Borrelli's Day with Jay Yelas

Matt Borrelli and Jay Yelas show off their two best bass after a morning of fishing on Kentucky Lake.

Fishing trip auction a popular fundraiser for Future Fisherman Foundation

It’s not often that a guy from the East Coast gets to go fishing with one of FLW’s top pros from the West Coast, but that was the case for Matt Borrelli of Boston in late June when he shared a boat with Chevy pro Jay Yelas.

The pair’s fishing trip occurred at the end of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude that took place on Kentucky Lake. Borrelli wasn’t entered in the competition; he was the top bidder in a fundraising auction conducted by The Bass Federation. Yelas provided the fishing trip as his donation to TBF’s cause.

Proceeds from the auction, which was held in November, go to fund various projects of the Future Fisherman Foundation (FFF), which TBF administers. Among its ongoing programs is Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs. This fall, the FFF will introduce a pilot program called Super Fish, a packaged four-week curriculum complete with fishing tackle that’s targeted toward junior high school students. About 20 schools will be involved in the program, whose purpose is to cultivate an interest in fishing among youngsters and hopefully provide them with a wholesome alternative activity.

Matt Borrelli enjoyed sharing the deck of Jay Yelas' boat as he received one on one instruction from a legend in our sport.

“We raise thousands of dollars through this auction,” says Mark Gintert, TBF national youth director. “We’re in the process of soliciting prizes for our next auction, but we’ll have fishing trips with some of today’s top pro fishermen, jerseys donated by the pros – even lunch with Ranger Boats founder Forrest L. Wood. If you’re a fisherman, you’ll want to bid on several things.”

You’ll have to outbid Borrelli for any bass fishing trips. He’s already acquired a few, including the trip with Yelas, as well as Castrol pro David Dudley and others to come. According to Yelas, Borrelli is more than just a casual fisherman, though the bass-fishing holes around Boston are limited.

“He told me he had a johnboat and fished a lot of the small ponds around eastern Massachusetts,” says Yelas, of Corvallis, Ore. “But basically he fishes the way the rest of us fish, and he’s pretty darn good. He also loves to fish. It was raining and miserable Sunday morning [of the Kentucky Lake event], but he didn’t hesitate. We fished for eight hours, and he probably caught about 13 pounds, including one fish that was about 5 pounds.

“At the end of the day, we listened to the final weigh-in on our cellphones. We had a good time.”

To learn more about the next Future Fisherman Foundation auction, visit Futurefisherman.org.

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