On the road to becoming a ‘pro’ fisherman

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By Shelton Young

 First, I want to congratulate my semi-pro bass fishing friend Matthew Mattingly on his Big Bass and Top 20 finish at a recent BFL, bass fishing tournament, on Old Hickory Lake.

I’m pretty sure that one of these days, fairly soon I hope, you’ll be reading about Matthew fishing as a full-time touring pro.

Now when I made reference to Matthew as a semi-pro, I meant no disrespect. Ya see, a “pro” breaks even on his expenses and has enough leftover to support himself and his family on money earned from “just fishing.”

A “semi-pro” is lucky to break even, lives out of his truck and often lives on Ho-Ho’s and bologna. On a good day, the bologna is fried! He fishes simply for the love of fishing and yeah, hopes to reach the pro’s financial status someday.

So while Matthew is a “semi-pro,” he’ll eventually become a “pro,” with fried bologna every day!


Speaking of pros and semi-pros, do you know the “real” difference between the pros/semi-pros and the rest of us who fish?

It’s the shirt!


Every year I’m asked about the hunter education course  orange card.

After checking, I found that things have changed since I took the class. Course that was 21 years ago!

Anyway, now you’re required to pre-register online to take the class. And, it seems that now you can take most of the class online!

You’ll have to go to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website and wander around a while to find the information. As for the hands-on class schedules, they’re also online.

The closest I could find is in 6-9 p.m. Aug. 11-13 in Adair County. That’d be 7 -10 p.m. Lebanon time. That’s also Monday-Wednesday evenings, school nights here. Call (606) 335-9473 for more information.

I couldn’t find a class in Marion County but I think there’s one in Boyle County. I’m thinking there’ll eventually be a class scheduled for Marion County. We can only hope.

Remember, regardless of the venue you choose to take the class, YOU HAVE TO REGISTER ONLINE!


The South Central Kentucky Outdoors Expo will be in Columbia in Adair County. The event is scheduled to be held at from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Lebanon time Saturday, Aug. 2, at Adair County High School.


On the same date, Saturday, Aug. 2, you can/should attend the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet/Fundraiser in Lebanon.

Starting with “Happy Hour” at 5:30 p.m. and running through the live auction you’ll have a great time. “A great time” in that you can play various games and take raffle chances, all for a chance to win guns. Oh, you can bid on items in both the silent and live auctions, but the attraction is the opportunity to win a gun or guns.

Guns aside, what you’ll really be doing is helping to maintain the Rocky Mountain elk population. After all, who in their right mind would have thought we’d have a huntable herd of elk in Kentucky! In truth, the odds of getting drawn for a bull elk permit are still sort of remote, but nowhere as remote as they were!

Now getting drawn for a cow tag is a lot better.

Either way, they’re here, in Kentucky, and the odds of getting drawn are better than ever! So come on out and support our “local” RMEF chapter. That’s Saturday, Aug. 2. 

And yes, you can attend both the Outdoors Expo and the RMEF events!


The Puddle Jumpers fished McDougal Lake last Saturday, and it rained almost all day.

Finishing in first place with a three bass limit of 4.02.6-pounds and big bass of 2-pounds even was James Flowers. Second was nailed down by his son Josh with a three fish limit of 4.02.0-pounds. Chris Mattingly had three bass weighing 3.14.8-pounds for third place.

The only problem was with the scales not wanting to zero out properly. So, all weights “might” be a little off, but it’s the best I could do!

Next Puddle Jumper tournament will be August 24 on Fagan Branch. Launch will be at 6 a.m.


The Mid-KY Bass Anglers will fish Willisburg Lake next Sunday, July 27, with a launch time of 6 a.m. and a noon weigh-in.


It’s time to start burning a little powder getting ready for dove season. It’s just over a month away!


Guess that’s it for now. Get out, enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, stay safe and I’ll see ya next week!