BSA Fishing
Certified Angling Instructors


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  • 31-Oct-2015 3:36 PM | Michael Brand


    Habitat, Where the Fish are At!

     Have you ever fished a lake and wondered, “Where are the fish?”  Boy Scouts of America -  Certified Angling Instructors with the help of Scouts and Scouters from around the Greater St. Louis Area have been working to develop habitat that provides fish with cover and concentrates them for anglers.  

     Community lakes are home to many species of game fish, including crappie, bluegill, sunfish, bass, catfish.  Over time, natural fish habitat in the form of old stumps and trees that were buried when the reservoir was impounded began to rot and decay away.  Now that lakes are older, the old habitat needs refreshing.  

     While fish populations are controlled by bigger factors than just habitat; like available nutrients, protective regulations, consistent spawning, proper predator and prey balance, adding habitat may help anglers catch fish consistently.  

     In October 2015, BSA Certified Angling Instructor Nick Matteoni provided leadership to a team of 38 Boy Scouts and built 32 Spider Block Fish Habitats as part of their course work associated with earning the Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge.

     These newly constructed spider blocks will be added to community lakes with the help and guidance of the Missouri Department of Conservation.  Spider blocks simulate natural brush piles. These artificial structures provide protection to fry and fingerlings and will stay in place and last much longer than natural brush piles. The spider blocks resemble small underwater bushes, and offer hiding places for bass, crappie, and sunfish.  

     Spider Blocks are easily made from individual concrete blocks, with 14 - 5 ft. sections of Polyethelene Tubing -Size: 3/4", cemented into the open areas of the blocks. Spider blocks are normally sunk at a depth of about 10 foot.  

     "These fish attractors can concentrate larger numbers of fish in specific areas," said Michael Brand, BSA Central Region Fishing Advocate - Area #3. "This can give anglers an edge, especially if they know a few details about where to find the structure or how deep they are under the surface of the water. It can take some of the guessing out of the decision of where to fish, and hopefully can help anglers have more success.

     "One of our important goals is to help anglers be successful, and making these underwater fish attractors available to fish and then making their location available to our anglers is one way we can accomplish that goal," Brand said.

     CAI are beginning to create fish habitat in lakes all over the Central Region, all in an effort to produce “more bites per cast”.  The habitat work is made possible by donations provided by CAIs themselves, corporate sponsors, and good old Scout Service hours.

     So the next time you fish look for clues like buoys and signs indicating such work has been completed.  When you find the habitat, the fish will be there.  The rest is up to you!

    For some pics of the event, please visit 

    https://mbskillcenterfall2015.shutterfly.com/


  • 10-Oct-2015 4:00 PM | Michael Brand

    Boy Scouts of America 

    2015 National Outdoor Conference

    Will be held October 14-18, 2015 – Philmont Scout Ranch

    It’s Scouting’s largest get‐together of volunteers and professionals charged with delivering the world’s greatest outdoor program for youth!  It’s four days of back country excursions, group sessions, outstanding keynote speakers, outdoor vendor exhibits, clean mountain air, sessions with camping and outdoor experts, some fun competition, special program opportunities, great music, and fellowship with Scouting’s top outdoor leaders.  

    Fellow Scouters and outdoor enthusiasts from across the country are gathering to learn new methods, share ideas,and check out the latest in outdoor gear and programs. It is the place to be if you are involved with outdoor programs in any way.

    Members of the National Fishing Task Force will be sharing best practices in the following areas.

    Cub Scout Fishing Seminar: 2 hour session - Running Cub fishing events for units and councils. Features 5 Cub Scout Fishing Modules; Organizing an Outing / Den & Pack Opportunities / Where to Get Help / Day Camp Fishing & Selecting Proper Equipment, plus Participating in “Back Yard Bass” instruction game. 

    Boy Scout Fishing Seminar – 2 hour session includes the new “Complete Angler Award” & the new “Fishing Program Features” publication. Learn how to enhance fishing opportunities for Scouts with rewarding advancement and enjoyment.

    Venturing Fishing Seminar: 2 hour session - A workshop on developing exciting Venturing fishing events including weekend and High Adventuring fishing experiences; also how to develop crews with a fishing focus. Make Fly-fishing, salt water kayak fishing or Bass competition options. How about fishing Alaska or the Bahamas. 

    Camp Fishery Management: An important seminar dealing with improving camp fisheries. Includes working with local and state agencies plus local fishing organizations to provide the best ideas for development, maintenance and improvements to your camp fishing waters. A quality camp fishing lake or pond should provide a scout a reasonable chance to catch a fish within 30 minutes. 

    Hornaday Award Programs – Happy 100th anniversary to the Hornaday Award! Learn about these often-misunderstood but highly prestigious BSA awards for conservation. Find out how your council can improve and promote this experience for your Scouts. Check out the tools to help earn and manage the awards. 

    An array of exciting and informative options is available on Friday, October 16, to see and experience Philmont and New Mexico. Half-day trips offer participants a variety of options, including visiting local museums or sightseeing such as:

    Fly‐Fishing. Those interested in fishing for trout along the Rayado Creek will enjoy fishing like Waite Phillips did and imagine that they are experiencing life like the movie “A River Runs Through It.” Instruction will be available for 10 those who have never attempted fly‐fishing. Equipment will be provided, or you may bring your own. Licenses may be purchased at the Tooth of Time Traders. Half-day afternoon trip offered. 

    Self-Paced Program Opportunities Open in evenings after sessions are also available.

    Fly-Casting & Fly-Tying instruction. Learn to cast and tie flies. It will help you with doing a better job at fishing as well as teaching your Scouts how to fish. 

    Wishing the team of Certified Angling Instuctors tight lines and FISH ON!


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