McKay makes a splash on Bassmaster Tour.Byline: Mary Anne Magiera
Capitalizing on skill, research expertise, and the luck of a draw, Colleen col·leen
An Irish girl.
[Irish Gaelic cailín, diminutive of caile, girl, from Old Irish. McKay finished near the top of the leaderboard lead·er·board
A board that displays the leaders in a competition.
a board displaying the current scores of the leading competitors, esp in a golf tournament in the first-ever super bowl for women professional bass anglers, etching etching, the art of engraving with acid on metal; also the print taken from the metal plate so engraved. In hard-ground etching the plate, usually of copper or zinc, is given a thin coating or ground of acid-resistant resin. Worcester into the history books of yet another sport.
The inaugural Women's Bassmaster Tour Championship for the nation's top female anglers was part of the 2007 CITGO Bassmaster Classic, the longstanding premier event for the men's competitive bass-fishing circuit founded by the Bass Angler Sportsman's Society and now owned by the ESPN ESPN Entertainment and Sports Programming Network television network. The two championships overlapped last weekend at different lakes in and near Birmingham, Ala., however both groups of anglers shared the stage for award presentations and numerous other events.
"It was so exciting, really an honor, to participate in the first championship for women; to be part of history," a tired but elated McKay said yesterday in a cell phone interview during her trip back to Worcester from Alabama.
McKay, who is on the faculty of the psychiatry department at the University of Massachusetts Medical School UMMS is ranked fourth in primary care education among the nation’s 125 medical schools in the 2006 U.S.News & World Report annual guide, “America’s Best Graduate Schools”. UMMS is also a major center for research. , finished fifth as a co-angler. The local pro was one of 24 women - 12 pro anglers and 12 co-anglers - to qualify for the championship after fishing the BASS inaugural women's tour of five tournaments during 2006. Since McKay does not yet own a boat, she fishes as a "non-boater" or co-angler. Co-anglers - who fish from the back of the boat - are teamed up with a different pro-angler for each tournament; they do not compete with each other.
The pro-angler, or boat owner, fishes on the deck and controls the boat, determining where the pair will fish on each body of water. McKay finished 11th out of more than 160 co-anglers who competed in the new Mercury Marine Mercury Marine, founded in 1939, is a division of Brunswick Corporation of Lake Forest, Illinois, in the United States. Company beginnings
The company began when engineer Carl Kiekhaefer purchased a small outboard motor company in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Women's Bassmaster Tour. There were 125 women who fished in the pro angler division. McKay is the only New Englander New England
A region of the northeast United States comprising the modern-day states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
New Eng who qualified for the championship.
"I really don't think it's all sunk in yet," McKay said, recalling the highlights of her experience.
First there was the fanfare: sharing the limelight with the likes of bass fishing greats such as Kevin VanDam Kevin VanDam (born October 14, 1967) has been hailed one of the top bass anglers in the world. He was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan (where he still resides), has a wife - Sherry, and two sons - Jackson and Nicholas. , Rick Clunn Rick Clunn (born August 24, 1946) is a paid professional fisherman from Ava, Missouri. He is arguably the world's greatest angler, having dominated the Bassmasters Classic by qualifying for more than any other angler and for winning twice as many Bassmaster Classics than his , Denny Brauer, and Gary Klein This article is about the bicycle designer. For other people of the same name, see Gary Klein (disambiguation).
Inventor Gary Klein can be considered an innovator of the oversized tube aluminum bicycle, which is now a fixture in the cycling market. at joint receptions; meet-and-greet sessions with sponsors and a long list of the fishing industry's who's who Who’s Who
biographical dictionary of notable living people. [Am. Hist.: Hart, 922]
See : Fame ; and, uplifting autograph sessions with fans.
"It was an eye-opening experience to have people (executive director of the professional angler's association) come up to me and say they have been following my progress," McKay said.
The crowds that turned out to support both the women's and men's events were very encouraging, McKay said. "They showed up at the ramp early in the morning and they were there again for the weigh-ins," she recalled.
The Worcester angler said the highlight of the championship, "was the start of the tournament on the first day; going out onto the water to fish in the first-ever women's championship." McKay said she will also cherish the experience of sharing the stage with the top classic competitors to receive her plaque and $4,000 prize money.
The tournament fishing was tough, McKay said, with weather extremes affecting the bite from day-to-day. Anglers did well on a cold rainy practice day early in the week, but had to deal with a case of bass lock-jaw on Thursday's opening day of competition that featured blue-bird skies.
"I went into the tournament with some sense of what kinds of baits I was going to use," McKay said. She had fished a tournament during the regular season on the Coosa River Coosa River
River, in Georgia and Alabama, U.S. Formed by the confluence of the Etowah and Oostanaula rivers at Rome, Ga., it flows south for 286 mi (460 km) through the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region into the Gulf coastal plain. , the same river system that feeds the lake where the championship was held. The local pro also got a confidence boost from a top-10 finish at Lake Amistad in Texas earlier this month during the opening tournament for the women's 2007 tour.
Additionally, McKay drew Alabama pro Linda Sands as her boater during the second day of the tournament. Sands finished in seventh place among the 12 pro anglers.
"She got her limit and then spent time where she thought I would be able to get good fish," McKay noted. "Not a lot of pros will do that."
McKay settled on a shaky worm finesse pattern, catching four bass weighing a total of 6 pounds, 11 ounces, to take fifth place.
The easy-going eas·y·go·ing also eas·y-go·ing
a. Living without undue worry or concern; calm.
b. Lax or negligent; careless.
c. bass pro is quick to give credit to others for her successes.
"With every tournament I learn more and more; fishing with the top women in the country has helped tremendously," McKay offered.
For example, at Amistad, she fished with the two top finishers. One, Georgia pro Pam Martin-Wells - considered the top female pro in the country - won the championship on Saturday.
However, McKay gives most credit to fellow members of Marlboro's Green Water Wizards bass fishing club for success on the national circuit, saying they not only turned her onto catching bass, but unselfishly schooled her in just about every technique there is to do the catching. Members encouraged her to fish the national tour, sponsoring her in 2005 when ESPN held a preview event for the new women's tour. They also keep track of her successes; several fellow members called with encouragement and then with congratulations during the championship.
McKay, who is also a mental-health services researcher at UMASS focusing on clubhouse programs, is on the pro staff of C. R. Taylor of Shrewsbury, manufacturer's representative for St. Croix rods, and Barry's Bait & Tackle in Westboro. She came to Worcester 20 years ago from her home town of New Canaan New Canaan (kā`nən), town (1990 pop. 17,864), Fairfield co., SW Conn.; settled c.1700, inc. 1801. It is mainly a residential town and suburb of nearby New York City. Silvermine Guild Arts Center is located there. , Conn., as an undergraduate to study at Assumption College and decided to stay.