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Evan Isbell’s legacy for sharing his love of fishing with others is helping bring smiles to the faces of children participating in Camp Courage, a Helen Keller Experience.

Isbell, 16, a member of the Muscle Shoals Trojan Bass Fishing Team, died in an automobile accident June 23. He was well known for helping special needs children and adults learn to fish through the Timmy Horton Fishing For Kids program and Camp Courage, a Helen Keller Experience.

Isbell, of Tuscumbia looked forward to Fishing for Kids and Camp Courage with as much enthusiasm as he did any of the many bass tournaments he competed in on the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association on other tours.

“Evan was such a nice young man. He would always come up to me after Camp Courage or Fishing for Kids and thank me for letting him help,” said Susann Hamlin, president and CEO of Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau. “He always had a smile on his face when he was helping the children learn how to fish.”

To honor Isbell, Camp Courage, a Helen Keller Experience organizers created the Evan Isbell Angler Award to honor the camper deemed the top angler. Twelve children from throughout Alabama attended this year’s session of Camp Courage Sept. 24-27.

The first recipient the Evan Isbell Angler Award was Zachary Glasgow of Albertville. Glasgow caught a 4 ½ -pound largemouth bass at the Camp Courage fishing day on Pickwick Lake to clinch the prize.

It was the first bass and largest fish that Glasgow, 9, has caught.

“It was huge. It pulled really hard when I was reeling it in. Everybody on the boat was telling me that it was a good one,” Glasgow said. “I loved catching that great big fish.”

Chase Murphy, a close friend of Isbell, presented the special award to Glasgow. Several members of the Muscle Shoals Trojan Bass Fishing Team attended the awards ceremony.

“Evan was always trying to help people. He loved getting to help with Camp Courage and help make the children happy,” Murphy said. “With this award, Evan is still making the Camp Courage kids happy. It is a great way to honor Evan and his parents, Ashley and Connie.”

In addition to fishing, the campers made pottery and candles, explored a farm and nature preserve and learned how to use their abilities to make a difference in the world, just as Helen Keller did.

Camp Courage was sponsored by the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation,  Optometry Cares  - The American Optometric Association Foundation, Valley Credit Union, University of North Alabama,  Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, Colbert County Commission, Colbert County Community Development Fund, Siemens Industries, Helen Keller Hospital, Muscle Shoals Fishing Team, Tim Horton Fishing,  Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and Alabama Tourism Department, Wind Creek Hospitality, Cypress Cove Farm and George’s 217.

By John N. Felsher - CHEROKEE, Ala. - More than 175 Alabama youths competed for a share of $20,000 in scholarship money during the inaugural Tim Horton High School Bass Fishing Challenge, held May 18, 2013, on Pickwick Lake.

"We had a phenomenal tournament," said Tim Horton, a professional bass angler from Muscle Shoals, Ala. "We had students from all over the state come here to fish. Some traveled more than 200 miles. That says a lot about their passion for fishing in this state."

The students, representing 30 schools from across Alabama, ran out of Rose Trail Park near Cherokee to fish the 47,500-acre impoundment. Named the 20th best bass lake by Bassmaster magazine, Pickwick Lake runs 53 miles along the Tennessee River between Florence, Ala., and Counce, Tenn.

The intangible benefits of fishing are many but often hard to define. The tangible benefits will be on full display Saturday in the Tim Horton High School Bass Anglers Challenge on Pickwick Lake.

Students from all corners of the state will converge on the Tennessee River for the third annual event, competing for at least $20,000 in scholarship money. The tournament begins at 6 a.m. Saturday morning from Riverfront Park in Sheffield. The weigh-in starts at Riverfront at 2 p.m. Read More

The Timmy Horton High School Bass Anglers Challenge on Pickwick Lake will be televised on Pursuit Channel at 8 a.m Monday, June 24; 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 28 and 12:30 a.m. Saturday, June 29. The show features extensive on-the-water interviews and action as the students competed for $20,000 in college scholarships. The tournament was organized by Horton, a professional angler from Muscle Shoals, Ala., and the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau. Pursuit Channel is channel 240 on Dish Network and 604 on DirecTV.

TUSCUMBIA, AL – Alabama students in grades 7-12 can fish their way to college on Saturday May 18. The Timmy Horton High School Bass Anglers Challenge 2013 on Pickwick Lake offers $20,000 in college scholarships. The tournament, which will be staged out of the Rose Trail Park boat ramp west of Cherokee, is open to students in public, private and home schools. Entry is free.

Horton, a Bassmaster Elite Series angler from Muscle Shoals, expects the student anglers in the tournament to have little trouble finding plenty of big bass in Pickwick Lake. “Pickwick is on fire right now. It’s one of the best bass lakes in America,” Horton said. “This tournament is going to be loads of fun for the kids and for the boat captains too. Best of all, it’s going to help the kids continue their education after they complete high school.”

Students will compete in two divisions, grades 7-9 and 10-12. Trophies will be awarded to the top teams in each division. The scholarships will be awarded to the top individual anglers in each division.

Show Times

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From Timmy

"We film only in public waters and my favorite thing to do is provide in depth information that will really help viewers catch more fish. I have to teach and share what I have learned over the years as a professional angler" - Timmy Horton