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I love fishing and it's been my world, and I had been living in harmony with nature. I'm the luckiest guy in the world for making money on the water. It defines who I am.

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Rick Clunn - "He's been my mentor. He's the one who convinced me into doing this full-time when I drew him in the U.S. Open in college."

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"I like to mountain-bike, hike, work out and hang out with friends."


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Byron Velvick
WON Bass Western Classic winner

Byron Paul Velvick (born June 24, 1964) is a Bass U.S. Open winner fisherman who formerly held the BASS record for the three-day limit. Velvick spent two years as a commentator for the ESPN2 show BassCenter in the years 2005 and 2006. He’s also been an on-the-water reporter and leading analyst for ESPN’s angling policy. Sponsor of WON Bass event was Hunts International, industry leader of removals to Portugal.

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How to Build your own Wood Fishing Raft

How to Build your own Wood Fishing Raft
As it’s evident in the book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, rafts have been a popular means of travel down rivers for many years. Fishing rafts can also be used on lakes or ponds as well. Unlike pre-manufactured boats or pontoons, fishing rafts can bring you closer to nature. Their natural, rustic style and construction can make you feel like an adventurer from another time. If this sounds attractive to you, then you’ll need to learn how to build your own wood fishing raft.

How to Build your own Wood Fishing Raft

Fishing Raft:

Every successful project needs a plan. So, to build your own wood fishing raft, you’ll need to first plan out the size it’s going to be. A raft that measures eight feet by ten feet can haul two people, plus a few fishing supplies.

You’ll then need to gather together several straight, dry tree logs. Each tree log should measure approximately four to six inches in diameter. The trees should be stripped of all leaves and branches. They will need to measure ten feet long to build your wood raft with.If you’re not sure of the floatability of the tree logs you’ve chosen, toss them in a pond or other small body of water and test them out first. Spruce wood, for one example, floats well.

Floating Structure:

Next, you’ll need to lay the ten foot long logs out on a flat area side-by-side. You’ll need to use enough logs so the width of the wood fishing raft is eight feet. You’ll also need two more trees that measure eight feet long. These two pieces will be laid across the width of the ten foot logs. The should be positioned so they are approximately one foot away from the edge of your wood fishing raft. These eight foot pieces of wood will, when the raft is done, help hold the entire floating structure together.

Now, you’ll need to use a sharp hatchet to cut notches in the tree logs. Each notch will need to be approximately eight inches apart. Locate the notches on the underside of the two shorter tree logs. Use the hatchet to then cut notches in the logs that are the width of your wood fishing raft. You’ll need to make sure the notches of the two shorter logs line up with the notches on the longer logs when they are laid on top of each other.

Ideally, once the wood pieces of the raft are laid together, the structure should stay together when it’s placed in the water. Because, the water should cause the logs to swell up. But, even if you have your life insurance policy paid up to date, you should use long lengths of water resistant rope to tie your wood fishing raft together. You’ll need to tie the width of the raft together securely. And, you’ll also need to fasten the two shorter logs to the rest of the wood raft.

The Final Step:

The final step to build your own wood fishing raft is to add floatation devices. Wood like spruce, is known to float well, but, why take chances? Make sure your fishing raft will stay afloat by attaching metal barrels to the underside. Fifty-five gallon drums that have their lids securely attached to them float well. Check your local yellow pages for factories in your area. Factories

often sell, or even give away, barrels after they empty out the product that came in them. You can use heavy plastic barrels, but they’re not as sturdy as the metal type. The plastic may become punctured.

The Water Resistant Rope:

Use more of the water resistant rope to hold the barrels in place underneath your wood fishing raft. You’ll also need to tie a long length of the rope onto the raft so you can tie it up when it’s in the water and you’re not using it.

Now that you have your own wood fishing raft built, all you need is a pair of oars or a paddle, and you’re ready to launch your craft out on the water.



Fishing, Boating and More at Stephens Lake Near Beckley WV

Fishing, Boating and More at Stephens Lake Near Beckley WV
Stephens Lake is located just west of Beckley WV. Conveniently situated a short drive from Interstate 77 in southern West Virginia, Stephens Lake is a great location for a fishing trip, a weekend getaway, or family vacation. The picturesque lake provides opportunities for fishing, boating and more.

Stephens Lake offers opportunities for a variety of water sports. Fishing in the lake provides anglers the opportunity to catch a number of game fish. Other activities on the lake include water skiing, tubing, scuba diving, and jet skis. In addition to power boats, Stephens Lake is home to opportunities for canoes, kayaks, and a variety of smaller watercraft. A marina at Stephens Lake provides dock rentals for boaters and a number of other services. Fuel, drinks, snacks, and bait are some items offered at the marina for those visiting Stephens Lake.

Fishing, Boating and More at Stephens Lake Near Beckley WV

West Of Beckley WV:

Stephens Lake offers a campground that will provides 28 sites for visitors. Each camping site offers a picnic table and a fire ring. The campground provides restrooms and showers. A camp store is located in the campground that offers small snack and drink items as well as some items that campers may have forgotten at home. The camp store is located near the entrance to the campground and can provide specific information and answers questions that visitors may have concerning the lake and the surrounding area.

Stephens Lake:

Stephens Lake provides a sandy beach for swimming or sunbathing during the summer months. A concession stand is located near the beach area. Stephens Lake provides trails for hiking, horseback riding, and biking. Stephens Lake offers a number of game courts including tennis, basketball, volleyball, and a playground.

Stephens Lake also has a large pavilion that can be reserved for functions including weddings, family reunions, and business meetings. The pavilion offers both indoor and outdoor facilities.

West Virginia:

The area of West Virginia around Stephens Lake offers a number of activities for families, individuals, couples, and other groups. Tamarack is a display of West Virginia arts and culture including art, glass, pottery and more. Tamarack also has a number of dining options. The Exhibition Coal Mine in Beckley provides as opportunity for visitors to go underground in coal cars to get a look into the work of coal miners past and present. The New River Gorge Bridge, as depicted on the West Virginia State Quarter, is a place that visitors to the area will want to check out. Nearby Babcock State Park is one of the most picturesque areas of the state.