple, 666-1399.
Friday and Monday - Public trapshoot, 6:30 p.m., Wolf Creek Sportsmen's Association, 349 Teachout Rd. north of State Rt. 2, Curtice, call Frank Schaffer, 691-2769.
Saturday - State Rt. 2 litter pickup, 9 a.m., Black Swamp Bird Observatory, meet at Crane Creek State Park ranger station, just off Route 2 at entrance to Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area; call BSBO, 419-898-4070.
Sunday - Bowshoots: Sandusky County Bow Benders, register 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., County Road 128 south of U.S. 20, Fremont, call Frank Cantu, 419-547-0472; also, Dundee Sportsmen's Club, register 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 2300 Plank Rd., Dundee, Mich., 30 3-D targets, call Ralph Mandelka, Sr., 734-397-7016.
Monday through Wednesday - Boating-education course, 6 to 9 p.m. nightly, Old Navy Bistro, International Park, downtown riverfront, call 936-3848.
Steve Pollick is The Blade's outdoor writer. E-mail him at email@example.com.