Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 7, 2013

Hook, Lion and sinker

Melvin Lawhorn ‘giving back’ as coach of Boyd bass fishing team

CANNONSBURG — Melvin Lawhorn knows an opportunity when he sees one — especially when it comes to fishing.

That’s why Lawhorn jumped on the chance to coach the bass fishing team at Boyd County High School like a bass jumps on a dragonfly.

“I don’t have any kids,” Lawhorn said. “It’s my way of giving back.

“I look at it this way, it took me 30 years of trial and error to teach yourself. I can get these kids and teach them and give them a shortcut.”

This is the first year the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has sanctioned bass fishing as a sport. The regional fishing meet will be at Yatesville Lake in the spring. Meanwhile, Lawhorn is teaching bass fishing to his 22-member club from the beginning.

“You have to start somewhere,” he said. “I’ll give them the full expereince from learning how to cast, what bait is used when and where, the water conditions, the time of the year ... it all affects bass fishing.”

Lawhorn, 51, is the voice of experience. He has been a bass fisherman since he was 20.

In 1998 he set a Yatesville Lake record with 32 pounds and 6 ounces of bass during a fishing tournament. He has belonged to several bass clubs throughout the years and simply loves the sport both recreationally and competitively.

“I wished anything it would have been there when I was in high school,” he said. “I’ve had back surgery that’s cut down on my tournament fishing. I just thought ‘What a better way to use what I’ve learned.’’’

He has Boyd County’s fishing team hooked up with Pure Fishing where they can order rods, reels, lines and tackles.

Lawhorn has some seniors who “know their stuff” and can help him instruct. He has a 22-member team, but 12 will compete in the regional tournament. Until the weather breaks, they are in the classroom.

“Right now we’re doing a lot of classwork and training, trying to get them to where they know more what’s going on,” he said.

Lawhorn said he has some seventh-grade anglers who have grown up with bass fishing through their parents’ interest in bass clubs.

“A couple of them, when it comes time to show people how to cast a bait-caster, they can do it,” he said.

Danny Houston, a sophomore, saw joining the fishing team as a way to expand from recreational bass fishing to competitive bass fishing.

“I’m counting down the days,” he said, referring to when the team hits the water for competition against another school, which is expected in mid-April. “He (Lawhorn) seems to be a very good fisherman from what I hear. We’re learning new techniques all the time.”

Houston is looking forward to be part of a fishing team.

“I’ve always been a team player,” he said. “I think I can handle that part very well.”

Boyd County’s fishing team will be hitting Yatesville Lake a week from Sunday if the weather cooperates, Lawhorn said.

“We also have a pond by the high school I talked them out of not draining,” he said. “We can do demonstrations on the pond, lure presentations, things like that.”

He plans to expand the team into the summer and wants parents can take their teens out on boats at Grayson Lake.

Of course, safety is No. 1 on Lawhorn’s to-do list.

“Before they can even go out they have to be certified in first aid, CPR and boater safety,” he said. “If a situation arises at a tournament, if somebody is hurt, my whole team is going to be prepared to help.”

Boyd County is one of several area schools listed in Region 4 on the KHSAA website.

The region list includes: Bath, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Mason, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pike, Rowan and Wolfe.

The top four teams advance to state bass fishing competition on April 25 through 28 at the Land Between the Lakes, with Murray State University serving as host.

Swap meet

Boyd County’s bass fishing team will have a Tackle Swap Meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the high school.

Boats and pickup trucks of all brands will be on display. Those who want to rent a table may call Lawhorn at (606) 928-7956 and leave a message. Or email him at melvinl.lawhorn@boydpva.com.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.


Text Only
Local News
  • Food vendor charged in slaying back to selling

    A Louisville hot dog vendor who is free on bond after being charged with murder in a suspected case of road rage has returned to selling hot dogs at his long-time perch in front of the courthouse.

    July 25, 2014

  • 2 charged with punishing child with hot sauce

    Two people have been charged with criminal abuse after police say they force fed hot sauce and vinegar to a 4-year-old girl on several occasions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Paul blends privacy with civil rights in speech

    U.S. Sen. Rand Paul blended his message of libertarian-fueled privacy policies with civil rights-inspired criminal justice reforms during a speech Friday to the National Urban League’s annual convention in this presidential battleground state.

    July 25, 2014

  • RONNIE ELLIS: Fancy Farm only days away

    We’re just days away from the annual Fancy Farm Picnic and political free-for-all which used to be the “official” beginning of fall campaigns in Kentucky.

    July 25, 2014

  • 07/25/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    July 25, 2014

  • Golden Corral sends children to camp

    Ashland’s Golden Corral teamed with other restaurants across nation this year to raise $1.5 million to send a total of 3,000 children to Camp Corral.

    July 24, 2014

  • Burglars steal golf gear

    A couple of golf enthusiasts might not make their tee times Saturday because burglars stole golf equipment from their garages.

    July 24, 2014

  • Music instructor claims age discrimination

    The Russell Independent School District is denying allegations of a former band director who claims in a lawsuit the district discriminated against him because of his age.

    July 24, 2014

  • Financial blunder leads to heated board discussion

    In a surprising turn of events, City Manager Ben Bitter’s supervision authority was challenged by the Board of Commissioners after Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs filed a motion to have legal and finance department heads also report to the board in light of a financial blunder by Bitter.
    Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles and City Attorney Richard “Sonny” Martin confirmed a new ordinance will be drafted so the department heads of finance and legal counsel will be checked by the board, in addition to Bitter’s current oversight.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stricter enforcement, diagonal spots endorsed to help downtown

    A group of business owners operating along Winchester Avenue — Ashland’s main thoroughfare — asked the Ashland Board of Commissioners to replace current parallel parking spots with diagonal ones, and also for more strick enforcement of a two-hour parking law.

    July 24, 2014