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Thursday, March 27, 2014



by Mizmonica

As Dan explains it, “as a kid you couldn't get a rod out of my hand and I remember at age three, being in the woods up to my knees in snow, with my grandpa Vic Taylor. I was born to be in the woods and the streams. He currently works in the gas fields and was on winter lay off, bored and was watching a fishing show on cable TV about the Bassmasters when the guy said, “if you’re on the fence about doing this jump off ’. And he thought I'm going to do it, I’m going to enter one of those.

Dan did a lot a of research on past tournaments, at Smith Lake, where the Bassmasters Open was is held in Alabama. What types of bait, what to expect, do you need sponsors? He stated, “I mean there is a lot to it and I've never done anything like this before. There are people out there who will help you and he hooked up with a guy from Mississippi”.

B.A.S.S. is a bass fishing club that holds several professional bass fishing competitions throughout the year and Dan is a lifetime member. They have an elite tour that can be qualified for. They are the best of the best, and then there are the Opens. They have Southern, Central and Northern Opens to accommodate every region of the country. The Elite Series can be qualified through the Open Tournaments. Anyone can attend any Open. You just don't qualify, you have to be accepted. There are two divisions Pro and Co-angler. Dan filled out an application for the Co-angler Division which had a $425.00 entrance fee and you must be a BASS member. He solicited local sponsors and wants to thank Whitetail Country Sports World of Olean, N.Y., D& L Kephart Trucking of Eldred, Pa. and Farmi Forest Doug Taylor of Shinglehouse, PA.

The Co-angler division pairs you with a Pro with different requirements. Each division advances in their own level.
A Pro keeps their five heaviest fish per day and a Co-angler their three heaviest. They fished at Smith Lake in Jasper, Alabama for spotted and large-mouth bass.

‘Normally Dan would have gone as a Pro but that incurred taking his boat and staying an extra week to pre-fish the lake. Because he had never fished in a tournament of this size before, he decided to go as a Co- angler to see if he could compete at this level. These competitions bring fisherman from all over the world as the winner in the Pro Division took home a $40,000 boat, $6,000.00 as well as a berth to the Bassmaster Classic (the superbowl of bass fishing).

The week before the tournament Dan went and fished for three days and caught only one fish. He was really worried about going into the tournament, and weather conditions were poor. And admitted he was nervous about fishing from the back of the boat. “You can only take limited supplies with you, where when you have your own boat, you have everything and are prepared for anything I was a bundle nerves”.

This Tournament was a two-day elimination and if you are in the top twelve you fish the third day. The first day he fished with a gentleman from Japan, Kazuki Kitajima, on day two, with Jesse Wiggins of Alabama and day three with Todd Auten, from South Carolina. The Pros advanced at their level and I advanced as a Co-angler against other Co-anglers.

Dan’s stats for the first day were a three fish limit of 5lbs. 8 oz., he was in 37th place only the top 40 got a check. At this point he realized he needed to step it up a little bit. On day two he struggled for numbers, only catching five fish but his quality was much better having a three fish limit of 8 lbs 10 oz., moving up from 37th to 6th and allowing him to fish day three. Dan’s third and final day weight was 7 lbs. 5 oz. moving him from 6th to 3rd where he would end up in the tournament.

He firmly believed he had the winning tournament fish on and lost it in the last hour,” I dropped to my knees in disbelief. Still finishing 3rd went way over my expectations”. Dan won a nice trophy and a check for $3,897.33.

He shared with me, "this was an awesome experience, I met some great guys and encourage anyone looking into following a dream... Do it! All I did was take my fishing stuff, life jacket and hope and prayers of my family and went and did it. There will definitely be more for me in the future”.

You can see Dan on CRCS Outdoors a program on the Pursuit Channel it airs Friday night at 6:00 p.m. Dan is part of the Pro staff for CRCS Outdoors where he guides turkey hunts and does seminars for their Outdoor Program. He also is involved with Rush Outdoors on Time Warner Sports through their N.Y. affiliate stations it appears on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. check local listing. His hunts can be viewed on their website


Anonymous said...

Great to see you doing something you love.
- a fellow OV grad.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Dan !!!
I want to see you kiss a fish on TV