As many of you know, there was a PAA tournament last week. Elite Series angler Steve Kennedy brought home the bacon. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s one of the nicest anglers around. Other than me, I can’t think of anyone I rather see win a big event.
On the first day Steve caught a bass with a fully developed duck stuck in its throat, half-digested was the story I got. We’ve all heard tales about the crazy things bass will eat. Every lake we visit has a story or two attached to it about something that someone saw that proves bass are the fiercest critters on the planet. To hear some guys tell it, great white sharks are afraid of them.
If you think about it, though, not very many of those stories have any sort of proof to back them up. They usually go something along the lines of, “I heard from a guy who was talking to his brother-in-law and he knows this guy who has a friend who was fishing up in Big Fish Bay…” For the most part they’re rural legends. The best that can be said about them is that they can’t be proved false.
Anyway, this duck wasn’t a young one with yellow fuzz. It was fully developed, if not fully grown, and sported real feathers. The story goes that after he caught her his biggest concern was that she would barf up what little was left of the poor creature in his livewell, and then he’d have to clean everything out by himself. That didn’t happen. The darn thing stayed in his bass and was properly counted as a part of its weight — 4.89 pounds.
For most of us that would be the end of the story. Not so with Steve. He has too much of a fun-loving personality to let that happen. He went out that night and purchased a rubber duck from the local dime store. He put a hook in it, hung a Paca Craw out its belly so it had legs, and cast it at me the next morning before we launched. We all had a good laugh out of the story.
More importantly, we got to appreciate Steve Kennedy and see, once again, what he’s really all about. This man’s one of the real treasures in professional bass fishing. But his treasure doesn’t come from the fact that he’s a good angler, although he is that. It’s more because of his commitment to his family, high moral values and love of life. He sets the example for the rest of us.
While we’re out chasing bass from daylight to dark before a tournament, Steve can often be found spending time with his family. Sometimes they’re at the movies, sometimes having dinner together, sometimes just hanging out. Watch him for a while and you’ll know where his priorities are and what’s on his bucket list.
Professional bass fishing needs more men like him. Actually, the world needs more men like him.