While country music and fishing are no strangers, it’s not often you meet an artist who so directly references her love of fishing with a hit song titled “Girl with the Fishing Rod." Meet Ellie May Kay, a singer from Waukegan, Ill., and a current Nashville resident. Ellie May fished with Ish Monroe on Tuesday for the Old Hickory Lake Tournament, and took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to B.A.S.S. See more photos of Ellie May Kay.
When did you first start loving fishing? Who taught you to fish?
I have always loved to fish. I grew up on a lake called Round Lake; all the fishing we did was from shore or a raft. A nightcrawler was about the only bait I ever used. Nobody ever taught me to bass fish until recently; my dad and my son have been hanging around some of the Elite Series anglers like Ish Monroe and J Todd Tucker. We watch their videos and learn a lot on YouTube.
What is your proudest fishing moment?
I guess they are all proud moments! At my level, everything I catch and release is a proud moment. My dad was the first person to take me fishing, and I’m so glad I can say that. I wish he could have been here for the tournament but he is in Wisconsin. I would guess more proud moments are sure to come up this week with Ish Monroe and James Watson! I can't wait to find out who they pair me up with for the tournament! When Dave Mansue, president of the Professional Anglers Association (PAA), told me I would be pre-fishing with Ish Monroe and James I about fell over! I'm a whole bunch excited and a little scared!
Do you follow B.A.S.S. closely? Other than Ish, who are some of your favorites?
Honestly, I really never followed bass fishing until the release of my song "Girl with the Fishing Rod." The song has just exploded in the music and the fishing industry! Over the past year, I have followed the professional fishing fairly closely and have learned a lot of big names and about their career highlights. They are unbelievable sportsmen. Ish is an amazing angler! I have a few others that I have met and kept up with. J Todd Tucker is a friend of mine; I know Mike Iaconelli is rated pretty high, and Chris Lane hooked the Bassmaster Classic title. I got to meet a few of these guys in Shreveport, La., this past spring.
What inspired you to write “Girl with the Fishing Rod”?
Well, I wish I could take credit for writing such a huge hit! But the writers on this particular song were Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum; Victoria Shaw, who has written many No. 1 hits; and my producer Keith Follese and his wife Adrienne — they have so many No. 1 hits you can't count them all.
I do write my own songs and have some great new songs that we just recorded for my next album. So, yes, I have a follow up to "Girl with the Fishing Rod" but I can’t let the fish out of the bag just yet! But it's a good one with a great hook! No pun intended.
Nashville and the music industry are a little different than most people think. The writers are the heartbeat of Nashville, and most songs you hear by any artist usually have several great writers behind them. George Strait, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift all have great writers behind them!
We have a new project that is in the works that is going to be a nationwide event and directly affects the whole fishing Industry! I can’t wait to tell everybody about it! It’s slated for unveiling later this summer.
What other activities do you enjoy besides fishing and music?
I love to spend time with my family and my dog. I love to cook! I make good spaghetti. I am addicted to cooking TV shows. Instead of selling t-shirts at my venues, I thought about selling my spaghetti sauce and other yummy stuff. I love to read when I have time but there never is enough time. I mean this from the bottom of my heart... I have so many people connecting with me on my websites and Facebook that I can’t answer all them! I try! It’s a little overwhelming at times but I love it! I would like to personally thank all of the people, fans, anglers, fishing industry companies and B.A.S.S. Because of the fishing industry and one great little song, so many doors have opened. I truly love to fish and sing! How often does somebody get to say I love everything I do? And I really mean it! Some days I just want to pinch myself!