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September 08, 2010

Angler quests for 1,000 species

Not resting on those laurels, he's already begun the quest for 2,000.


Steve Wozniak with a blood snapper in Australia

Check out one angler's quest for a grand. No typo there - i.e.,  not a 1,000-pound grander marlin, but 1,000 different species of fish. And this year, angler Steve Wozniak (no, not that Steven Wozniak) of San Ramon, California, finally reached that goal after 10 years, an estimated 20,000 hours fishing and more than a million air miles all over the world. Not resting on those laurels, he's already begun the quest for 2,000.

Fishing in Norway in July, Wozniak's small coalfish would in any other circumstance, have been of barely passing interest, but this coalfish was special: It was the 1,000th species of fish the 47-year-old angler has caught. From fish a few ounces to hundreds of pounds, from European ponds to azure blue depths of oceans, Wozniak has kept meticulous records and a running, often hilarious, blog of his exploits with many photos. You can see it at www.1000fish.wordpress.com.

What's particularly impressive about this feat, aside from its sheer volume, says International Game Fish Association President Rob Kramer, is that "Besides his unyielding determination to reach his goal, Wozniak has been compiling a valuable inventory of images and information about these fish while also connecting a communication bridge between ichthyologists from around the globe. There are 31,600 confirmed species of fish in the world, and Wozniak has now caught 1/30th of them. In addition to the difficulties of targeting fish by species, to think that he has fished in over 62 countries on every continent except Antarctica is staggering."