Carroll Ware of Skowhegan (left) recently was presented with the Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso during a ceremony in Augusta. Credit: Contributed / Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Carroll Ware’s name appears at least 52 times in the world fishing records kept by the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum.

That undoubtedly means most anglers who have utilized his services as a Master Maine Guide enjoyed a pretty good day on the water.

Ware, a longtime guide from Skowhegan, was recently honored for his years of service with the 2020 Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Ware received the award from Maine DIF&W Commissioner Judy Camuso in a small ceremony at the department’s headquarters in Augusta on May 26.

“Carroll embodies what it means to be a Maine Guide,” Camuso said. “Not only does he possess an extensive knowledge of the Maine outdoors, but Carroll is happy to share his knowledge with others, and is also very involved in his community.

The Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award is presented annually at the Maine Professional Guides Association banquet. However, the event was held virtually this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Ware, who has been a fixture in the Maine outdoors, became a Registered Maine Guide in 1989. He and his wife Lila have operated Fins and Furs Adventures for 33 years, taking clients on world-class fishing experiences in Maine, Quebec, Labrador, Chile and other destinations.

The Wares were also the owner-operators of Bosebuck Camps on the shore of Aziscohos Lake in Oxford County for many years, where they provided hundreds of anglers and hunters with a true Maine sporting camp experience.

Carroll and Lila Ware have operated a school for students interested in becoming a Maine Guide, sharing their experience to help outdoors aficionados learn the traditions and develop the skills needed to become a successful guide.

When not working on the water or in the woods, Carroll Ware was a member of the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge 2531 and mentored at-risk youth in the boxing ring.

The veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces often donates much of the wild game he harvests to friends, neighbors and the local food pantry.

Ware was inducted in 2020 into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame as a fisherman. At the time, he owned 52 world fishing records, according to the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. His catches include several species, on various line weights and tippets.

Winners of the Wiggie Robinson Award must have been a Registered Maine Guide for 20 years and have participated as an active guide for at least 10 of those years. Recipients also must have been active in the local or outdoor community, or have participated on boards or committees that enhance and promote the importance of Maine’s outdoor resources.

As the award’s namesake, Robinson, who hailed from Millinocket, was a Master Maine Guide for more than 50 years and a member of several sporting associations. He was an outdoor writer, broadcaster and photographer who took pride in his role as an outdoor communicator, and traveled across the northeast as a representative of the DIF&W and the state at trade expositions in his later years.

He died in 2007 at the age of 85.

Previous Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award winners are: Wilmot “Wiggie” Robinson (posthumously) 2009, Gil Gilpatrick 2010, Gary Corson 2011, Gardner Defoe 2012, Matthew P. Libby 2013, Don Dudley 2014, Danny Legere 2015, Richard Scribner 2016, Donald E. Helstrom Jr. 2017, Lance Wheaton 2018 and Bonnie Holding 2019.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...