A St. Charles woman winning with a big fish and rumors of Ed Mullady's demise greatly exaggerated lead this ``Guys, gossip & gals'' of Chicago outdoors.
Cheryl Smith won a fishing trip with Hank Parker. Here's the word on the St. Charles native's winning:
Illinois Anger Wins 2009 BERKLEYBIGFISH Grand Prize
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Cheryl Smithloves to fish, and her desire to be on the water is paying off. Her infectious angling passion paid big dividends in the Berkley Big Fish (BBF) Contest for OutdoorGirl1, as she has become known on BerkleyBigFish.com. Smith landed the biggest prize offered - a fishing trip for two with legendary angler Hank Parker.
"I was up against a lot of great anglers on Berkley Big Fish," said Smith. "The website is so much fun, I can't get away from it. The voting and pictures that are submitted show that fishing is growing. Families and individuals still love to get outdoors and stay active."
The St. Charles, Ill., native has been posting pictures of her and anything with gills on BerkleyBigFish.com since early 2009. She has won multiple awards on BBF, most notably being named Elite Angler for the month of April. Smith is also a five-time category winner and has marked her place as one of the standout anglers on the site.
"It's so good to have a website that is all positive," said Hank Parker. "Everything about the outdoors should be all about being positive. BerkleyBigFish.com is for any angler wanting to share their story. Cheryl was the crown jewel out of the 22 anglers selected for the Grand Prize. She is held in high regard from her competitors and myself as well."
BerkleyBigFish is a Web site that celebrates the sport of fishing through creating an online community of dedicated anglers. The almost-12,000 users (nearly double from a year ago) can post photos that are entered into monthly contests and sweepstakes with the chance to win prizes from Berkley, Abu Garcia and other sponsors.
Users have the ability to comment on others' photos and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 "bobbers." Five monthly winners are chosen from these votes based on fish specie (Bass, Trout, Walleye, Inshore Saltwater and Other), with one monthly Grand Prize Finalist being hand-selected by Hank Parker to be in the running for the grand prize.
In addition, monthly "Elite Anglers" are chosen based on skill level to compete for the grand prize alongside monthly finalists. Smith qualified for the grand prize by being named an Elite Angler.
Now the Mullady story.
So I'm catching up with Mullady on Tuesday. We're all over the map.
Then he happens to mention how a guy he recognized but couldn't remember the name of came up to his booth at the Tinley Park Fishing & Outdoors Show and said, ``I thought you were dead.''
For the record, Mullady, the great guardian of the Kankakee watershed and editor of the Sportsman's Letter for more than 51 years, is 83.