By Kurt Dove
Published: July 2015
The fourth annual Kurt Dove’s Pro Bass Youth Camp took place on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas June 23-27, 2015. For five days, 24 youth anglers between the ages of 11 and 18 honed their bass fishing skills and learned from some of the best professional anglers and guides in the business through one-on-one instruction and on-the-water lessons.
Kurt Dove, who has guided professionally for over a decade and is currently competing in his sixth season on the Bassmaster Elite Series, first conceptualized the camp during a guide trip with his friend Chase Kemp, who runs the Donald R. Kemp Youth Hunting Club in Las Cruses, New Mexico.
“I played a lot of basketball and really had a passion for the sport when I was growing up,” explained Dove. “I remember getting really pumped up about going to basketball camp for a week every summer. Over the years of guiding and fishing tournaments, I realized that there was a whole group of kids out there who had a huge passion for bass fishing but there really wasn’t a ‘summer camp’ experience for them to be a part of.
“I thought that it would be really cool to create a week-long camp that was a nonstop bass fishing bonanza that really entrenched kids in the sport of bass fishing and gave them knowledge so that they could go out and have more fun catching bass.” Dove partnered with the Donald R. Kemp Youth Hunting Club, and the first Kurt Dove’s Pro Bass Youth Camp was held on Lake Amistad in 2012. The camp had humble beginnings, consisting of just 10 campers and five instructors the first year.
This year, campers learned from an all-star cast of 12 instructors that included 1998 Bassmaster Classic champion Denny Brauer, Elite Series champion and three-time Toyota Texas Bass Classic champion Keith Combs, Bass Fishing Hall Of Fame inductee Harold Allen, Bassmaster Open champion Dave Mansue, and Elite Series pros Kurt Dove and Cliff Crochet. Other instructors included professional guides and tournament anglers T.R. Andreas, Olin Jensen, Frank Ramsey, and Daniel Howard, collegiate angler Nicholas DiCamillo, and Matt Pangrac from the bass fishing media.