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Dale Hollow Lake boat ramp renamed for angler who caught world record smallmouth bass

July 15, 2011
By

July 14, 2011
Author Lee McClellan

FRANKFORT, Ky. – On the morning of July 9, 1955, angler David L. Hayes of Leitchfield began a trolling run in the Phillip’s Bend area of Dale Hollow Lake.

After Hayes cleared a point near what is now Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, the biggest smallmouth bass ever caught by an angler struck his pearl-colored Bomber 600 lure. The 27-inch long smallmouth bass that Hayes reeled in from the Kentucky side of the lake that day weighed 11 pounds, 15 ounces. It remains the all-tackle world record.

Dr. James Rich, 5th District Commissioner for the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission, reveals the new sign renaming the auxiliary boat ramp at Dale Hollow State Resort Park the David L. Hayes Boat Ramp. Mr. Hayes, in white cap and jacket, admires the new sign with his wife Ruth (to his his left) and his son David (between them). Mr. Hayes caught the 11-pound, 15-ounce world record smallmouth near this ramp on July 9, 1955. Chad Miles, executive director of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is on the far left with Joe Bolton of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation behind Mrs. Hayes. Beside the sign (in tan cap) is Rick Hill, staff artist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, who painted the replica of the fish. To the right of the sign is Benjy Kinman (tan shirt behind Dr. Rich), Deputy Commissioner for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, and Mike Lynn (blue blazer), park manager for Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park .


To commemorate this legendary catch, the auxiliary boat ramp at Dale Hollow State Resort Park Marina was recently renamed the David L. Hayes Boat Ramp. The sign marking the ramp includes a life-sized image of the record fish.

“Now anglers that launch or take out their boats at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park can compare their trophy catches to the world record,” said Chad Miles, administrative coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

The ramp dedication was a collaborative effort of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Kentucky Department of Parks and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Art collectors also have the rare opportunity to purchase a copy of the Hayes smallmouth bass painted by nationally recognized wildlife artist Rick Hill. The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation is offering 100 prints individually signed and numbered by Hill. Proceeds from the sale will benefit conservation education efforts across Kentucky. The painting depicts the life-sized fish.

A print signed by Hill and Hayes now hangs in the lobby of the Mary Oaken Lodge at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park.

Prints are available for purchase online at www.kentuckywildlife.com

(Editors: email lee.mcclellan@ky.gov for photos)

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Contact: Lee McClellan
1-800-858-1549, ext. 4443

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For more information on the department, visit our website at fw.ky.gov.

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