ANGLER Reports

Published: Summer 2014

"Vessels Of Freedom, Harbors Of Healing... Boats"

Photo of singer Kenny Chesney on the beach
Chesney says he’s always been drawn to the water.

So goes the chorus of country singer Kenny Chesney's song "Boats." The eight-time Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year has made no secret of his love for getting out on the water. He's featured boats in music videos over the years and keeps a sizable Sea Ray at his island home in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

So it's little surprise that he'd sign up as an honorary board member on the Coastal Conservation Association's (CCA) national marine habitat program. Officially called the Building Conservation Trust, the program supports projects that revitalize critical habitat and marine ecosystems.

“When you can have a hand in stewarding the health of the ocean,” Chesney said, “you’re ensuring the survival of something very necessary for all of us, whether you’re a beach person, or someone who won’t go near the water. The ecological balance is very delicate, so I’m honored to help them achieve this goal.”

The country star, who sold in excess of a million tickets on his last 12 tours and headlined 19 NFL stadium concerts last year alone, has always been drawn to the water.

"I've always had an island soul to me. I grew up in Knoxville in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, but somewhere in my family tree there must've been someone who was a beach bum at heart,” he said. “I've always felt a certain sense of peace and freedom on the boat that I don't get on the tour bus. On the road, there's always something to do and someplace to be. My life is full of expectations. But on the boat I can take a deep breath and be myself."

He's not the only boater with an inclination toward music. Bassmaster Classic angler Casey Ashley is another who regularly swaps the lake for the studio. Not that all anglers are exclusively into country music. This year's Classic contender Tim Johnston's son Skeeter was so inspired when his father made the competition that he created a rap song especially for him, the thumping "My Papa's in the Classic." For more on this year's Bassmaster Classic, see, "42 Hours In Fishville".

– Ann Dermody

Hear "My Papa's in the Classic"

Hear Casey Ashley's "Fisherman"

Book Reviews

Promising Forecast
By Daniel David Jones
Five friends head off for a deep-sea fishing trip that goes horribly wrong when their boat sinks out from under them 30 miles offshore. Jones wrote an abridged version of the tale for BoatUS Magazine, titled "One Hell Of A Night At Sea," and now in longer book form, it certainly was.

High Seas Wranglers
By Terry L. Howard
A look at the larger-than-life sea stories of five Florida fishing captains. Teacher and fisherman Terry Howard captures the harrowing close calls and boisterous spirit of chasing the big catch on the Atlantic Coast, and brings these modern adventurers to life.