Inside BASS: Tim Horton vs. Tim Hortons?

When is a professional angler’s name not his own property?

This is the strange but true circumstance that Tim Horton is currently experiencing.

The former Bassmaster Angler of the Year is facing possible legal action from Tim Hortons, a chain of 2,800 coffee and donut shops in Canada and the U.S. Attorneys for the corporation are threatening the Bassmaster Elite Series pro with a lawsuit if he uses his name to promote any products.

“They’ve asked me to quit using my name,” Horton said. “When my attorney first contacted me I thought he was playing a joke on me. He wasn’t.

“It’s up in the air right now. It’s almost comical; I can’t believe it. They don’t want me to sell shirts with my name on them, lures with my name on them, DVD’s with my name on them. I told them in 1972 my mother didn’t have a clue what Tim Hortons was when she named me.”

The conflict emerged last year when Horton registered his name and a number (1) with the U.S. Patent Office for a trademark.

“When they saw I had registered for a trademark they went and looked at everything I had in my name,” he said. “They saw lures and DVDs that were for sale, and they started telling me that I couldn’t be selling stuff with my name on it.

“I even offered to change it to Timmy Horton, which was the reason I asked BASS officials to refer to me as Timmy last year. But they’re still fighting me on it. When I heard from them last year we decided to [register] Timmy Horton. Then about three weeks ago they contacted me again. They claim they have that name registered, too.”

Horton pointed out that one of his sponsors, lure-maker PRADCO, has his name on several lures.

It was jokingly suggested that he consider changing his name.

“What about ‘The Fisherman Formerly Known as Tim Horton?’ ” he replied.

NEW TRITON RIDE. In the last five years, Triton Boats has grabbed a significant portion of the bass boat market and they currently sponsor a number of Bassmaster Elite Series pros.

Not content to rest on their considerable laurels, the Tennessee-based boat maker has introduced its newest edition — the Tr-21 X2 — for 2007. This tournament model incorporates an impressive array of refinements from its top-of-the-line Tr-21 X.

Spanning 20 feet, 11 inches at the centerline, the new X2 is seven inches longer than the Tr21 X, providing larger front and rear casting decks. The massive front deck now features three seat pedestal positioning holes, as well as a hard-wired trolling motor panel with less wiring underfoot.

The 2007 edition’s interior has also been enhanced. Rod lockers are substantially longer with wider openings to better accommodate and access larger rods favored by hard-core tournament anglers. A series of organizing tubes inside the boxes will keep rods separated so there is less tangling and less likelihood of rod breakage.

Adjustable seating in the new X2 allows the driver and passenger maximum comfort and support while the boat is under power, regardless of their height. A handy removable Igloo 12-pack cooler is stationed between the seats. Newly designed ergonomic “floating” consoles feature intuitive placement of controls, instant gauge readability and windshields with superior wind-deflection properties.

The new X2 offers anglers the chance to customize one of the most sophisticated livewell systems available. When ordering a new X2, anglers can specify one of three different livewell designs: a single 35-gallon well with divider, a single 54-inch long well with divider, or dual wells. Each option affords quick pump access from the front for easy on-the-water servicing.

For more information, visit the Triton website at

HUNTING SEASON. Like many Bassmaster pros, Gerald Swindle has spent much of his free time this fall in a tree stand. But he hasn’t always been alone.

“I’ve hit seven or eight deer with my bow,” he said. “My wife shot her first deer with me and my daughter also shot her first deer with me. I’ve got an infantry of women I’m taking hunting and we’re having a good time. They’re shooting them on their own and having fun. It’s good that the girls come out and we do it together.”

On the tree stand, Swindle’s thoughts are turning to the 2007 Elite Series.

“It’s December and I’m in the peak of hunting right now, but I’m more fired up about starting next year,” he said. “I still have that fire burning and it feels good.”

Despite his success on the highest-level of competition which includes a Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, the Alabama pro is still seeking his first BASS win.

WRAP RAP. Denny Brauer’s title sponsor, Strike King Lure Co., held a contest to allow fishing fans to select a design for his boat wrap for the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series season.

The winner was Bill Parker of Huntsville, Ala., whose design for his boat and vehicle beat out more than 250 entries in the Design Denny’s Ride contest.

“The contest has been a huge hit,” said Chris Brown, Strike King’s marketing and public relations manager. “We received between 250 and 300 entries since we opened it up at the [Bassmaster] Classic last February and have had all kinds of neat designs submitted.

“The contest ended in September, but due to some pretty cool artwork it took some time to narrow down a winner and then tweak the logos to make it all fit and work properly.”

For his winning design, Parker received a fishing trip with the 1998 Bassmaster Classic champ Brauer. “I am very excited about the wrap and look forward to showing it off in 2007,” Brauer said. “Bill did an excellent job with his design.”

WEIRDEST CATCH. Elite Series pro Chris Lane was throwing a crankbait in Lake Kissimmee years ago when he thought he had caught the creature from the Black Lagoon.

“It was actually a scary thing,” the Florida angler said. “I hooked a fish that I thought was a bass, but it turned out to be a gar that had orange eyes and was about 6 feet in length. It was the most prehistoric thing I had ever seen — and scary when that big bill came at me.”

IF I HADN’T BECOME A BASS PRO… Boyd Duckett, a rookie on the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series, would be able to concentrate fully on his company, Southern Tank Leasing, which he started in 1991. “I’ve set it up to where I can be gone a lot,” the Alabama pro said. “I have a good operations manager and a new vice president in place. That’s my off-the-water income.”

THEY SAID IT. “I am not too nervous. I am just really excited about it. The worst thing is just waiting.” Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Derek Remitz on his first appearance in the upcoming Classic in February.

News exclusives, audio and video clips of bass fishing's biggest stars, loads of discounts and more are all part of BASS Insider, an exclusive membership, now available at

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, staging more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages and sanctions bass fishing tournaments for every skill level culminating with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208. To join BASS, call 1-877-BASS-USA or visit