Alicia Howard enjoyed a unique 17th birthday present last July 25. She went bass fishing on Lake Wylie with BASS pro Jason Quinn - and caught bass after bass after bass.

"We caught quite a few. That young lady loves to fish," said Quinn, who lives on the border lake between North Carolina and South Carolina just south of Charlotte, N.C., and is known as an enthusiastic fishing mentor for youngsters.

He took Alicia bass fishing just as he was preparing to leave for his second straight appearance in the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer in New Orleans. They caught 18 bass that afternoon, three of them 3-pounders.

"I used to fish a lot when I was little," said Alicia who graduated from Clover, S.C., High School this year. "But Jason taught me new techniques and how to catch fish that was not like how I used to fish."

Her dad also bought her a rod and reel for her birthday and she has maintained her love of fishing by going for the bass in a pond behind her home in the afternoons after school, she said.

"Jason taught me how to bring them in. It was a lot of fun."

Quinn, 32, a rising star on the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail, said he delights in introducing children to fishing of all kinds.

"If you take a youngster fishing for the first time, keep it short and simple," Quinn said. "Fish for what is biting to keep it interesting. You can spend all day throwing plastic worms and not catch anything, but you can take a tube of crickets and fish for something that is biting and keep their interest up."

Two who get to go with him "all the time" are his own two sons, Cameron, 11, and Zachary, 3.

"They thoroughly enjoy it, but I try not to push it on them. If they want to fish for a little while or sit there and play in the water that's a lot better than being cooped up inside."

Jim Davis of Weddington, N.C., agrees. Quinn has taken Davis and his son, Zack, 12, fishing several times over the past two years.

"I've had a boat all of Zack's life and we've fished together for years, but I don't go fishing with Jason unless I take Zack. Each time has been a different time of the year and we go with Jason to learn different things," Davis said.

"He taught Zack how to fight a fish, how to see fish with (polarized) glasses, how to fish a jigging spoon, how to fish a Senko, and a lot more. It's a big deal for Zack to go fishing with a professional fisherman. He learns a lot more from Jason than he does with me and Jason is really good with the kids."

Zack, who also loves to play baseball, agreed.

"Every time we go with Jason we catch a lot of fish," he said. "Sometimes I catch more fish than my dad does. Jason has taught me pretty good."

And, he said, Jason Quinn is his hero.

"If my baseball doesn't work out," said the 6th grader, "I want to be a professional fisherman."

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.

Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and BankOne.

Associate Sponsors include G3 Boats.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit