Monday, February 22, 2010

The greatest bass angler in the world

(photo courtesy of BASS)

While I am not a tournament angler, I must admit that part of the perks of being an outdoor writer involve fishing and riding along with some of the best bass anglers on the planet. Having followed the professional tournament circuits for years and written articles with tournament anglers I have come to appreciate what these guys do.

I will now make a statement that should not shock anyone. The best bass angler on the planet is not a good ole southern boy, but is a well spoken man from Michigan. In my mind Kevin VanDam cemented that title with his win in this weekend’s Bassmaster Classic on Alabama’s Lay Lake.

For those keeping score, that is KVD’s third Classic win to go along with his five BASS Angler of the year titles. Only the legendary Rick Clunn has more Classic wins (four) and only Roland Martin has more AOY titles (nine). VanDam has a chance to storm past both.

He broke on the big time scene in 1989 as a 22-year-old rookie and won his first BASS Angler of the Year in 1992. He also captured that title in 1996, 1999, 2008 and 2009. He won the FLW Angler of the Year title in 2001. His other two Classic titles came in 2001 and 2005. In addition he is the all-time leading money winner on the BASS circuit with over $4.5 million dollars.

His focus and mental toughness rival that of greats in other sports, such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. He has the ability to intimidate his fellow anglers, particularly when he is at or near the top of the leader board. When talking about this mental approach, longtime outdoor scribe Alan Clemons compared him to the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt on the Fishing Wire ( this morning.

“I've watched both, Earnhardt and VanDam, and they're linked by several similarities including relentless determination, fierce competitiveness, uncanny skills and the ability to create doubt,” Clemons said. “Doubt in the minds of their competitors. Doubt that even their best effort on the best days might not be good enough, and they wonder how to throw up roadblocks.”

High praise for the king of bass tournament fishing.

To read more about KVD’s win you can go to the official Bassmaster web site at :

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Kentucky record elk

It is official; Kentucky has a new state record non-typical elk. Terry Royalty of Harrodsburg harvested the behemoth on a wildlife management area in Knott County this past October.

The bull scored 372 6/8, outdistancing the previous Kentucky record of 367 7/8 taken in Harlan County in 2008.

“This new state record shows the quality elk hunting we have on our public lands,” said Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Jon Gassett in a press release. “In addition to the great elk hunting on private lands, Kentucky boasts world-class elk hunting on public lands as well.”

To read more about Royalty’s hunt and his new trophy you can visit:

Applications for this year’s hunt are now on sale online at, the official Web site of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. It costs $10 to apply, and a hunter may apply only once. The drawing for the elk quota hunt is open to residents and non-residents. The deadline to apply for this year’s hunt is April 30.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ballard WMA youth waterfowl hunt canceled

This weekend's youth waterfowl hunt at Ballard WMA in Ballard County has been canceled due to flooding on the Ohio River.

Boatwright WMA, located to the south of Ballard WMA, will remain open under flood water conditions, said Kory Knight, wildlife management foreman for Ballard WMA. “The check-in for the Boatwright WMA youth waterfowl hunts are 4:30 a.m. each morning of the hunts at the Ballard County Highway Garage in Barlow,” he said. “These hunts will be open on a first-come, first-serve basis until the slots fill up.”

Hunting will be boat-in only and hunting parties may choose where they hunt on Boatwright WMA.

Good luck to all the youth hunters and be safe.