UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Pickwick Lake

Hough is Fighting to Fish

Hough is Fighting to Fish

Fishing just her second full season as a co-angler in the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division, mother of two and first-grade teacher Kate Hough was planning and preparing for a chance to do something no woman has ever done in her division: win Co-Angler of the Year. Instead of preparing for the Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell on Sept. 28, however, Hough is simply fighting to leave her hospital bed.

On Sept. 11, Hough began feeling a tingling sensation (and eventually numbness) in her feet. She thought little of it, but the numbness gradually travelled up her legs, prompting her to seek medical attention.

“I went to the doctor, and the doctor sent me straight to the emergency room,” says Hough, who was just 10 minutes removed from a procedure to insert a port in her chest to allow for direct injection of steroids and antibiotics. “They’ve been doing countless tests, and they don’t have exact answers, but they do know I have swelling in my spinal cord and that’s been causing the paralysis. I have fluid around my brain, and they’re not sure … it could be fixed in a couple weeks; it could be fixed in a couple months.”

Months – or even weeks – might be too long for Hough to stomach. She’s on a mission. She wants to be the first woman to win Co-Angler of the Year in the division, and her determination might still get her to Hartwell next weekend.

 

Angling for a cause

Hough wants to prove women belong in the sport of bass fishing. She’s heard many times throughout her life that competitive fishing is a man’s game, but that’s only served to motivate her even more.

“I’m just trying to encourage women to get out there and fish,” she says. “This brings another challenge, but hopefully I can encourage people that no matter your challenges, you keep working and reach your goals.”

Co-angler Kate Hough

Make no mistake, though, Hough loves to fish. She’s been hooked since she caught her first largemouth bass while fishing in a small pond in South Carolina as a child. In fact, fishing is what introduced her to her biggest supporter and future husband, Jeffrey Borné, who fishes the South Carolina Division as a boater.

“Me and Kate met three years ago because of fishing and have been inseparable ever since,” Borné says. “She’s my fiancée. She’s my whole world.”

“Jeffrey and I have the same passion,” adds Hough. “He’s on the pro side, and I’m on the co side, but we still try to compete against each other. We support each other 100 percent. He’s my biggest supporter.”

So much so that Borné has hardly left Hough’s side since she was admitted to the hospital a week ago. He’s there to make sure that, one way or another, Hough is in the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell at the end of the month.

 

A season to remember

Hough’s dominance from the back of the boat this season can’t be overstated. She won her first tournament of the year (also on Hartwell), and in four South Carolina Division tournaments this season she has three top-10 finishes. That’s tough to do as a boater, in control of all the variables, let alone from the back of the boat and at the mercy of the draw.

2019 BFL Hartwell Feb 16 -  16 - KATE HOUGH

With a 17-point lead in the co-angler standings heading into the Super Tournament, it’s difficult for Hough to concede to circumstances. She simply won’t accept not being out on the water to finish the job.

“My goal is recovery so I can try and reach my goal of being the first female COY for the South Carolina Division,” she says. “Everybody in my circle knows how much I love to fish. They know how much I want to be on the water and support FLW.”

“I really, really hope this is not taken from her,” adds Borné. “It would mean the world to her to have the chance to accomplish her goal.”

And while transverse myelitis (the technical term for the doctors’ diagnosis of her condition) is standing in her way, Hough won’t stop fighting to get out of the hospital and back on the water.

 

After recovery

When Hough does leave the hospital – whether before or after Hartwell – she’ll return to her life as a mother and a teacher. Both professions offer Hough opportunities to pass along her love of fishing to young people.

“I’ve always got my tackle bag in my car,” she says. “If there are kids talking about wanting to go fish, I’ll try to hook them up with some kind of a bait. I love to see kids fishing instead of playing video games.”

Hough has been molding young minds for 15 years. She teaches at Red Bank Elementary in Lexington County, S.C., and she’s always looking for opportunities to get young people into the sport and also keepthem interested in it. She’s even partnered with South Carolina high school fishing organizations for benefit tournaments to keep those programs running strong.

It’s all in the interest of inclusion in a sport that has brought her so much joy – something she’s hoping for a little more of before the end of the month.

“I think it’s going to have a happy ending, because I know what kind of person she is,” Borné adds. “We’re not giving up hope on it.”

 

Update: Hough wins COY

Against all odds, Hough was released from the hospital last Wednesday, just in time to make it to Hartwell for the BFL regular season finale. She managed to weigh in three fish for 2 pounds, 15 ounces, which was good enough for 28th place and completion of her goal: to win Co-angler of the Year (edging out Bobby McDonald by just five points). Had Hough not been able to fish in the tournament, McDonald would have had enough points to take home the title.

Hough isn't out of the woods yet – she has to return for an MRI in four weeks to make sure tumors haven't developed, and doctors are unsure if she'll ever have full strength back in her legs and feet – but, for now, winning COY is more than enough to make the road to full recovery a little less daunting.

"I'm just ecstatic that I was able to set a goal this year in my second full season to achieve COY and achieve it," she says. "I want to thank my family, friends, coworkers and the fishing community for their encouragement. I hope that my perseverance this year, especially through my unexpected health challenges, can encourage others to chase and achieve their dreams."

 

GoFundMe

Hough has a GoFundMe page to help pay for her medical bills. If you’re interested in donating, please follow this link

Tags: flw  bass-fishing  fishing-tournament  justin-onslow  article 

6 Super Tournament Story Lines

6 Super Tournament Story Lines

The expanded field list for the new Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournaments brings with it some very fun matchups and the potential for some record chases to reignite. Because many of the newly added Major League Fishing anglers have had longer careers than those at the top of the Pro Circuit, they’re in a unique position to chase down some records that otherwise may not have been touched this year. In other cases, it’s simply going to be a pleasure to watch the best of the best duel on some epic bodies of water. READ MORE »

FLW Set for Return to Competition with Toyota Series Tournament on Pickwick Lake

FLW Set for Return to Competition with Toyota Series Tournament on Pickwick Lake

FLORENCE, Ala. – FLW is set to return to tournament competition next week in Florence, Alabama, with the three-day Toyota Series event at Pickwick Lake, May 28-30. Hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, the event will feature a return to action for the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers... READ MORE »

Be a Super Tournament Marshal

Be a Super Tournament Marshal

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit is professional bass fishing’s premier five-fish-limit tournament trail, and it’s about to get a whole lot more exciting for the remainder of 2020. READ MORE »

209 Pros to Compete for $3.97 million  in FLW “Super Tournaments”

209 Pros to Compete for $3.97 million in FLW “Super Tournaments”

BENTON, Ky. – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, released the expanded 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit roster, which now includes top Major League Fishing (MLF) pros like Jacob Wheeler and reigning REDCREST Champion Edwin Evers. When the season restarts June 23... READ MORE »

Super Tournament Roster Set

Super Tournament Roster Set

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, released the expanded 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit roster, which now includes top Major League Fishing (MLF) pros like Jacob Wheeler and reigning REDCREST Champion Edwin Evers. When the season restarts June 23 on Lake Chickamauga, the final three regular-season Pro Circuit events will feature 209 boats and nearly $4 million in prize money. As previously announced, FLW extended invitations to all MLF anglers to compete in three “Super Tournaments” after MLF announced an abbreviated schedule due to the mid-season pause in response to the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE »

The BFL Returns on May 30

The BFL Returns on May 30

After a nearly two-and-a-half-month hiatus from fishing tournaments, FLW is excited to get back to business with the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League season. The action kicks off again on May 30 with the Volunteer Division on South Holston. From there, the BFL season will waste no time getting back in the swing of things with a full slate of tournaments scheduled nearly every weekend from the beginning of June through October. READ MORE »

2020 FLW TV Schedule

2020 FLW TV Schedule

Beginning on July 3 and running through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. New this season, episodes have been expanded to two hours long. Each show goes in depth to break down the final rounds of competition, with six unique episodes covering each day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Championship. READ MORE »

2020 FLW TV Schedule

2020 FLW TV Schedule

Beginning on July 3 and running through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. New this season, episodes have been expanded to two hours long. Each regular-season show goes in depth to break down the final rounds of competition, with six unique episodes covering each day of the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota.  READ MORE »

Pros’ Favorite Shad Spawn Baits

Pros’ Favorite Shad Spawn Baits

With the bass spawn winding down across the South, it’s time to capitalize on the shad-spawn bite. Shad spawn patterns usually don’t last long into the day, but fishing the shad spawn can be a fantastic way to catch a pile of fish and some big ones to boot. READ MORE »

Mark Rose’s Greatest Hits

Mark Rose’s Greatest Hits

FLW is looking forward to getting back on the water once it’s safe to come together and fish tournaments again. In the meantime, we’ll be offering a little retrospective on some of the all-time greats who’ve fished with FLW through the years. This time around we’re shining the spotlight on Mark Rose. From his Angler of the Year title to winning multiple FLW Tour events and even joining the bass-fishing millionaire club, it’s easy to see why the Arkansas pro is one of the best to have ever fished with FLW. READ MORE »

FLW Adds Free High School Minicamps

FLW Adds Free High School Minicamps

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Murray State University announced that it will not host any summer camps this year. As a result, FLW is replacing its traditional High School Fishing Camp, scheduled for July 22-24, with a series of FREE minicamps held in conjunction with three Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit tournaments. Campers already registered will receive a full refund and are invited to participate in any of the FREE minicamps.  READ MORE »

FLW Classics – Week 4

FLW Classics – Week 4

This week’s shows cover some old FLW Series Western Division events, Steve Clapper's 2007 FLW Tour Open win on the Detroit River and more high-level tournament action.  READ MORE »

FLW Making Final Preparations for Restart

FLW Making Final Preparations for Restart

FLW is looking forward to restarting the tournament season May 28-30 with the Toyota Series stop on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. There may be a few more schedule changes as states ease restrictions and reopen their economies at different rates, but FLW is optimistic that most of the schedule changes are behind us.      READ MORE »

FLW Revamps 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule: Extends Invitation to Major League Fishing Pro Anglers

FLW Revamps 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule: Extends Invitation to Major League Fishing Pro Anglers

BENTON, Ky. – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today a revised 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit schedule, which will return June 23-26 on Lake Chickamauga. The regular season will conclude on the Detroit River, Aug. 11-14. The Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the FLW Pro... READ MORE »

FLW Revamps Pro Circuit

FLW Revamps Pro Circuit

FLW has extended an invitation to Major League Fishing’s pro anglers to join the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit for three newly created “Super Tournaments” that include an expanded roster and higher payouts. The Super Tournaments are made possible by the abbreviated schedules announced recently by MLF and FLW. READ MORE »

Anglers React to Super Tournaments

Anglers React to Super Tournaments

When the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season picks back up, it will be with a new schedule, some new anglers and a lot more money in the pot than originally planned. READ MORE »

Pros’ Favorite Baits for May

Pros’ Favorite Baits for May

Across the country, May is a great time for fishing, with tons of bass in and around the spawn and a lot of baitfish species spawning as well. With warming water, it’s a great chance to throw a topwater for the first time, or really to do just about whatever you want in some parts of the country. READ MORE »

2020 MLF College Faceoffs Canceled

2020 MLF College Faceoffs Canceled

Originally announced in early March, the four-tournament series featuring the MLF-style catch-weigh-immediately-release format was set to feature 20 College Fishing teams that qualified through the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI circuit. MLF officials are hopeful that the Faceoff events will return in 2021. READ MORE »

How to Make a Buzzbait Squeak

How to Make a Buzzbait Squeak

One of the key aspects of buzzbait fishing is the sound, and Bradley Dortch modifies his with a file and some pliers to get the most squeak he can. READ MORE »

Q&A: Winnipeg Jets Goalie Connor Hellebuyck

Q&A: Winnipeg Jets Goalie Connor Hellebuyck

The Michigan native, who now spends plenty of time on the ice in Winnipeg – both playing hockey and chasing after walleyes – grew up fishing, and bass fishing has become one of his favorite fair-weather hobbies. We got a chance to chat with Hellebuyck about his background in fishing, his future on the water and his present on the ice. READ MORE »