By Molly Kirk
Each month in the Fishing Notes from the Field email, we at the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) are going to highlight one of our constituents and the role hunting plays in their life. For this first installment, we introduce you to Tyler Bumgarner, who is a Senior Conservation Police Officer at DWR and a devoted and competitive angler. Are you an avid angler who would like to be featured or know someone who would be great to feature? We’d love to hear from you! Just email [email protected] and let us know!
Name: Tyler Bumgarner
Hometown: Warsaw, VA
How did you get interested in fishing?
Fishing has always been a part of my life and family. In fact, I received my first fishing rod on the day I arrived home from the hospital as a baby and got my lifetime hunting and fishing license for my first birthday. So I guess it’s safe to say I was destined to be a fisherman!
What do you love about fishing?
What I love most about fishing is the remote and beautiful places that it allows me to explore throughout Virginia and the many other states I have been able to visit and fish. In the last several years I have taken up kayak tournament bass fishing, which has allowed me to meet and fish alongside some of the greatest fishermen in the country. I also enjoy the challenge of going to a new body of water and trying to figure out a pattern on a given day for the conditions.
Who was your fishing mentor?
Growing up in a fishing family, I would always spend my spring breaks fishing with my grandpa. When I was a young boy he was the one always preparing the boat and gear to go fishing.
As time went on and we both got older, I took over the role of taking him fishing. We enjoyed many early mornings on the lake watching the sunrise and nature come to life. Like any other young boy growing up in an outdoors-oriented family, I spent many days on the rivers, lakes and streams of Virginia with my dad, from casting lessons in the back yard to teaching me how to drive his bass boat and back a trailer. The basis of my fishing knowledge came from him. I know I owe so much to my dad and grandpa who always taught me to stay focused on my goals and never give up.
What’s been your most memorable catch?
Having fished the vast majority of my life there have been many memorable fish caught. From my first bass with my dad when I was a young boy to catching my personal best bass, a 26-inch fish that weighed 11 lb., 4 oz., just a few years ago.
My most memorable catch, however, was not even mine. It came this year on an early spring morning when I was fishing with my wife and 5-year-old daughter. I have been teaching her how to fish ever since she could hold a fishing rod like my dad and grandpa taught me. After fishing for half an hour with no bites, she asked that I put her favorite color Zoom Trick Worm on her hook. As I turned my attention to changing my own bait, she made a long cast.
Seconds later I heard her yelling for help. I looked to see her rod doubled over and what I knew would be her new personal best bass jump out of the water. With a little coaching and assistance she reeled in her new personal best bass, a 5 lb. lunker. Seeing her enjoying fishing as much as I do and wanting to spend time in the outdoors with her dad makes that my most memorable catch.
Are you an avid angler who would like to be featured or know someone who would be great to feature? We’d love to hear from you! Just email [email protected] and let us know!