Conny Jenkins, one of the first women to enter into the world of professional bass fishing, died Friday, June 27, at the age of 60.
Jenkins, of Knob Noster, Mo., fished competitively with her husband, Wallace, for 23 years. Throughout the early 1990s she was on the leading edge of professional female anglers.
“Conny Jenkins had the biggest heart and love for the sport of fishing more than anyone I ever met,” said Timmothy Merkh, a personal friend of Jenkins and fellow angler. “I can remember fishing with her. If we had to fish using a Carolina rig, all bets were off because Conny was going to whip up on everybody in that tournament. She was the best Carolina rig fisherman I have ever run across.”
Jenkins began fishing in B.A.S.S. tournaments in 1991 at the Arkansas Bassmaster Top 100 at Bull Shoals Lake. Her highest finish was 27th place in a 2006 Women’s Bassmaster Tour competition at Neely Henry Lake. Her total weight was 11 pounds, 14 ounces for the three-day tournament. She finished in the Top 50 four times in 2006 between April and September.
She was an active member of the Missouri B.A.S.S. Nation [MOBASS] throughout her life and career as a professional angler.
“She was a great asset to me when I was the [Nation] tournament director and on through my presidency,” said Ron Hauser, former president of MOBASS. “She helped the Missouri Bass Federation a lot, and she will be missed.”
Jenkins was actively involved in the U.S. Post Office for more than 34 years, and according to Merkh, “if anybody ever needed assistance, Conny was always there.”
“She was a super person, very kind,” Merkh said. “She was a very nice individual who will be missed dearly.”
A graveside service was held on July 1 at Grant Cemetery in Creighton, Mo. Memorial contributions can be sent to the American Kidney Association, the American Diabetes Association or the Kansas City Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO 64145.