Story by Russ “Bassdozer” Comeau
Kids in Florida will get to meet one of their hometown heroes and compete for a Bassmaster Classic-sized trophy when the Bobby Lane Cup takes place on December 15, 2012 at Camp Mack River Resort in Lake Wales,Florida.
Bartow High School(in Bartow, FL) is hosting the event. The kids at Bartow High chose to name the event for pro angler Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida, a 5-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, FLW Forrest Wood Cup qualifier and 3-time Toyota Texas Bass Classic qualifier.
“I feel honored to have the tournament named after me,” said Lane who will emcee the weigh-in.
This high school fishing tournament is in its second year and growing. Last year, 30-35 anglers participated. This year, 50-60 anglers between the ages of 9 to 16 have already signed up. The kids will be coming from several high school fishing teams and fishing clubs throughout the surrounding area.
“We’re starting to get a great youth program down in Florida,” said Lane. “The high schools are getting better fishing programs and getting more kids on their school teams. The students are real excited about this event. It’s something they’ve been looking forward to all year at school. The winning team gets a trophy as big as the Bassmaster Classic trophy. It’s nice to give them something they can look at and say, ‘Wow! I earned this.’ It lets them know that their abilities to fish all year come down to winning a giant trophy like this. I didn’t have this kind of opportunity when I was younger and it’s neat for the kids to have it now.”
World Class Barbecue and Raffle
Local businesses in the area as well as Lane’s national sponsors are really getting behind the event this year.
A great barbecue will be put on for everybody that evening by Chad Wall, rated third in the USA for his barbecue.
Bobby Lane recently signed on with Phoenix Boats, and Joe Clements of Toho Marine, the Phoenix Boats dealer in Orlando, will give away twelve fishing rods and quite a few baits.
Brian Nelson of Tents and Events will give away five $100 Bass Pro Shops gift certificates.
A biologist from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and KP Clements, the FWC’s TrophyCatch coordinator, will speak about Florida’s new big fish program called TrophyCatch. The program rewards anglers for catching and releasing trophy largemouth bass. Florida pros Bobby Lane and Shaw Grigsby have donated a couple of fishing trips as TrophyCatch rewards.
Lane’s marketing manager from SpiderWire, Sherri Gasparon will be there, giving out SpiderWire hats and spools of SpiderWire line to everyone.
The Bobby Lane Cup pairs two student anglers who fish as a team with an adult boat captain/coach. The boat captains are avid local fishermen from Lakeland, Tampa, Clermont, Osceola County and the surrounding counties, towns and cities. They volunteer their time to be a part of this special event for the kids.
“It’s really neat to have the support of so many people coming forward to make this a great event. We’ve got to keep our youth happy and healthy of course…and what better way to do that than by having a tournament,” said Lane. “As I said, I feel honored the kids named it after me, and as an Elite angler, an FLW angler, a PAA angler and a MLF angler, it feels really, really good to give something like this back to the kids.”
Lane’s three children, ages 3, 5 and 8 are too young for the event, but they’ll be helping Dad emcee the weigh-in. “Yamaha will be giving out some hats, and my 8-year old, Alexis Lane, and my 5-year old, Bobby Lane III, will be up on stage with me. They’ll throw the hats out and help me with the raffle.” Lane’s wife along with his sister, Kellie Jo Snyder are helping with the event too.
“For me, my family, and the kids of Florida to have this opportunity, it’s an awesome experience – and to have the support it’s getting this year – it’s very nice.”
For more information, visit www.campmack.com or call Derek Boswell at (863) 513-8877.