First of all, no, Hank Cherry doesn't have Covid-19 symptoms. However, the 2020 Bassmaster Classic champion is headed home to Lincolnton, N.C., due to an illness. Cherry has been suffering from vertigo since the first day of practice at Lake St. Clair. He checked in early yesterday with a 55th-place limit weighing 16-12, hoping he would recover overnight after a 1 p.m. departure from the water.
"The second time I almost fell out of the boat today, I called Trip (Weldon, tournament director) and said, 'I'm done,'" said Cherry, in an 11:30 a.m. phone conversation. "You don't have any control over it."
What Cherry does have control over, as the defending champion, is that he's already qualified for the 2021 Bassmaster Classic. That eased his mind somewhat in making the decision to withdraw today.
"I've got bruises up and down my arm where I've fallen since I've been here," said Cherry, noting it hasn't been particularly rough on St. Clair, but the combination of rolling waves and staring down at his bow-mounted electronics has made his head spin. "It's been really bad. I don't have a choice. I've had trouble with rough water since I was a kid. Rough water I don't do well with. I'm going to go to every doctor and specialist I can to get this solved."