The 2002 Bunny Clark Guestletter

(Tim Tower's annual primer on the year 2001 Bunny Clark fishing season)

January 15, 2002

Dear Guests:

I hope this letter finds you happy, healthy and prosperous. We completed our nineteenth Bunny Clark fishing season last year. I don't know where the time went! It was our best season on many counts. Weather wise, it was the calmest season, on average, that I have ever seen. We didn't experience a single ocean storm and the ambient air temperature was higher! This and an unfailing Volvo engine allowed us to complete nearly all of our scheduled trips, something almost unheard of in the party boat business. Even those trips that were canceled would probably have been completed during previous seasons. Total landings were our highest ever, this due mostly to the much more successful afternoon half day trips. The average pool fish was larger, our cod were larger, we had our second best year for haddock landings, our hake were larger and our pollock were less frequent than the previous season but of a larger than normal average size. Anglers released more legal cod and pollock back to the ocean alive than any previous season. Also, it seemed that more anglers caught their largest groundfish ever while fishing on the Bunny Clark last season. ever while fishing on the Bunny Clark last season. Certainly more of our regular anglers did. Customer optimism and attitude was right up there on the charts. It was just a great, great year! (The digital image on the left is shot of the largest landed fish of the 2001 Bunny Clark fishing season, a 208 pound bluefin tuna. From left to right the participants are Tim Rider (deck hand), Captain Adam Bissell and Emile Gallant (angler))

The hard working Ian Keniston, my first mate, was back last year. He just keeps getting better and easier to work with. I would be lost without him. Captain Adam Bissell completed his second season with us. The principle captain of the Bunny Clark, Adam was responsible for some of our biggest fish and largest landings. Tim Rider, our newest deck hand, completed his first season last year. He had been one of my most loyal customers since the age of ten years before he took the mate's position and, in so being, became one of my best mates. Sixteen-year-old Jim Burns and fifteen-year-old Leon Hadley, our "half mates", did such a good job helping us that I feel obligated to mention their names here. They sailed on the Bunny Clark many days last season and on almost every trip, they preferred helping our guests (and us!) more than fishing. It was a complement to our business whenever they showed up at the boat. I felt very lucky to have all these individuals as part of the team.

Improvements to the Bunny Clark herself and gear modifications helped us better complete last years fishing trips. Our aluminum fuel tanks corroded to the point of untrustworthiness by the end of the 2000 season so we replaced them with new fiberglass ones custom built by David Pease, the boat builder responsible for the Bunny Clark. The new tanks gave us more range and increased dependability. I also had the 163P Volvo engine de-rated from 770 horse power to 680 horse power. The engine had to be rebuilt in 2000 after a piston cracked and caught a cylinder liner, scoring it. After we pulled the heads, we found other pistons were also cracked, this the result of running the engine too hard in the wrong application. I should have known this was going to happen after receiving a series of oil sample test results in the weeks previous. Anyway, Skip Dunning from NEDDA (Power Products, Portland, Maine) completed the de-rating procedure during February 2001. The results gave us better fuel economy, more power at low rpms and much better lubricating oil test results. It also allowed us to stay in the higher rpms for longer periods of time without increasing engine depreciation and excessive wear. In addition, I had Skip install a pyrometer at the exhaust elbow so I could tell if I had an increase in temperature over time at that location, a good indicator for future engine problems. Our last improvement of note was an inflatable buoyancy apparatus (inflatable life raft) to replace the life floats. In case of a sinking (God forbid!), passengers would have something they could get into and stay dry to wait for rescue as opposed to being in the water holding on to a float, hoping to beat hypothermia before help arrived.

Improvements to fishing gear might have seemed subtle to some but were very noticeable to those of us who work with it every day. Last season I finally found a quality monofilament to replace the Stren line we had had such great success with over the years - Dupont isn't making it in bulk spools anymore. The replacement line was 50 pound test Izorline monofilament. It comes in different colors (helpful when untangling), it is very strong (but still breaks within the parameters set by the International Game Fish Association - IGFA - rules for line class world records in the 50 pound test category) and is the most abrasion resistant line I have found (other than Stren). One thing it does have over Stren is its smaller diameter making it a better deep water line and more tolerant to strong currents. I was shown proof of this first hand when, on September 11, 2001, Harold Morley (NY) hooked a 300+ pound bluefin tuna and fought it for three hours before losing the fish just under the boat. He was using a regular Bunny Clark boat rod with powder blue 50 pound test Izorline on one of our Penn 113H reels. Not only that, he did a wonderful job fighting the fish with plenty of pressure. He never did relinquish the rod to anyone else. I believe that a nick in the line caused the loss in the end. An hour later, we were informed of the World Trade Center disaster in New York City - all the passengers that day were from the state of New York and would be effected directly or indirectly by this horrible event in the future.

Other improvements were the new Pro Gear reels modified by Bob Nixon (NH) and offered with ultra thin Spectra line to jig stick customers using the bow. I have found this to be the best reel for casting while fishing (jig or bait) for cod. There is no substitute in the world today. Ken McLaughlin (ME), for the second season in a row, continued to use the same Nixon modified Pro Gear reel (which I save for him exclusively) with great success and zero breakdowns. Mike Osborne (CA) continues to amaze me with his rebuilding of the Newell reels that come standard on all our jig sticks. We only lost two to breakdowns last season as opposed to 30 or more reels in other years! Also, we still provide custom jigs (Angermans, Burkets, etc.), the hand made Feeney cod flies and other gear improvements too numerous to mention here which we have adopted and continue to use year after year. We may not always have the best catch, that's fishing, but I pride myself in providing the best equipment so you can take advantage of any great fishing opportunity that may arise.

There will be few improvements other than the ones we make with regard to Bunny Clark cosmetics, rod and reel rebuilding, fixing all the broken things, updating the electronics and keeping up with the current fishing regulations - the same maintenance program we involve ourselves in every year. We will be testing the new Pro Gear 3500 series reel for eventual inclusion into the Bunny Clark fishing gear line up. This is the new reel where the aluminum side plates have been replaced with graphite composite side plates eliminating the need of taking your reel apart after usage without compromising function. It is also a much lighter reel than the previous models. Our testing grounds will be on the Petrel from December 2001 until March of 2002. We introduced a new boat rod with which we had great success with last season. It is a good bait/jig stick combination. There will be nine more of these rods available this season. We are coming out with a new more fisherman friendly jig stick. These rods are called the "Merv Series" rods, as they are a good copy of the rod that Marian "Merv" Murphy (part of the Aquahtenang folk singing/fishing crew) loves to use, with some improvements. After all the years I have spent building this type of equipment, I expect to be getting rave reviews by the middle of the first month of the season.

Our website at continues to be the location where you can get information on a daily basis during the season and a more sporadic basis during the off-season. We have a schedule and rates section, a photo section, a world records section and more. Our fishing update section provides anglers with up to date information on the daily catch, fish sizes, catch rates and angler deeds, good and bad. Although I can't personally answer all the e-mail that comes in associated with the site, our staff does a great job answering reservation questions and scheduling fishing dates. We are not planning to use the e-mail as a direct source of making reservations this season. The phone system is still the best means of serving everyone.

The fishing last season was exceptional. The good weather was a big factor in our success; we had many more trips than normal. Also, we had some very exceptional half-day trips in June and July where market to large cod and medium sized pollock made up the bulk of the catch. Surface water temperatures started warmer at the beginning of the season despite the colder than normal winter that preceded it. This gave us a good start on the haddock and was the only time that we saw any herring. On one day, there were so many herring on the surface (during April) that we could see many whales, including nine right whales, feeding on them while we were fishing. Along with all the different offshore sea birds, it was quite a sight. However, after April, we didn't see very much in the way of herring schools again, even off shore. I believe that it was because of this and the absence of comb jellies (surface jelly fish) that we didn't see as many legal pollock as we have in the two previous seasons. We didn't have to run away from them (for fear of getting too many) as we did other years. Because of this, we saw many more cod landed in their place.

The cod averaged a much larger size last season as compared with the season before. With the increase in legal cod there was also a big increase in catch and release by the anglers who participated in the fishing. Unfortunately, we had very few fish tagged because we were, in most cases, too busy working the deck. Our larger haddock were replaced mostly by sub legal haddock during the mid season and only showed up again periodically inshore and offshore. The white hake showed up in the fall but we didn't see as many as we did last season. However, they were larger than they have been for many seasons. We saw more dogfish in the spring and the fall than we have seen in many seasons. Blue sharks only bothered us for a week in September and then disappeared. We did have one day on a marathon trip (September 24, 2001) with the Lighthouse Fishing Club (MA) where we managed to lose 24 jigs to these toothy critters. That was our worst day. We had only fifteen bluefin tuna hookups with only one landing last season. Cusk and wolffish landings came in where they normally do for a season - no more or less than expected. We saw a decrease in redfish landings.

As I mentioned in last years guest letter, we have many anglers who have contributed to our tag and release program or just released legal fish back to the ocean alive. Some of our regular anglers release groundfish on a steady basis including many large cod. Some of these top anglers who released many legal cod last year include Bob Nixon (NH), Gil Ranta (NH), Fred Kunz (NH), Eric Pysar (NY), Mike & Missy Horwitz (ME), Sean Devich (NY), Kelly Wilkinson (PA), Dom Bruno (NY), Regis Jauvin (PQ), the real Jim Feeney (MA), Kenton Geer (NH), Dave Gray (VT/CT), Paul Revels (NH), Don Johnson (MA), Greg & Carol Morse (ME - By the way, Carol landed a 16 pound haddock last summer on their boat. Had she registered the fish, it would have been the new all tackle IGFA world record!), Al Turner (NY), the wonderful Aquahtenang (all NH) singer songwriter's crew including Marian "Merv" Murphy, Gardner Murphy, Brian Murphy and Rebecca Hammer, Dick Lyle (NY), Rob Fuehrer (ME), Steve Corinotis (MI), Craig Pray (NH), Lisa Ledoux (NH), Tara Wilkins (VT), Arnie Buza (NJ), Tim Williams (CT), Dennis Grabauskas (CT - Yes, there may be hope that there is a bit of conservationist blood in that hunter's body!), Steve Shugars (ME), Keith Borkowski (CT) and, again, Chico Astorino (MA) and Russ Jarvis (MA), two staunch conservationists. Also included are many others whom this feeble brain can't recall at the present time. These like minded individuals and very excellent fishermen are the epitome of the sensitive new age recreational angler and, although recognized by me, should be applauded by everyone for their unselfish efforts. I should remind everyone that many of our groundfish fish stocks are at levels much lower than they should be which has promoted much Federal regulation for commercial and recreational fishermen alike. If more anglers thought like those mentioned above, the recreational angler wouldn't need any regulations. Thank you all very much for your efforts.

Our best tag return this season came from a fisherman, David Goethal, who fishes out of Hampton, New Hampshire on the dragger (trawler) Ellen Diane. This fish was caught by me, tagged by me personally and released on April 11, 2000 while fishing an area on southern Jeffery's Ledge. At the time, I had Captain Adam Bissell, who was still on a training mission, take a photo of the fish. When I got home, I then scanned the photo and put it on my web site under the Captain's and Crew section. The photo is still there. If you go to that page it appears as the first digital image. The tag is circled in yellow. This fish was 23.5 pounds and just shy of 38 inches long. When Dave caught the fish on May 24, 2001, the fish was 39 inches long or about 25 pounds more or less. The fish was caught twenty-one miles west of the position where it was first tagged, about seven or eight miles southwest of White Island, part of the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire waters. Oddly enough, David was involved in a tag and release study with the Federal government in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire at that time. As he was reading my tag, it fell out of the fish so he tagged it with one of theirs, UNH tag number 5450, and set the fish free.

As I feel the greatest achievement in angling is the ability of a person to hook and land a trophy fish on their own, I have listed the guests who caught the five largest of each significant species during the 2001 fishing season. Keep in mind that all the represented weights of these fish were taken aboard the Bunny Clark using a registered scale shortly after capture. I feel that this is the fairest comparison between the angler's fish since weight loss is proportional to the amount of time the fish is out of water.





Emile Gallant (ME)

Bluefin Tuna 208

70 X 48


C. R. Noyes (NH)

Yellowtail Flounder 3



Tim Rider (ME)

Redfish 2.75



Curtis Pomerleau (NH)

Monkfish 22.5



Tim Murphy (NH)

Monkfish 21



Dom Bruno (NY)

Monkfish 17



Mike Andrews (ME)

Monkfish 16.75



Elizabeth O'Brian (NY)

Wolffish 22.25

42 X 22


John Davis (NJ)

Wolffish 21

39 X 22


Anthony Dumont (MA)

Wolffish 19.25

37.5 X 22


David Hutchins (ME)

Wolffish 18.25

38.25 X 18


Brian Pay (ME)

Wolffish 17.5

34.5 X 21


Chris Caporaso (CT)

Wolffish 17

38 X 18


Tim Tower (ME)

Pollock 34

44.25 X 25


Skip Clement (ME)

Pollock 32

41.5 X 24.5


Jon Clegg (CT)

Pollock 32

46 X 22.5


Bruce Ebbeson (MA)

Pollock 31.25

43.25 X 26


Keith Borkowski (CT)

Pollock 30

39.5 X 24


John Hamilton (NY)

Pollock 29.5

41 X 25


Bob Lippack (MA)

Pollock 29

45.25 X 23


Eric Slade (VT)

Pollock 28.5

39.25 X 24


Tim Bame (VT)

Pollock 28.5

40.5 X 24.5


Fred Kunz (NH)

Pollock 28

39 X 25


Dan Pimentel (MA)

White Hake 35

47 X 27


Gerald Blackbird (NY)

White Hake 29

47.5 X 26


Gary Manley (NY)

White Hake 25

43 X 26


Al Lange (CT)

White Hake 24.25

41.5 X 24


Mark Beynon (VT)

White Hake 23

40 X 26.5


Tim Williams (CT)

White Hake 22

40.5 X 23


Charles Schroat, II (PA)

White Hake 21.5

40 X 25


Ken Carter (ME)

White Hake 21.5

41.5 X 23


Andy Dzikowicz (NJ)

White Hake 21.25

40.25 X 25


Fred Frabel (NJ)

White Hake 21

39.5 X 25


Jon Gale (ME)

Haddock 11

29.5 X 18


Dave Ortiz (MA)

Haddock 10.25

30.5 X 18


Ralph Small (NY)

Haddock 9.25

31.25 X 18.5


Mark Brown (NY)

Haddock 9.25

31 X 17.5


Mark Simpson (ME)

Haddock 9

29 X 18


Theodore Riehle (NY)

Haddock 8.5

28 X 16


Gary Mills (NY)

Haddock 8.5

27.25 X 16


Sam Bean (MA)

Cusk 19.75

37.5 X 21.5


Steve Udot (MA)

Cusk 16

34.5 X 19


Dustin Curtiss (NH)

Cusk 15.75

36 X 20


Mike Jacquinet (MA)

Cusk 15.25

35.5 X 20


Robert Prince (ME)

Cusk 14.25

32 X 20


Fred Kunz (NH)

Cod 59

50 X 34


Leo Lamoureux (VT)

Cod 51.75

48.5 X 32


Collin Morgan (CT)

Cod 41

45.5 X 30


Mike Metzger (NY)

Cod 39

46.5 X 27


Jim Nosky (NY)

Cod 38.75

44.5 X 29


Karl Day (ME)

Cod 38.5

47 X 28


Chip Spittler (NY)

Cod 37.5

40 X 27


Dick Lyle (NY)

Cod 37

47.5 X 27


Russ Gurney (MA)

Cod 37

43.5 X 28


During a choppy afternoon half-day trip on August 26, 2001, Emile Gallant (ME) hooked into a fish that, at first, he thought was a steaker cod. When the line took off, he realized it was much more than that. Adam, who was the captain at the time, had everyone reel up, then he put the anchor on a green poly ball, threw the line and ball over the side, put Emile up on the pulpit and then chased after the fish. After an hour and a half, Emile, while sharing his rod with my deck hand, Tim Rider, finally got the fish to gaff. It was a bluefin tuna of exactly 208 pounds, the largest tuna ever caught with a cod rod on the Bunny Clark!

The largest cod of the year also had an interesting story behind it. Fred Kunz was fishing an offshore marathon trip on October 29, 2001 when he hooked into a big fish. He knew it was a very big cod from the beginning and his seriousness on the matter demanded that I stand right next to him with the gaff. When his jig reached the surface, it had a small cusk hooked to the treble hook. At first, Fred and I just stopped and stared until I noticed that a green monofilament line was also wound up on the treble hook. I grabbed the jig and started to pull the line in. It wasn't long before a big greenish lume appeared that transformed into a huge cod before our eyes. As I had my hands full, Tim Rider was able to gaff the fish and bring it aboard. It weighed 59 pounds, the largest cod that has been landed on the Bunny Clark since Fred caught a 62.5 pound cod on October 28, 1996, almost exactly five years earlier! The interesting part was that the fish was caught with a yellow fly, the same yellow fly that was part of Tom Giammattie's (CT) line when we drifted over the same spot an hour earlier. On that first drift I had to break off Tom's line because it was caught on the bottom. When then did the big cod take the fly? Was the fish on the fly when Tom was stuck on the bottom or did it take the fly later? One thing for sure, if Tom's line hadn't broken at the surface, there wouldn't have been enough line to tangle around Fred's jig.

Leo Lamoureux's 51.75 pound cod was caught the next day thirty-five miles from where Fred caught his fish! Adam was captaining the Bunny Clark that day. As a matter of fact, he was on the starboard side of the cockpit jigging with Leo's rod when he felt the cod hit the jig. Setting the hook and knowing it was a big one, he handed the rod back to Leo to reel the line in. Leo's cod is the third largest cod that has been caught on the Bunny Clark since the 1996 season and the largest cod he has ever seen. Leo also caught an 8 pound Maine state trophy haddock (on his own) on April 16, 2001.

Seven year old Collin Morgan's 41 pound cod was caught during a full day trip on August 13, 2001. We had a lot of kids on board that day and, knowing the IGFA Junior Angler world record program as I do, I thought one of them might have a chance to attain world record status. We were fishing on a spot where I have caught many large cod in years past. It was actually a better day than I had expected. Seven year old Maria Messina (NY) had the first shot at a record. She landed a 19.5 pound cod that would have broken the girls Junior Angler world record in the Small Fry category (ages to 10 years old) by over 10 pounds. However, the drift was such that her line was under the boat and, in the end, her father had to help her land the fish, disqualifying her from placement. Ten year old Chris C. Morgan (CT), Collin's brother, had the next shot and landed a 20.5 pound cod. This could have qualified him for the boy's Junior Angler world record in the Small Fry category. However, it wasn't long after that that Collin landed his 41 pound cod unaided eliminating his brother's chances at the title. I was informed in early December 2001 that Collin's fish had been accepted by the IGFA as the new boy's Small Fry world record. Congratulations, Collin, for the ultimate end to a great and fair fight! Any world record information, including Collin's status and other Bunny Clark world records, can be found on the Web at

I also want to call your attention to Sam Bean and his 19.75 pound cusk caught on August 15, Jon Gale and his 11 pound haddock caught on April 16, Dave Ortiz and his 10.25 pound haddock caught on May 5, Ralph Small and his 9.25 pound haddock caught on October 16, Mark Brown and his 9.25 pound haddock landed on October 4 and Mark Simpson with his 9 pound haddock caught on June 1, 2001. These great fish were all caught on full day trips where Adam Bissell was the captain. It is rare to see a cusk approaching 20 pounds these days. Also, even though the haddock are coming back somewhat, one of 9 pounds or better is a rare thing. Nice work, all!

In the fall of 1995, Richard Atherton (NH), one of our best regular anglers ever (I loved that guy), landed a 35 pound white hake. It was the largest white hake caught that year and remained the largest (we had caught larger ones in the past) until Dan Pimental tied it with another 35 pound white hake on October 11, 2001 while on a marathon trip. The 29 pound white hake caught by Gerald Blackbird on September 26, 2001 (also a marathon trip) is the fourth largest white hake caught on the Bunny Clark since 1995. Incidentally, the second largest white hake was a 34 pounder landed by Lee Atherton (ME - Richard's son) during the fall of 1996 while on a trip to disperse Richard's ashes on his favorite fishing spot.

I caught the largest pollock of the season during the Howie Snow (MA) chartered marathon trip on October 19, 2001. I don't normally fish but there were only eight anglers on this trip and one of them, Mike Tillinghast (MA), had an injury to his arm that wouldn't allow him to fish. So, he asked me to fish for him! How could I refuse? This is the first time that I have caught the largest fish in any species during a Bunny Clark fishing season. Thanks, Mike! I got some mileage out of Fred Kunz on that one! Note: Jon Clegg's 32 pound pollock caught on July 31, 2001 was 46 inches caliper fork length, the longest pollock of the last two seasons. Had it been filled out or caught in the fall, this fish could have easily been over 40 pounds.

The only other fish off this list I want to mention is the 19.25 pound wolffish caught by twelve year old Anthony Dumont (MA) while fishing on an afternoon trip (4PM - 8PM) with Captain Adam Bissell. His father, John, has fished with me for years but was reluctant to let his son fish until he thought he was ready. John gets a touch of the mal de mer under adverse conditions. Anthony caught this fish on his first deep sea fishing trip ever. It remains the largest fish he has ever caught and was the largest fish of the trip that evening.

I want to mention that pollock 25 pounds or over, cod of 25 pounds or better, cusk of 12 pounds or more, haddock of 7 pounds or more, white hake of 15 pounds or more and wolffish of 15 pounds or more are considered trophies or world class fish in the state of Maine. Every state has a trophy program. Maine's is administered through its Department of Marine Resources under recreational department head and research biologist, Bruce Joule who has done an outstanding job in helping Maine's marine recreational anglers. Anglers who qualify for a trophy award will receive a sticker showing a very good artist's representation of the appropriate species and a certificate attesting to the catch.

Before I end this Guestletter, I want to cite those anglers and experiences of note that deserve an honorable mention for their uniqueness and/or fishing prowess during the 2001 Bunny Clark fishing season. I realize that this is a value judgment on my part but I believe that my conclusions are recognized as a popular opinion among my crew and fishing guests and are based on many fishing trips. These special anglers and incidents are as follows:

Fisherman of the Year (FY-'01): Fred Kunz (shown in the digital image on the right with the hat holding his 59 pound cod with Tom Giammattie (CT) - refer to the second paragraph after the trophy list) with his wins this award for the fifth time in the last eleven seasons. The other four seasons included 1995, 1996, 1998 and 1999. No one has ever won it more than once except Fred. As most of you know by now, the Fisherman of the Year award is based on a point system that relates to specific achievements during a trip and during the year. Each achievement is worth a set of points. The individual with the most points at the end of the season wins. In order to compete in this category, you have to have paid for and completed at least 10 different trips on the Bunny Clark. I have had many excellent anglers who fish with us on a regular basis every season, any one of whom has the potential to become the Fisherman of the Year. Fred has always been one of my top regular anglers. Fred won the award last season mainly for his ability to be high hook on every trip he attended and his large number of fish over 20 pounds, among other things. Ken McLaughlin came in second while Dick Lyle (NY) came in a very close third.

Female Angler of The Year: Tara Wilkins (VT) won this award for the first time. To my knowledge, she has never sailed on the Bunny Clark until last season. Very competitive, she was high hook on almost every trip she attended and frequently landed the largest fish of the trip. Her largest fish of the season were two cod of exactly 20.25 pounds, one caught on August 23, 2001 and the other caught on September 23, 2001.

Best Bait Fisherman: I was in a quandary with this one because there was no clear winner. However, there were four or, at least, four whom I couldn't separate so I'll give the single title to them as one. These four anglers (all from New Jersey) are "Tugboat" Fred Frabel, Brian Dubreuil, Mike Mrozowski and Andy Dzikowicz (I have a hard time distinguishing between Andy and Mike on a regular basis anyway!). These guys are very excellent bait fishermen and, since they always keep their fish together, I could never get a handle on who is better than whom. They have always been excellent bait fishermen and anglers in general. This year, however, they were heads (and tails) above the rest.

Most Aces: For those who don't know, an angler scores an ace when he or she lands the three largest fish (or more) during a trip. There were three aces last season. My seven year old son, Micah, landed the first ace of the year on an afternoon trip the evening before the Ultra Marathon trip (July 16, 2001) with such heavies aboard as Don Somers (ME), Tim Williams (CT) and Kelly Wilkinson (PA) - some of my best anglers. His three fish included a 13 pound cod, an 11.25 pound cod (which he released back alive) and an 11 pound pollock. I was justly proud and I didn't help him! Three days later (July 19, 2001) on a full day trip with Captain Adam, Ken Kirk (PA) landed an ace by catching a 23.25 pound cod, a 21 pound cod and a 20.75 pound cod, the three largest fish of the trip. Dick Lyle landed the third ace of the season with me on August 6, 2001. Included in his ace were a 26 pound cod, a 25.75 pound cod and a 25 pound cod, all Maine state trophy fish for size! Actually, Dick Jordan (NY) also caught a cod of exactly 25.75 pounds to tie Dick for the lead in the boat pool. Dick Lyle's 26 pound cod was the last fish in the boat that trip and the pool winner!

Most Trophies (including cod & pollock over 20 pounds): Fred Kunz landed the most trophies last season with twenty fish including a 28 pound pollock, a 28 pound cod, a 28.5 pound cod, a 30 pound cod, a 32 pound cod and the 59 pound cod. Dick Lyle and Eric Pysar (NY) tied for second place with ten fish each. Dick's largest fish was a 37 pound cod. Eric landed a 28 pound cod and two cod of 26 pounds each, his three largest fish. Tim Williams was third with nine trophy fish for the season. His two largest fish were a 33 pound cod and a 32 pound cod. His largest hake weighed 22 pounds, the largest hake he has ever caught.

Most Trophy Fish During A Trip: On August 6, 2001, Dick Lyle landed four trophy fish. It was a full day trip. Eric Pysar landed four steaker cod on July 17, 2001. Regis Jauvin caught three steaker cod and one slammer pollock on October 1, 2001. Fred Kunz landed three trophy fish on three different trips (nine total), October 22, October 31 and November 7, 2001, all marathon trips. These anglers also landed three trophies or steakers/slammers during the season on one trip: Ken Kirk, Arnie Buza (NJ - twice: once on July 17 & once on September 21), Phil Servantez (CT), Jeff Philbrick (NH), Mike Andrews (ME), Chris W. Morgan (CT - Collin & Chris C's father), Dave Kimball (NY), Dom Bruno, Jeff Rondeau (CT), Al Turner (NY), Tim Tower (ME), Jim Herron (MA), Leo Wojciehowski (NY), John Provoncha (VT) and Mike Horwitz (ME - FY'00).

Most Pools (largest fish of the trip): Ken McLaughlin landed the most pool fish with a total count of five. Regis Jauvin and Tara Wilkins tied for second place with a count of four each.

Hardest Luck of the Year: Paul Revels (NH) for being just another face in the crowd last season when, two seasons earlier, he was a mere two points from winning the fisherman of the year award. Did the Petrel trip get you down, Paul?

Best Singing Angler: Dennis Grabauskas (CT). He never stops trying to sing better. He never seems to achieve this goal but he still keeps trying.

Most Improved Angler: I have to include two anglers here. Keith Borkowski (CT) was introduced to the jig stick only two years ago. Tangles abounded. Last season he requested a Pro Gear reel and fished in the bow on almost every trip without conflict. Not only that, his catches improved tremendously transforming him into one of the high rollers of each trip. One of his good fish last season was a 30 pound pollock caught on the last Bunny Clark trip of the season. Not only a state trophy, this fish was our fifth largest pollock of the year. Tara Wilkins is the other. Her improvements were exponential in magnitude. Her first trip was a half day trip with a boat rod fishing bait. She had to be instructed in the proper fishing procedure. By the end of the season, she was using a jig stick with a Pro Gear reel, out casting everyone and was high hook on almost every trip.

Best Team: There were two standouts: The Aquahtenang crew including Marian "Merv" Murphy, Brian Murphy, Gardner Murphy and Rebecca Hammer and the New York crew of Dom Bruno, Eric Pysar and Sean Devich. Not only do these anglers excel in the fish catching department but they also have the best attitude of anyone whom I came in contact with last season. The thing in my mind that sets them apart from anyone else is their uncompromising conservationist views toward fishing. They release more fish than anyone (except Regis - certainly more than they keep) and love to release the big cod because they feel as I do; the bigger fish are the better spawners and are not as good to eat as the smaller fish. Thanks for having us last year. Your beliefs are like an intoxicating drug with the best side effects (a little corny maybe, but hey, it's the best I could do).

Largest Fish Tagged and Released: On April 13, 2001, Sean Devich released a 36 pound cod, the largest fish to be tagged and released from the Bunny Clark. Jim Feeney (MA) was second with the successful tag and release of a 35.25 pound cod on October 29, 2001. Dom Bruno was third with a 35 pound cod on September 21, 2001. Don Johnson (MA) was fourth with the tag and release of a 33 pound cod on September 28, 2001.

Most Fish Released: Regis Jauvin (NH/PQ) released more legal fish (mostly cod) of any angler during the season. He also released more on one trip than most anglers caught on several trips. One of these trips we stopped counting after he released sixty legal cod from 5 to 15 pounds back to the ocean alive! Had he had more success in the big fish scene, he would have given Fred a good go of it.

Most Entertaining: Dennis Grabauskas comes first to mind. Between his singing all day, his true stories of naked women swimming in his home pool and his poor attempts at becoming a conservationist ("See, Tim, I let one go!"), Dennis was a lot of fun to have aboard. Ben Barzousky (MA), although I don't see him quite as often, is always a riot to have aboard. Regis Jauvin's ability to be noticed from the moment he steps on the boat is legion on the Bunny Clark. These guys are the epitome of what a fishing trip is all about - enjoying the experience.

Best Luck: Ken Ung (MA) gave the Bunny Clark the best luck. Whenever he showed up we did well. He was on the best day trip of the season where we caught the most steakers and he was on the afternoon trip where we landed (and released) the most legal fish of the season (for a half day trip).

Most Unusual Catch: On April 4, 2001, Pete Daige (MA) caught a piece of Spider Wire line. At the end of the line was a Crippled Herring jig and a high teaser hook that was hooked near the eye of a 12 pound cod! Rick Sullivan (ME) had parted this line off on April 1, 2001, our first trip of the season, when he claimed that he had too big a fish on for the drag set of his reel. The fish and gear was caught a half mile away from where Rick originally lost his gear!

In Passing : Art Kemler, Sr. (PA), died this summer after a brief illness. The first one to try an electric reel on the Bunny Clark, he was one my best regular anglers and loved to fish. He did very well at it. We will miss him.

Quote of the Year: "What? Are you going to be nice to me for a change?" A comment to me from Rick Gurney (MA) whom I have abused since he broke a Bunny Clark jig stick in half while fighting a blue shark off the leeward rail a few years ago. I have kept the tradition up with all my marathon trip anglers for years. I have insisted in presenting this false bravado because it gets the anglers attention and because they might think I was sick if I didn't do it. I must have had a weak moment when the above response was made!

Unexplained Phenomena. Three jig sticks were broken at different times in their holders down in the forecastle where they reside when they aren't being used. This is the first time even one has been found broken down there. Tim Rider admits to having some responsibility for one of the sticks. What about the others while he was aboard? When the only bluefin tuna was being fought and, subsequently, landed this year, Emile Gallant didn't complain about someone taking his fishing time or even that we should cut the fish off and go back to cod fishing. Do you suppose that Emile has gotten soft or could it be that having the tuna on his own line changed his opinion? And how about fellow triathloner/runner Greg Veprek who normally goes fishing many times during a season and tries to give Walt Bohnenberger (NY), quite a few years his senior, a drubbing in the landings scene. Did Greg go at all last season? I do know that the ambient air temperature was cooler last summer. Has anyone heard about how Don Robinson did with the hand made Bunny Clark equipment on the Northern Star last season? And who would gaff a free swimming blue shark in the head and expect to get the gaff back when this person's idea of staying in shape involves the physical manipulation of taking a cigarette off the far corner of the console and bringing it all the way up to his mouth? Could it be the same person who might throw a fish box off the bow and not be able to get it back with a gaff? You may well ask.

Our shore side crew, those individuals behind the scenes who answer the phone, take reservations and basically run the show while we are fishing, was one of the best assets of Bunny Clark Deep Sea Fishing last year (as they are every year). Our sweetest telephone voice and successful teacher, now a librarian in Providence, Rhode Island, Meghan Masi was back with us again for the summer months. We were very happy about that and hope she loves her new job in the winter and would love to be with us again this summer. One can only hope! Miranda Harman made her Bunny Clark debut near the tail end of last season. She did a wonderful job and was just getting it down when the year came to a close. Jamie Bean, now in college in New Hampshire but transferring back to Massachusetts, did a superior job with us and continues to do so as I write. Very pragmatic with a wonderful personality, there was never any worry when she was in control. Renée Stevens continues to be our number one behind the scenes and on the phone person. A wizard on the computer, she makes my life so much easier where I am least comfortable - the office! She is a supreme asset to the business. My wife, Debbie, has been the cement that holds all this together. I said this same thing in last years letter but reiterate (literally) here again because it is so true! Without her, I just couldn't continue with the business as it is today. Her advice is always on the mark and her support is something that just can't truly be appreciated unless you are in my position. I appreciate these individuals so much that you can't know. They are the very fabric of the Bunny Clark.

We had a wonderful year last year and the people I should thank most for it are those of you who made it such - the anglers of the Bunny Clark. Ian Keniston said it the best one day while we were doing the winter thing. He said that party boat fishing is first about the people and second about the fish. The spirit of fishing permeates the Bunny Clark like a veil and it is no secret that we have the most wonderful people aboard her all the time. This fact keeps us on our toes to try to do the best. I feel this way and I know most of my crew feels the same. I always thought that fishing could be pretty boring without the people. I still feel that way today. Thanks so much for all your inspiration and for allowing me to enjoy the business I so much appreciate - and you!

Best Fishes,

Tim Tower

The digital image (above) was taken on the July 24, 2001 full day trip. After the last drift of that day, I gathered all the anglers and the large fish that hadn't been filleted yet and took this picture. From left to right the anglers are: Eleven year old Rory MacEachern (MA - in the yellow oil skins) holding his 27 pound cod, Karl Day (ME - in the white t-shirt) holding his 38.5 pound cod (he also caught a 29 pound cod with us on the November 7, 2001 marathon trip), Ken Ung (MA - glasses) holding his 31 pound cod, Twelve year old Matt Day (ME - in red) holding his 26.5 pound cod, Jeff Philbrick (NH) holding his 21 pound pollock in his right hand and his 26 pound cod in his left, Kelly Marquis (NH) holding her 19.5 pound cod and Justin Philbrick (NH) holding his 27 pound cod. Absent from the big fish picture are Fred Kunz (NH) who landed a 32 pound cod and released it back to the ocean alive, Mike Metzger (NY) who won the boat pool with his 39 pound cod and Dick Lyle (NY) with his two 22 pound cods. We had many more big fish which were released or kept and not weighed. The fish mentioned above, however, were the biggest of the day. This was the best single full day trip for big fish during the 2001 Bunny Clark fishing season.

If you want to send me e-mail, the current address is Most individuals have better luck with this address on their own e-mail softwear programs.

With this web site in general, I hope to keep you current on all of the fishing particulars on the Bunny Clark and include updated information on fishery management decisions that could potentially affect us. For a current report go to the Fishing Update section from the link located on the index page of this web site. Thanks!

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