Kayak fisherman nearly toppled by 200-pound alligator gar

A kayak fisherman in south Texas came close to being tipped over by the 200-pound alligator gar he battled for 40 minutes before paddling one-handed to shore and landing the prehistoric fish. The 7-foot alligator gar was the biggest Chris Hernandez had ever caught and it was almost too much to handle. Hernandez told USA Today/For The Win Outdoors he was fishing a river on the outskirts of his hometown of Benito when he landed the alligator gar last week. “It was just a quick flip from the tail that hit my yak causing my yak to shake back and forth,” Hernandez told For The Win Outdoors. “If my yak would’ve tilted a couple more inches, it would’ve took in water. “At one point my rod was halfway in the water while the gar was taking line. My upper body was [so] tired that I thought I was going to lose my rod to this dinosaur of a gar.” Since there was no way he was going to pull the fish onto his kayak, Hernandez used one hand to paddle to shore as he held on to his fishing rod. A friend helped him through branches on the bank so he could to land the gar. “This was an awesome experience and an awesome joy ride on the yak,” Hernandez wrote on his Facebook page. “Man, the heart was r...

Dungeness crab sport fishing season opens Saturday in the Bay Area

It’s time for an annual ritual for many in the Bay Area: the start of the Dungeness crab season. The recreational season officially opens Nov. 2, which means super-enthusiastic sport fishers will head out on boats or lower their crab pots from piers in the early hours of the weekend. This year, the Dungeness crab recreational fishing season is scheduled to last until June 30 for the coastal area as far north as Point Arena in Mendocino County (the counties farther north will stay open until July 30). On Friday, the California Department of Public Health issued a safety warning to crabbers not to eat the shellfish’s viscera, or guts, because of elevated levels of domoic acid found in their organs. The department also recommended rinsing crabs after cleaning them, and throwing out any water used to cook crabs. The commercial crab season is currently scheduled to open Nov. 15. That’s when Bay Area markets and restaurants will start expecting the crustaceans. But for now, anglers have a daily limit of 10 Dungeness crabs, each which measure at least 5¾ inches across the shell. Licenses are required for most crab fishing, whether it’s from a party boat or a kayak, though they’re not n...

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Theatre Z offering two plays new to the Green Bay area in repertory

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Theatre Z of greater Green Bay will present two plays in repertory (alternating sequence) this week in Jean Weidner Theatre of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Lucy Kirkwood’s “The Children” starts Wednesday, May 22, and Jordan Hall’s “Kayak” starts Thursday, May 23. Info: snc.edu/tickets. According to a press release: Stephen Rupsch, artistic director of the professional Theatre Z and associate dean of visual and performing arts for St. Norbert College, is directing “The Children.” Jennifer Kuchenbecker Thomas, associate professor from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., is directing “Kayak.” Performances follow this sequence: “The Children,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22; “Kayak,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23; “The Children,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 24, and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 25; “Kayak,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26. Scenic and lighting for both plays is designed by April Beiswenger, director and associate professor of theater studies for St. Norbert College, and artistic associate for Theatre Z. Elizabeth Jolly, graduate of St. Norbert College and the American Academy...