Thursday, April 28, 2011

Former baseball great Mike Schmidt talks fishing

Baseball great Mike Schmidt, the former Philadelphia Phillies third baseman, hit 548 career home runs in a Hall of Fame career. His baseball highlight? Winning the World Series in 1980.

Nowadays, Schmidt is into fishing. His fishing highlight? Catching a very big fish, and he'll tell you about it here:

Schmidt talked to the Chester Daily Local News recently about how he started fishing, and about that big marlin:

"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."

While Schmidt's baseball heroics are legion, he shared a classic fish story that is also the stuff of legends.

"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."
And so, Schmidt proceeded to get involved in fishing and promoting fishing. Today, he is promoting the World Fishing Network's "Ultimate Fishing Town USA" contest, whereby the winning community will receive $25,000 and be featured on a special 30-minute broadcast on WFN.

Too late to nominate your community. But you can still vote for those which have been nominated. Go to World Fishing Network.

In case you're curious, Schmidt's "Ultimate Fishing Town" is his hometown of Jupiter, Fla. "It offers beautiful weather, it's the sailfish capital of the world, and it's just 55 miles from the Bahamas," he told the Daily Local.

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