UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Out-Cast

Out-Cast
Keith Lebowitz

Jeremy Hicks is my new hero. He is a 13-year-old young man from Somerset, Ky., who is battling for his life. Stricken just over a year ago by a cancerous tumor on his spinal cord, Jeremy has been unable to do what he loves most - fish.

He fished every weekend according to his folks until one day last year, when they noticed he was limping around. They took their son to the doctor and found that their worst fears had come true - Jeremy had cancer. To make matters worse, the cancer that originated on Jeremy's spinal cord has now spread to his brain as well. As a result, Jeremy is now confined to a wheel-chair - his only means of getting around.

Fishing fan Jeremy Hicks.I met Jeremy and his family last weekend at the FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland, and was so touched that it brought me, and several others around the weigh-in stage, to tears. But what brought me to tears more than anything else was the true joy of watching Jeremy meet many of his heroes.

One by one, Jay Yelas, Luke Clausen, Clark Wendlandt, Mike Surman, and the entire top-10 field, all took a moment before the final weigh-in, to say hello, sign autographs and make Jeremy feel as though they were there for him. It was truly one of those moments that sends chills through your body. The pros made Jeremy smile a smile as wide as the Grand Canyon. Castrol Pro Mike Surman even quipped, "Can you teach me how to catch some bass on Cumberland, because I couldn't figure it out today," to which Jeremy laughed endlessly, and said, "I'll try."

Several pros, including Koby Krieger and Bobby Lane, took time from their fishing schedules to visit Jeremy, wish him well and regale his with fishing stories from the past week. Watching this only underscored just how amazing our industry can be by touching those around us.

It is such a wonderful sight to see those that have had success in the sport of bass fishing, giving back to those that really need it. Jeremy's father told me that Jeremy had been "waiting for this event all year long" and I would imagine that Jeremy Hicks will never forget the day that the FLW Series rolled through Somerset, Ky.

In fact, I would imagine that anyone who was there on that Saturday afternoon will never forget meeting or seeing the smile on the face of 13-year old Jeremy Hicks.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeremy and your family.

(Editor's note: Keith Lebowitz's experience as a sports reporter and sports show anchor is considerable. He's been acknowledged with industry awards numerous times: a 2001 honor from The Associated Press for the Fox Sports Net show "Southwest Sports Report," a 1996 Emmy winner in the Los Angeles area for outstanding sports reporting on KTTV Fox Television, a 1990 Golden Mike Award for best sportscast at KCSN in Los Angeles and honors for his work as a reporter in 1999 for the Emmy Award-winning "Season of Speed" at KTVT CBS 11 in Dallas. He has interviewed many of the greats including Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Troy Aikman. Currently, Lebowitz is host of FLW Outdoors Television on FSN).

Send comments regarding this column to klebowitz@flwoutdoors.com

Tags: keith-lebowitz  post-tournament  2006-05-03-lake-cumberland 

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Though some largemouth entered the mix by happenstance, you really had to drop down to Jayme Rampey in fourth place to find someone who made a dramatic adjustment to pursue largemouth. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Most of the fish weighed on Hartwell in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP were spotted bass. As such, a lot of finesse baits made the team. Still, a few anglers attempted to mix in largemouths to varying degrees, and even for spots, it wasn’t all spinning rods. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Table Rock

Top 10 Patterns from Table Rock

Fall can be a tough time to fish most places in the country, and for the final Toyota Series Plains Division event of the season on Table Rock Lake, that certainly was the case. A cold front passed through the week prior, bringing cool rain that lowered water temperatures and raised the lake. Then, come tournament time, the forecast was more like spring than fall with plenty of sun and highs in the 70s. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Top 10 Baits from Table Rock

Though the final Toyota Series Plains Division event of the season on Table Rock wasn’t the usual fall bite you may expect to see in the Ozarks, the top 10 pros stuck to their strengths and employed everything from ice fishing jigs to topwaters to catch their fish. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Seminole

Top 10 Patterns from Seminole

The top-10 pros fishing the final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole in the first week of November were divided up into three distinctly different areas of the lake. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits From Seminole

Top 10 Baits From Seminole

Topped-out, matted grass and dropping water temperatures were the fall backdrop to the Toyota Series Southern Division event held on Lake Seminole. With that, it’s no surprise punching baits and shad imitators were the most common lures seen on the top pros’ front decks throughout the event. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Dale Hollow

Top 10 Patterns from Dale Hollow

There’s no way around it. Dale Hollow was fishing tough during the Toyota Series Central Division finale. Ultimately, it was Adam Wagner and a mega-school he found in 50 feet of water that got the job done. For the rest of the top 10, it was a little bit of everything. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Dale Hollow

Top 10 Baits from Dale Hollow

While Dale Hollow really featured a hodgepodge of different baits in the Toyota Series Central Division finale, the anglers who performed the best did so by targeting deeper fish that were either chasing bait or sitting on isolated cover. For the job, much of the field had a spoon and a drop-shot on deck. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

The top finishers in the recent Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn caught the lake when the shallow bite was just picking up. Sticking shallow around hydrilla with a wake bait, Aaron Johnson stayed consistent and won the event. Behind Johnson, there was a lot of room for pros to fish to their strengths, though there’s no doubt that shallow eventually won out. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Jigs and topwaters – that’s pretty much all you need when it comes to fall in the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Five straight years of Lake of the Ozarks hosting a Toyota Series Plains Division event in October usually takes the guesswork out of what to expect. Anglers pretty much did what they’ve come to know as tried-and-true patterns on the historic fishery. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Norman

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Norman

Fall fishing in the southeast can be a challenge. Cold fronts, rainfall, rapidly cooling water and turnover can shake things up and make getting a bite much harder than normal. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Norman

Top 10 Baits from Lake Norman

The Toyota Series Eastern Division event on Lake Norman was a fall grinder. With the lake in fall transition and turnover occurring throughout the lake, some of the popular lure choices included shaky heads, jigs, buzzbaits and jerkbaits. Here is a closer look at the best baits of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

With the whole field boxed into the Detroit River for the first two days of the final Toyota Series Northern Division event, it’s natural that the main player was the river itself. But, on the final day, when folks could branch out, Scott Dobson actually ran to St. Clair and many of the other pros ventured into Lake Erie. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Dardanelle

Top Patterns and Baits from Dardanelle

The beginning of the fall transition coupled with dirty water from end to end created difficult fishing conditions at the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel, but anglers focused their attention to the backs of creeks and used a variety of baits to solve the riddle. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top Patterns and Baits from Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake has the potential to churn out some big bags – look no further than the 2019 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, when 21 teams weighed in more than 20 pounds on day one alone – but the 2020 iteration wasn’t as friendly to the college anglers who took to her waters this week. Here’s the skinny on how the top 10 teams caught their fish this week and what they caught them with. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac

Some of the top 10 pros chose a power approach to cover vast stretches of grass, while others slowed down with some of the finesse tactics that always seem to play on the Potomac. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Fort Gibson

Top 10 Patterns from Fort Gibson

The beginning of September helped mark the start of the fall transition in the south and that is exactly what the field faced in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Fort Gibson. From topwaters to soft plastics, the top 10 utilized a large chunk of Fort Gibson to catch their fish, with the Grand River paying the biggest role in the division’s second stop of the season. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Neely Henry

Top 10 Patterns from Neely Henry

Mark McCaig won the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Neely Henry casting a SPRO Bronzeye Poppin' Frog under overhanging trees, pitching a  Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog docks and cranking current breaks with a square-bill crankbait. Behind him, the rest of the top 10 mostly fished shallow grass, docks, rocks and laydowns by pitching creature baits and casting buzzbaits, ChatterBaits, and shaky heads. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Fort Gibson

Top 10 Baits from Fort Gibson

Low water and changing weather patterns meant tough fishing at for the second stop of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division at Fort Gibson. While day one brought in prime topwater conditions, days two and three generally saw anglers slogging it out for bass stuck somewhere amidst the fall transition. Fittingly, a few well-known baits are tailor-made for that kind of fishing—including a regional favorite named for the lake’s most legendary fisherman. READ MORE »