Bass fishing lost one of its greats last week in Ken Cook, and the huge outpouring shows how much he was respected and loved.
People from all sides of the industry sent condolences to his widow, Tammy, and their children. See news story. Perhaps the most poignant was Alan McGuckin’s story on his relationship with Cook. Incredible tribute, Guck.
Digging back to his 1991 victory in the Bassmaster Classic, this passage ran in the Tuscaloosa News article written by Harold Stout on Aug. 25, 1991.
“I had set a lot of personal goals in this profession and I’ve accomplished a lot of them, but I wondered how I could step my career up to another level.
“I decided that I’d commit myself to sending the message that we need to help make people more environmentally aware. One way to do that is to introduce more people to fishing. I think that’s what helped inspire this victory and I’ll carry that message in the coming year.”
He carried it his entire life. He was truly a great ambassador for fishing and the outdoors.
Another line he wrote says a lot about Cook’s relationship with Tammy. It comes from his website, in a column he wrote titled “What Life Is About.” Almost every thought began with “I remember … ”
“I remember the tense moments waiting for Randy Romig to weigh in at the Classic in 1991. The feeling afterwards when we knew WE had won was and still is indescribable. That was a life changing moment for sure and the best thing was that we knew it at the time.”
Notice how he said “WE.”
Cook finished up his piece of remembrances like this:
“In my life, the good ones far outweigh the bad, so I win the tournament of memories. At least, that is what I remember.”
Memorial services for Ken will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12 at First Baptist Church in Lawton, Okla. Cook’s son, Hunter, wrote that “flowers can be sent to The Lawton Ritter Gray funeral home, but we want people to make a donation to the Tackle the Storm Foundation in honor of Ken Cook in lieu of flowers.”