May 16, 2011, 9:58 AM EDT
We’ve all heard tales about how baseball players enjoy hunting and fishing. ESPN even did a piece on Roy Halladay going fishing with the Roy Halladay of Fishing, Skeet Reese — an impressive fishing trip, for sure. But as you may have guessed, retired legends have a bit more time on their hands to get their lines wet.
Mike Schmidt has teamed up with the World Fishing Network as a spokesman to help them find the “Ultimate Fishing Town USA.” Not surprisingly, Michael Jack is an avid angler and first picked up the hobby down in Clearwater while fishing for Grouper. [video below]
Once my brother brought the Schmidty promotion to our attention, we dug a bit further and found an article in the Chester Daily Local from back in March in which the Phillies Hall of Famer talked about he really caught the itch while fishing in New Jersey.
“My father-in-law, Bill Wightman, got me into fishing just after I
retired from baseball when he took me fishing for bluefish out of New
Jersey. That got me started,” Schmidt recalls. “Later I bought a Viking
sports fishing boat and headed out for the canyons for billfish. I
learned a lot from Dick Webber and some other folks in Cape May.”
Not surprisingly, Schmidt has had some real success in the sport.
“My greatest fishing story is winning the Tournament of Champions in
Cape May in 1989 when I caught a 470 pound blue Marlin on the final day
of the tourney,” he said. “It was the first time I’d ever competed with
my own boat, and the biggest fish I’ve ever caught.”
Yeah, that’s pretty damn big. And it was in a tournament so it’s not just some fisherman’s tale.
You have roughly two weeks left if you want to vote on America’s Greatest Fishing Town, but Waddington, NY and Roscoe, NY are running away with it.
>>Schmidt spearheads search for ultimate fishing town [Daily Local]
Watch Schmidt talk about fishing in the two videos below:
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