Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

March 3, 2013

OUTDOOR COLUMN: Elkhart fishing pioneer passes away

GOSHEN — If you’re a river bass angler or enjoy fishing Michiana lakes, you probably gained some of your knowledge from Don Rank.

Even you may not know him, the expertise he has passed along to generations of local anglers has somehow made it into your tackle box.

Sadly, the Michiana fishing legend from Elkhart was laid to rest this week after an extended illness at the age of 71.

The rest of us geezers will remember him as one of the region’s fiercest bass tournament competitors and a guy who just loved fishing.

It didn’t matter whether he was fishing for carp off the bank of the St. Joseph River (as he often did) or was jerking crappies and bluegills out of an ice hole, Don Rank made fishin’ fun.

He also made his mark on the national scene, fishing several national bass tournaments through the 1980s and even qualified for the Bassmaster Classic in 1981.

Many of the things he learned while fishing against the nation’s best anglers were carried back to Michiana. He was truly a pioneer of many of the techniques in use on our lakes today and that so many of us take for granted.

For example, he created “the Rank Rig,” a deadly finesse fishing technique that has caught countless bass on Michiana lakes by local anglers who never met Don Rank.

“All of us old guys learned a lot from him,” said South Bend native Greg Mangus, another great angler who now lives in Fremont, Ind. “I’ll never forget how Don motivated me to learn how to fish a Silver Buddy. I won a lot of money on that bait when other people had little knowledge of it. And it was all because of Don.”

A founding member of the St. Joseph Valley Bassmasters, one of Indiana’s first bass clubs, Rank changed the way people fished the river for bass. He was an incredible jig fisherman and was free with his knowledge of how and where to fish jigs in heavy cover.

“He taught me a lot about fishing jigs in cold water, something most guys never did before Don showed them,” says Tony Olivier of South Bend, Rank’s frequent fishing partner in recent years.

Rank had his rough side, too. He could be a grouchy, stubborn curmudgeon and wasn’t one to bite his tongue when something ruffled his feathers.

“No doubt about it – he could be grouchy,” said Olivier. “But beneath his gruffness was a heckuva good man.”

Rank battled cancer and diabetes the past couple of years but it didn’t keep him off the water.

“We did a lot of fun fishing the past three years and you could tell his illness slowed him down,” said Olivier. “But he still loved to compete and will remain one of the greatest anglers to come out of this region.”

Travel Tender closes

One of Michiana’s favorite, family-owned tackle shops closed its doors last month after serving Goshen and outlying communities for 34 years.

Owner Ernie Borntrager and his wife Laverda decided to call it quits and retire to enjoy a more peaceful lifestyle and travel.

Anyone who has visited the Travel Tender will tell you that the Borntragers kept a good supply of lures and baits pertinent to local fishing and went the extra mile to provide good service.

Sadly, it’s a sign of the times when small independent retailers are going out of business. Borntrager, who turned 72 recently, weathered the storm longer than most and his business and willingness to help sportsmen enjoy their favorite pastime will be missed.

Boat engine class

The South Bend Sail and Power Squadron will offer an “Engine Maintenance” 10-week course beginning March 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Battell Center in Mishawaka.

The course covers those repairs that do-it-yourselfers can perform even though modern engines are largely computerized and can no longer be serviced by untrained mechanics using ordinary tools.

Instructors will teach how to diagnose problems that might be beyond your ability to fix, and how to share information with your mechanic, so the right repairs are performed.

The course also covers basic mechanical systems such as drive systems (propellers), steering systems, and engine controls. Gasoline, diesel and outboard engines are treated independently.

Course fee is $75 that includes textbooks. Pre-register by contacting Anita McCollester, 574-276-2182 or e-mail seo@sbsps.org.

Text Only
Sports
  • WNBA MVP Basketball [TGN Online] Lynx's Moore wins WNBA MVP award Minnesota's Maya Moore has won the WNBA most valuable player award after leading the league in scoring. The WNBA announced that Moore will receive the award before the Lynx host San Antonio in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals on Thursday night.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 120928 GHS-NR FB 05 H.S. FOOTBALL: Week 1 looks to be a scorcher GOSHEN — During the Elkhart County 4-H Fair I had a chance encounter with Bob Miller, coach of the Fairfield Falcons.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 West Noble Football Letterwinners H.S. FOOTBALL: West Noble ready to start 2014 campaign LIGONIER — The West Noble Chargers are coming off a 3-7 campaign in 2013 and have 19 letterwinners back for the upcoming season that begins on Friday with a home game against the Central Noble Cougars.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140615 goshen fb practice 20 New coaches follow fathers' footsteps GOSHEN — Two of the more anticipated games of the local high school football season in recent years will take place Friday. The Goshen Redskins host the Carroll Chargers at Foreman Field in Goshen and the NorthWood Panthers travel down SR 19 to face the Jimtown Jimmies.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - PT080714 - PT Tom Lindley column - pic Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame Not again. Not Notre Dame. Sorry, Irish fans. It’s sad but true. The stench of academic fraud — followed by a sweeping investigation — is back in the air in South Bend. With the season opener against Rice set for Aug. 30, Notre Dame finds itself with

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan St Notre Dame Football-6 [GOSHEN NEWS] ND FOOTBALL: WR Robinson settles into football path SOUTH BEND — At Notre Dame football media day, Corey Robinson is holding court. Peppered with questions ranging from the academic rigor of Notre Dame to what music means to him, he answers everything with a smile, and usually draws a laugh from the four or five reporters circled around him at his white table.|SOUTH BEND — At Notre Dame football media day, Corey Robinson is holding court. Peppered with questions ranging from the academic rigor of Notre Dame to what music means to him, he answers everything with a smile, and usually draws a laugh from the f

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Packers Rams Football [GOSHEN NEWS] NFL: NFC North has plenty of potential for points Green Bay's grab of the NFC North for the third straight season, giving the Packers seven of the 12 titles since the division formed, was predictable.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT GN140820 Kelly ND Media Day Notre Dame football: Kelly not changing team goals Five days ago, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly learned that he was going to lose four players — three starters — until an investigation into alleged academic misconduct was completed. Not much has changed since then. Kelly said he has talked to the four players under investigation, and has addresses it with the team every day. But now, Kelly has to move on.|SOUTH BEND — Five days ago, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly learned that he was going to lose four players — three starters — until an investigation into alleged academic misconduct was completed.Not much has changed since then. Kelly said he has t

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 nd media day 64 Notre Dame football: Schmidt shatters limits to become starter SOUTH BEND — Joe Schmidt doesn’t like people who tell him he can’t..

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SLIDESHOW: Notre Dame football media day

    August 19, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results