Now, she is asking the public to lend her a hand.
Coffman’s son, Greg Vinson, is a professional Bassmaster Elite series angler, living in Wetumpka, Ala. As part of the series, fans get a chance to vote on four favorites to advance to the 2011 Toyota Trucks All-Star Week with a $100,000 purse on the line.
Vinson just wrapped up a career-year, finishing 11th in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.
“I had a phenomenal season,” said Vinson. “To finish 11th out of that group is beyond impressive. It’s humbling to think that I finished that well. Look at the list of people below me, I beat some of my heroes.”
The voting began Tuesday, June 21, at Bassmaster.com and will continue through July 10. The winners will be announced by July 13.
“If this were last year, I’d have been jumping for joy,” said Vinson. “That was one of my personal goals. But this year, they are looking for the top eight.”
A format change, announced by new Bassmaster owner Jerry McInnis weeks before the first lure sank, put the emphasis back on the regular season.
“In the beginning, I said I wanted to make it to the postseason by finishing in the top eight,” said Vinson. “But I think if the fans vote you in, that says more about who you are (than) your abilities.”
The list of eight initial qualifiers was topped by Kevin VanDam (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Edwin Evers (Talala, Okla), Gerald Swindle (Warrior, Ala.), Ott DeFoe (Knoxville, Tenn), Steve Kennedy (Auburn, Ala), Terry Scroggins (San Mateo, Fla.), Casey Ashley (Donalds, S.C.), and Davy Hite (Ninety Six, S.C.).
Four more Elite anglers voted in by fans will complete the postseason field of 12.
“I know some guys are going to get the popular vote,” said Vinson. “But if my fans and friends and supporters could vote me in (that) would be a huge boost in confidence and would mean even more to me than they’d ever know.”
“I hope the fans look at the list and say ‘these guys had a great year and deserve to be in the postseason.’ I would love to get the opportunity to fish against the best on one of my personal favorite fisheries.”
The first leg of the competition will be July 23-24 on Alabama’s Lake Jordan with the Ramada All-Star Semi-Final. Weigh-ins will be out of Wetumpka.
Only the top eight will advance July 29 to the Alabama River for the Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship out of Montgomery.
The fans also have an incentive to vote.
The Bassmaster fans who cast votes for the four anglers will be entered in the Toyota Trucks All-Star Fan Favorite Sweepstakes. The winners will be 12 fans who will be virtually paired with the 12 All-Star anglers. The fan whose name is matched with the pro who wins will be awarded a Triton 18XS boat with a Mercury 150 OptiMax engine. All 12 fan finalists will win a prize pack from Berkley and Havoc.
The winner will receive the boat the same night the All-Star winner receives the $100,000 check.
For additional information, visit www.bassmaster.com.
Standard staff writer Todd Ollis contributed to this article.