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Look At This Good News… from Napa Wildlife Rescue. For the first time, after 28 years of service as the only organization permitted to rescue Napa wildlife, they will have a permanent building dedicated to their mission. No more trailers in the woods, garages or backyards, nor an old RV with a hole in the floor.

A very special donation has allowed NWR to open escrow on a two-plus-acre property in the Carneros region. It includes a house, a large outbuilding, and grounds that can be repurposed to meet their needs.

Let’s all chip in some bucks to help them make repairs, repurpose spaces, and take plenty of additional steps toward their grand opening. I just did. Go to napawildliferescue.org and click “Donate.” Thanks.

The “Latest News”… from Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet. Every week of the year Dave and his field scouts around the region get the latest outdoor sporting news and deliver it to Hot Sheet subscribers every week of the year. Many times we also get a supplemental Friday Hot Sheet. Order your own subscription at bit.ly/36OwBzv. At just 38 bucks a year, it’s the best buy in town – a perfect “late” holiday gift for those last minute presents.

  • Even with the wide-open commercial crab fleet action, there are plenty of Dungeness crabs still on tap for the recreational angler. Have a look at the weekend totals from Bodega Bay’s Captain Rick Powers (875-3344): 53 limits of both crab and rockfish, and back at the dock by noon on both days.
  • San Pablo Bay’s “pump house area” is the place to catch your next sturgeon. Four boats targeting that area this weekend scored legal diamond backs. Frozen ghost shrimp were the key to success for Captain Trent Slate of Bite Me Charters (415-307-8582) out of Loch Lomond Marina. But I’d want to ask Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle (415-456-0321) in San Rafael what he’s touting as best baits.

Berryessa Still To “Turn”… Well that magic change in the breadth of water temperature bands at Berryessa has yet to happen. So, I’d look forward to learning when it does happen – then engaging a pro guide to help me take advantage of the benefits. Call Don Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Instruction and Guide Service at 916-502-FISH to book a bass trip. Please send pix of your big ones to me for this column.

Ted Williams – My Favorite Sports Hero… was also a world-class fly angler. The attributes needed for one were his strengths in the other. Author Ed Mitchell described them as a “special blend of speed and strength,” “extraordinary eyesight – he not only saw the world more sharply defined, he had incredibly fast vision reaction time,” and “he had an iron will.” Here’s the link to Mitchell’s story: bit.ly/2Ex89XB.

So starting around 1940 on Lake Cochituate in Massachusetts, Ted taught himself how to fly cast. Not long after, he was busting the big boys in the salt. Here’s what Ted said about tarpon: “A dynamic, eager, tackle-busting – well, just a sensational, spectacular fish. For excitement in angling, there’s nothing like a tarpon. For gameness, it’s better than any of them.”

By the way, my fishing partner, Lora Trinchero, targets tarpon in season and agrees with Ted’s admiration for them.

It’s time to renew your interest in fly fishing. Call Jose Rubio, the Sweeney’s Sports fly guy, to arrange to attend some of his fly casting sessions. I’ve seen him in action; he’s good. Bring the whole family; fly cast and fly fish together. You can contact Jose at Sweeney’s at 255-5544.

Here’s Why… Ted Williams is my favorite sports hero. The day before the last Red Sox game of the 1941 season, Ted’s batting average was .399.58. Officially it would be rounded up to 400. His manager said, “Sit out tomorrow’s last game, Ted. Nobody will ever remember – and you’ll have an official season average of 400.”

Ted said “Nope,” and played in the doubleheader. He hit 6 for 8. That is how he raised his season average to .406, which still stands as best in the majors 78 years later.

Little noted, nor long remembered; I never had a chance to fish with Ted. But I did fish Maine’s famous Moosehead Lake with the outdoor sports editor of Waterville’s Morning Sentinel. He was a regular fishing partner of Ted’s up there in the far north. He motored us over to a spot that Ted loved. It seemed to be a submerged ridge that delivered strong strikes every time we trolled over it. Ummm, fond memories.

And So We Wait For Santa To Come… in just five short days.

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