The Becker Fishing Contest Official Scoring System

In order to make fishing more fun in our family, we’ve created a fish scoring system.

  • Non-keeper (because it is too small) — 1 point
  • A Keeper — 2 points
  • A fish deemed “trophy size” — 3 points (17″ bass, 12″ perch, etc)
  • Catching the largest keeper or trophy fish so far that day — 1 point

Winner is the first to score 15 points or the highest score when time to leave.

Combination points are possible, i.e., catch the first keeper of the day and it is worth 3 points

  • o keeper = 2 points
  • o largest keeper so far that day = 1 point

Fishing Door County: Green Bay & Lake Michigan

The perch fishing was incredible in Door County. We spent almost all our time in Fish Creek on the pier.
We’d been told to fish off the top with bobbers and keep the bait off the bottom because of the scavenger fish. But everyone was catching small 6″ perch with bobbers off the top and I wanted bigger. Putting a large weight three foot from the end of the hook and hooking the minnow in the tail kept the minnow swimming above the bottom. Wow…what fun! Jack’s big catch was the largest…a 12″ perch.


People came over several times each day asking how we were haved such success. We shared our minnows with many, as well as, our favorite spot. At one point a man with two kids came by in a little dingy and asked, “How are you guys catching so many?” We had seen them catch nothing for over an hour. We gave them a dozen minnows and the younger boy caught one pretty quick. Twenty minutes later the daughter was still skunked and Ben said, “Hey, bring your boat over here and toss your line right here.” The father manuevered into position, the daughter dropped her line down and 15 seconds later they were pulling a nice sized perch into the boat. As they were motoring away, the father yelled back, “You guys have made our day! Thanks!!!!”

We spent over 30 hours fishing from the pier sometimes just me and Ben and sometimes with Jack as well.JacksGobieBassCatch.jpg All in all, it was over 70 man-hours of fishing. And what did we have to show for it?

45 Yellow Perch – 7 to 12 inches
1 Smalley (Small mouth Bass) – 16 inches
3 Crappie
— we caught tons more that were just a bit smaller including two mroe smalleys

And some great fish fries!!!! All in all we’ve fed 30 mouths with the catch. Not bad!

Jackson’s Double Play
One great catch was a double play by Jackson. Fishing with a night-crawler, he caught a gobie (scavenger fish) about three inches long. As little boys do, he decided to put the gobie back in the water to watch him swim around on his line. Next thing I know I’m hearing, “Dad, it’s a bass!!!!!!” Jackson’s gobie was the perfect bait for a hungry 11-inch smalley. What fun!

Brian 13
Ben 9
Jack 15

Ben's First Double Play

BaseballBen.jpgWell…a proud dad has to brag! Ben completed his first double play tonight as he caught the line-drive and threw the ball to first base before the runner made it back for a forced out. It definitely wasn’t a smooth display of baseball…but none the less…it was a double play!

After the game (a defeat after three extra innings), the coach of the other team said. You’ve got a great second baseman there. I said thank you and told him his son did a great job. He then said, “So what position does your son play?” That’s when I realized his earlier compliment was directed at the team having a great 2nd baseman…not just me. I proudly said, “Second base!”

Proud daddy, signing off.

Watching Busch Stadium Demolished

I donated some money to a charity because with the donation came a chance to have a VIP pass to watch the old Busch Stadium demolished. Low-and-behold, I was picked! Awesome!

My father and Lance Donze went with me and it was cool. They gave all the winners a beautiful lithograph of the hall-of-famers who played in Busch stadium signed by eight of them: Jackie Smith, Dan Dierdorf, Ozzie Smith, & Stan The Man.

While there, I was intervied by several TV stations about my GGFather owning the Cardinals. One of the interviews was live. Very Cool.

What a great day.

A moment with Tony LaRussa

I had the opportunity to talk to St. Louis Cardinals baseball manager, Tony LaRussa, on Friday. I presented him with a copy of the photo of the 1899 St Louis Baseball team which my great-grandfather owned from 1898-1917. The team included three hall of famers including, most notably, Cy Young.

I walked in the front door of Busch Stadium at 4pm on the first day of a three day series with the New York Yankees and asked to speak to Tony LaRussa’s secretary. I showed the 13″ by 17″ photo and his secretary escorted me down onto the field where the Cardinals were taking batting practice (yes, I tried to time that one and it worked). Tony was doing TV interviews but after 20 minutes of waiting (Larry Walker, Scott Roland and several others batted while I waited) Tony came over.

I presented him the photo and he was extremely grateful. He asked several times if he could do anything for me in return and I kept saying, “it is just an honor to present this to you.” Finally the third time he asked I told him I had two small boys at home, he wrote down their names and ages.

When Ben (my six-year old) found out what had transpired he said, “DAD! You mean the Cardinals coach asked you if there was ANYTHING he could do for you? And you didn’t ask him if Pujols could come over to our house for dinner?”

What was I thinking!?!

A Round of Golf with Joe Montana

I received a last minute invitation to the 1999 Internet Invitational Cup in Colorado Springs at the legendary Broadmore Hotel. Though they never had a 2nd annual, this event was designed to get the competitive companies together outside the office/convention arena and get to know each other. Various companies were recommended like, Yahoo!, and

Just under 70 players were participating in one day individual stroke-play golf tournament. Each player had a caddy and U.S.G.A. officials were on the course to make rulings.

The buzz leading up to the weekend was that football-great Joe Montana would be playing as well. The night before the event, three business cards were drawn for who would be in Joe’s foursome. I couldn’t believe it when my name was pulled from the bowl.

A round of golf with Joe Montana was a treat. He was easy to talk to and full of stories. It was rainy that day, but it didn’t dampen the mood. He and I both shot 44 on the front, but on the back he shot a 41 and I fell apart and shot a 55. With my 20 handicap I shot a 75 which put me at 9th place.

On the way up the 17th fairway, Joe looked over at me and said, “You want to have a drink in the clubhouse after this is over?” I looked at him with a well yeah expression and said, “SURE!”

The four of us sat at a corner table for over two hours listening to his stories and adding some of our own. The longer we stayed, the larger the crowd around. It was incredible.

Joe signed two a 49ers and Cheifs football jerseys for Ben (13 months old at the time). And in Ben’s bedroom is a photo of me standing next to Joe who is holding Ben in his arms. A classic shot!

Signing the National Anthem in Busch Stadium

In 1898, Edward C. Becker purchased the St Louis Cardinals baseball franchise (at that time it was the St Louis Browns) from the founder Mr. Vander Auhe. 100 years later and in honor of this former owner, I (Edward’s great-grandson) got to sing the national anthem in 1998 on a hot August evening when the Cardinals took on the Atlanta Braves.

Many extended family members from all over the country and friends converged on St Louis as we celebrated the event.

My loving brother, Bob, tried to jinx me at the last moment. In the hotel elevator on the way to the stadium, my brother said, “Now, is it proof through the flight or proof through the night?” Nice…real nice.

It wasn’t a stellar job, but one person stopped me afterwards and said, “I’ve never heard the audience be so quiet for the National Anthem from begining to end. It was very special.”

Additional Note:
Since the event, I’ve had two total strangers recognize me in a crowd as singing the National Anthem that day. Just last year some 7 years after I sang, I had someone say, “I was there the day you sang the National Anthem, I’d never heard it sung with such passion.”