Hope For The Warriors fishing event at Bassmaster Elite Series postseason

Hope For The Warriors fishing event at Bassmaster Elite Series postseason
Hope For The Warriors fishing event at Bassmaster Elite Series postseason

Johnson lands 8-pounder to highlight tourney

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Travis Johnson felt a tug on his line while he was getting a bass fishing lesson Saturday morning from Bassmaster Elite Series pro Keith Poche.

“I felt something, so I pulled on it a little bit, and it pulled back,” Johnson said. “I went to set the hook and it darn near took the pole out of my hands.”

Johnson, a retired U.S. Marine lance corporal from Greenup, Ky., had an 8-pound, 7-ounce largemouth bass on the end of his line.

“It made me nervous,” Poche said. “But Travis did an awesome job working the fish and not letting it jump or break his line. I kind of coached him and we landed the fish.”

Johnson couldn’t keep a smile off his face after that, which is what this event was all about. For the second year in a row, as part of the Bassmaster Elite Series Toyota Tundra All-Star week, Hope For The Warriors® brought six veterans here to compete in their own bass fishing tournament on a private lake.

Hope For The Warriors® (www.hopeforthewarriors.org  is a national, nonprofit organization that supports wounded U.S. service members, their families, and families of the fallen. A group of military wives founded the organization in 2006.

“There are other organizations like ours,” said public relations coordinator Anne Woods. “Each one of them has just a little different focus.

“This is a great event. It’s very therapeutic.”

It felt therapeutic for both the wounded servicemen and the professional anglers.

“I had an awesome time visiting with Lance and just hanging out with him,” said Poche, who lives in Troy, Ala., and finished 10th in the Bassmaster Elite Series’ Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race this season. “We had a fun day.”

Not only did Johnson and Poche have that 8-pounder to their credit, they had a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces to win the tournament. The results were announced during the weigh-in of the Elite Series Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship Saturday at the Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery.

“The other fish we caught were the biggest bass I’d ever caught,” Johnson said. “When I landed that big one, it just blew my mind.”

Johnson was medically retired after suffering a broken leg and a back injury while deployed in Iraq.

Army sergeant Paul Walter of Selden, N.Y., was in Iraq on Jan. 12, 2005, when a passing vehicle loaded with explosives detonated. He suffered severe head trauma as well as shoulder and leg injuries, and was awarded the Purple Heart as a result.

Walter was paired with Elite Series pro Terry Scroggins Saturday. They finished second in the tournament with 13-15, which included a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass.

“I rarely get to go bass fishing, so this was a great day, unbelievable,” Walter said.

Walter has done some saltwater fishing. Although he hasn’t bass fished much, he is familiar with B.A.S.S. and Terry Scroggins, the San Mateo, Fla., pro who finished sixth in this year’s Angler of the Year race.

“Terry is one of the guys I’ve heard of before, and to get to go with him was awesome,” Walter said. “He’s one helluva fisherman. It was definitely a great day.”

Scroggins has participated in these types of events before.

“Anytime we are asked to do something for our military veterans, I’m all about it,” Scroggins said. “What they’ve sacrificed for our freedom means a lot to me.

“And I have a lot of fun doing it. A lot of times these guys don’t know a lot about fishing, but they’re eager to do it. Today I was able to teach Paul how to cast at targets. He was a little rusty at it, but by the end of the day, he was where he needed to be. It’s fun to watch someone figure it out and get into it the way he did. We had a big time.”

The team of Skeet Reese and Marine corporal Bobby Davis of Mobile, Ala., finished third with 13-13. Aaron Martens and Army chief warrant officer John Lightsey of Atlanta, Ga., were fourth with 11-14. There was a tie for fifth place with 7-14 between the teams of Steve Kennedy and Marine corporal Daniel Mullins of Gainesville, Fla., and Greg Vinson and Navy HM2 Dean Carr of Jacksonville, N.C.

For more information about the Hope For The Warriors ® fishing event, and for a list of other events happening on the final day of Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, visit Bassmaster.com . Watch as the winner of the 2011 Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship takes the title and a check for $100,000.

2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Luck “E” Strike, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ramada

About B.A.S.S.

For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com, ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.
 
HOPE FOR THE WARRIORS® STANDINGS- EVAN WILLIAMS BOURBON ALL-STAR CHAMPIONSHIP
 
2011 Hope For The Warriors® Fishing Event  7/30/11
Private Lake, AL

Standings
 
Angler/pro                       Hometown           No./lbs-oz
 
LCpl. Travis Johnson, USMC (Ret.)   Greenup, Ky.               18-02
Keith Poche (Troy, Ala.)

Sgt. Paul Walter, USA (Ret.)        Selden, N.Y.               13-15
Terry Scroggins (San Mateo, Fla.)

Cpl. Bobby Davis, USMC (Ret.)       Mobile, Ala.               13-13
Skeet Reese (Auburn, Calif.)

CWO4 John Lightsey,USA              Atlanta, Ga.               11-14
Aaron Martens (Leeds, Ala.)

Cpl. Daniel Mullins, USMC           Gainesville, Fla.          07-14
Steve Kennedy (Auburn, Ala.)

HM2 Dean Carr, USN, (Ret.)          Jacksonville, N.C.         07-14
Greg Vinson (Wetumpka, Ala.)

Recommended for You

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications. News

Game & Fish Magazine Names New Editorial Director

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications.

 Several factors need to be evaluated before reaching a conclusion about what fly, lure or bait Trout & Salmon

How to Catch the Biggest Trout in the Stream

David Paul Williams

Several factors need to be evaluated before reaching a conclusion about what fly, lure or...

Now that you know you might screw it up the next time a big fish bites, let's fix it. Fishing How-To

Why You'll Lose Your Next Big Bass

Larry Larsen

Now that you know you might screw it up the next time a big fish bites, let's fix it.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

13 Fishing Inception SZ

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

 Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the day; Catfish

Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×