News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Horton hears some good news on legal front

In a recent column, I wrote about the trouble that bass fishing pro Tim Horton has faced from Tim Hortons, a chain of about 2,800 coffee and doughnut shops in Canada and the United States.

Since I wrote the feature, calls have poured in from outdoor enthusiasts outraged that the bass tournament specialist was threatened with legal action because he wished to use his name in marketing fishing-related products.

I wanted to give you an update, and with the help of a release from BASS, I can tell you that Horton’s problems may end soon.

Tim Hortons has had a change of heart, according to the news release.

Rachel Douglas, director of public affairs for the restaurant chain, recently told the TimesDaily that the angler can attach his name to any type of products except foods that are sold by the company.

“He’s free to continue selling his lures, DVDs and other products,” Douglas said. “We’re not in competition with him on those items. But we will continue to oppose any effort by him to trademark his No. 1 Tim Horton logo, because we already own the Tim Hortons trademark. But he can certainly continue to use his name on his own products.”

In a way, I know how Tim feels. I’ve been asked many times where Paul’s Steakhouse is located.

Big fish recognition: The state of Alabama is implementing a program in which the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will recognize state anglers who catch big freshwater fish.

The Fisheries Section of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division is starting its Angler Recognition Program, which will highlight the achievements of freshwater fishermen, as well as maintain records in three categories: the state’s 43 reservoirs, 20 state public fishing lakes and private ponds.

“The program has been available in the past through recognition of state records,” Stan Cook, chief of the Fisheries section, said in a release. “What we’re doing is expanding it. Now there are several ways of being recognized for angling achievement.

“We wanted to get more anglers involved, to encourage fishing by recording a memorable catch.”

Cook said the expanded records program will start with black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and redeye) with the intent to include other species later.

The good news for anglers is that there is more to the program than records. Anglers can be recognized for catching a certain size fish. The size of the fish will determine whether the angler receives a Master or Trophy designation.

Plus, the Master and Trophy recognition won’t be limited to black bass. It also will include black and white crappie, striped, white and hybrid bass, blue, channel and flathead catfish, red ear and bluegill sunfish, walleye and sauger.

Damon Abernethy, the reservoir management biologist in charge of the program, said, “As far as lake records are concerned, we’re going to go with just black bass. As soon as we get that established, we’re going to look at other species.”

For the Master and Trophy certifications, an application form must be filled out and returned to Abernethy. Applications will be available online at, at all WFF district offices an many sporting goods stores.

All fish must be caught from Alabama waters.

World Series: The Bassmaster Classic has been called the “World Series” of bass fishing for many years. The Classic is scheduled for Feb. 23-25 on Lay Lake with weigh-ins at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.

The championship event always attracts thousands of people and making reservations now at local and nearby motels is a good idea.

I’ve covered many of the Classics and can attest that it is truly an exciting event.

The total prize purse for the 2007 Classic is $1.2 million with the winner’s prize of $500,000.

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Paul Stackhouse
Paul Stackhouse
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