Daily Limit: Whirlwind for DiPalma before Elite season

The DiPalmas say Aloha while on their honeymoon in Hawaii.

Like most Elite anglers, Greg Dipalma is about to get busier as the 2022 B.A.S.S. season fast approaches, not that he hasn’t been getting important stuff done.

DiPalma and Kellye DuVilla purchased a home, married and headed to a Hawaiian honeymoon on the day his new Phoenix boat arrived. 

“As soon as I get home, it’s going to be gangbusters,” he said sitting poolside in Maui. “It’s going to be put it down to the floor and let’s go.”

The boat is getting wrapped now, and his work of reorganizing tackle and loading it will begin as soon as he gets back. Then he’ll head to Florida to pre-practice before the off limits.

Scouring fisheries has become second-nature for DiPalma, a fourth-year Elite who made five cuts in nine tournaments in 2021. The 39-year-old does so much mapping with his Humminbird electronics that he’s found no less than seven boats the past several years.

“I think it’s pretty high,” he said. “Guys like myself on the Elite series, we graph a lot more than the average guy, looking for offshore fish, little sneaky spots, little cuts, divots, and I just happened to come across some boats.

“It’s just side imaging all the years. The lake where I live (1,000-acre Union Lake) has no known mapping, so I did AutoChart live for 50, 60 hours straight, just mapping the lake out, and I found a bunch of boats doing it.”

DiPalma even pulled one up, an old MFG fiberglass skiff with a badly damaged transom, and he resank it for an offshore structure spot. It was one of four or five he’s discovered on the bottom of the biggest manmade lake in New Jersey. He videoed the escapade, and he said his mapping efforts have not gone unrewarded.

Greg and Kellye took in a number of activities, like snorkeling.

“I don’t think anybody has ever AutoCharted live like I do. It was eight or nine hours a day mapping this place out, and it actually made a big difference as far as fishing goes out there for me,” he said. “It maps as you go, so I gridded the entire lake at 4 or 5 mph, which takes forever but it gives you a super accurate chart layout.”

His electronics have also helped him find sunken treasure elsewhere. He said he passed over a boat on the bottom of Lake Champlain in practice a few years ago. He turned around, discovered fish on it and caught a couple of big smallmouth from the spot, which has come in handy.

“The last two trips we’ve been there, I’ve weighed a fish every day off that sunken boat,” he said.

Pulling up bass is one thing; boats are another. DiPalma said getting a title for a salvaged watercraft makes it a nearly futile process. “The legal side is super hard nowadays,” he said.

Marrying Kellye was much easier, and it was something both had mapped out for some time. DiPalma said they had a gorgeous ceremony, and their fun on the islands includes hopes to expand the family. They went snorkeling and toured the Road to Hana through rainforests with waterfalls and seascapes.

They woke one morning at 2 a.m. to travel to Haleakala National Park to experience sunrise atop the 10,023-foot dormant volcano. They rode bikes down from around 6,500 feet, where it wasn’t so chilly.

The DiPalmas woke at 2 a.m. one morning to take in sunrise atop a dormant volcano.

“It’s pretty crazy,” DiPalma said. “All the clouds sit down inside the volcano and as the day progresses they rise out.”

Sounds like a busy but awesome trip. The going will continue when he gets back with prep and more road work.

“I’m going try to get to the St. Johns before cutoff, get to Harris Chain before cutoff. I have Bass University, another place for a couple seminars,” he said. “I gotta be here and there. It’s going to be pretty busy.”

The landscape was amazing at 10,000 feet in Haleakala National Park, and they rode bikes down from 6,500 feet where it was less frigid.

Fisherman caps in vogue

The Wall Street Journal published a national story on Bass Pro Shop hats, which have long been popular among anglers but have become trendy among some city folks.

Apparently, some non-outdoorsy types in cities like Los Angeles are making fashion statements with the more colorful BPS caps. One restaurant worked, Jess Alvarado, is quoted, “It’s a simple design, like, you can throw it on with anything,” he said.

“We’ve had a kind of a run on our trucker Bass Pro caps,” John Paul Morris, the chief customer officer, said for this article, which goes on to say eBay flippers are selling the $6 hats for $20 a pop.

The meme — Gene Wilder dressed as Willy Wonka saying, “Oh, Bass Pro Shop hat? You must be really good at fishing” — is sure to come around again.

Wisconsin angler Bill Schultz has logged more than 25,000 smallmouth.

Wisconsin angler tops 25,000 smallies

Bill Schultz of New Berlin, Wis., filled his years-long quest to catch 25,000 smallmouth this year.

The St. Croix rods pro staffer began a fishing log in 1992 then started to set goals, like catching 1,000 smallies in the season. Around noon on Aug. 4, fishing near Green Bay, Schultz landed number 25,000, a 4 1/2-pounder.

“I love river fishing, and rivers have accounted for many of my catches over the years,” Schultz said for this article. “But I wanted to be up on Lake Michigan in Door County to maximize my chances for a bigger fish for number 25,000. So, with just two fish to go, that’s where I headed.”

And Schultz keeps keeping on. He’s experiencing his best numbers this year and plans to roll up many more bronzebacks.

“I’m still just out there having fun, continuing to learn, and trying to become a more effective angler,” he said. “The 25,000 landmark catch has come and gone. I’ve already caught and released over 2,500 smallies this season and expect to end the year with my tally at close to 27,000.”

The feat reminded the Daily Limit of Steve Wozniak, a California angler who travels the world in his quest to catch the most species of fish. It was surprising to see the decade old stories still up on ESPN Outdoors, although the photo galleries of his weird and wonderful catches are unavailable. See his quest for 1,000 different species in Grand Ambition, and after he completed his quest in Cast of A Thousand.