G. Sam Piatt
PDT Outdoor Columnist
The only time I ever made any money from fishing was when, as a teenager, some of us boys would set a trotline in the Ohio River. Our catch was mostly all catfish. We kept them in a livebox until we had a couple dozen or more.
Then we’d clean them, ice them down, and row across to the Court Street landing on the Portsmouth riverfront. We’d carry them up to Herman’s Market on Market Street, where we’d exchange the fresh fish for fresh cash.
This was how we got our money for school clothes, tickets to the Saturday matinee at the Garden, and for cherry phosphates and Pepsi floats at the Play House after the movie let out.
I recall the Beattyville Trotline Fishing Co. at one time had $18.67 saved up in a Boscal coffee can stuck down in the forks of a limb above the tree house.
We also owned free and clear the 12 foot wooden john boat we had salvaged from the flood waters and christened the Reuben James.
BIGGER BUCKS NOW
Nowadays, though, bass fishermen are finding they can make big bucks by catching big bass.
And they don’t have to clean ‘em and sell ‘em. They just weigh ‘em and throw ‘em back.
But success doesn’t come without working for it. These professional tournament anglers make a cast about every 10 seconds.
Michael Boggs of Wheelersburg isn’t in the big bucks yet, but he has a chance for them following his success fishing with the 12-man Kentucky state team in the B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional tournament held on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula on April 16-18.
Boggs led his team with a three-day catch of 48 pounds, 5 ounces. On the second day he also won the Big Bass of the Day award with a largemouth weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces.
There were teams competing from seven states and Boggs’ total allowed him to finish 5th overall – good enough to qualify him for the B.A.S.S. Nation National tournament, scheduled for Nov. 6-8 on Ouachica Lake in Louisiana.
And if he can continue his bass-catching prowess there he could win a berth in the Bassmaster Classic – the “Super Bowl” of fishing, where the winner takes home $50,000 to $100,000 and is guaranteed much more in endorsements.
Boggs’ total was 6 pounds, 10 ounces behind the winner, Rob Digh of North Carolina.
He said he had hooked but lost two 4-plus pounders the second day and two the third day that would have topped 5 pounds each.
Boggs is sponsored by Power Team Lures.
B.A.S.S. (Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society), formed by Ray Scott in the late 1960s, has allowed a few anglers to fish their way to millionaire status.
The Angler of the Year award goes to the fisherman who accumulates the most points during the tournaments held throughout the year.
The first year for the award was 1970. Roland Martin won it nine times between then and 1984. Bill Dance won it three times. Kevin VanDam has won it seven times, his first coming in 1992. He won four straight from 2008 to 2011.
There is also a Women’s Bassmaster Tour, where contestants compete for a payoff totaling $640,000 for the season. Also, the winner of each of the major events takes home a Triton boat valued at $50,000.
CAVE RUN MEMORIAL
Meanwhile, on Cave Run Lake near Morehead, where the bass in early April are a little more difficult to put in the livewell than they are in Alabama, the team of Brown and Ingram won the Friends of Cave Run Memorial Bass Tournament with a one-day catch of three bass weighing in at 11.66 pounds.
The two collected a check for $10,000.
It was a two-day tournament, with the top 20 teams at the end of the first day, April 12, qualifying to fish the second day, when they started all over again at zero.
Of 74 teams entering, 33 didn’t catch a fish the first day.
The entry fee was $175 per boat, two anglers per boat.
The launching and weigh-ins took place at the Clay Lick ramp at 3 p.m. both days.
The tournament was a partnership among Friends of Cave Run Lake, Maysville Community and Technical College and Morehead State University. It was presented by Stockley’s Marine and the Morehead Tourism Council.
All sponsorship money went into a scholarship fund. The fund, established in 2009, provides financial assistance to students entering Morehead State University and Rowan Technical College.
You can visit the Web site at www.moreheadtourism.com/friendsofcaverun.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (606) 932-3619 or Gsamwriter@aol.com.