On Sunday afternoon, after a quick Father’s Day fishing trip with my dad, I wrote the name “Dylan Poche” on a rock and tossed it into the waters of Logan Martin Lake.
I did it for several reasons.
I did it to honor the memory of Dylan Poche, an 18-year-old college angler from Northwestern State University who was killed at a Louisiana boat ramp back in February.
I did it to feel a little bit better about a horrible situation.
But mostly, I did it because his mother asked me to.
Actually, she’s asking everyone to.
Poche’s mother, Misty Ott, recently started a Facebook group called “Dylan Kyle Poche Fishing Around the World.” Her goal is to have people across the globe keep Dylan’s memory alive with the simple toss of a stone.
“Dylan has two brothers, and they’ve always liked to bring me heart-shaped rocks,” Misty said. “Not long after Dylan was killed, I wrote his name on a rock and tossed it into a lake — and I just kind of decided I would do that everywhere. I figured it would be our little thing, between me and him.
“But then I thought, ‘Why not share this with the world?’”
If the name Poche sounds familiar, it’s because Dylan’s uncle, Keith Poche, is a veteran on the Bassmaster Elite Series with 98 B.A.S.S. events on his resume.
The elder Poche has seven career Top 10 finishes with B.A.S.S. — and he was expecting big things from Dylan, who finished fourth in a BFL event on Toledo Bend just a month before his death.
“He was enjoying some success and showed real resolve to build a career out of fishing,” Keith said. “Watching him grow up, it was obvious he had a natural talent for reading the water and finding the right fish.
“I have no doubt that he would have eventually made it to the highest level of competition. He had that kind of talent.”
Because of a senseless act of violence, we’ll never know if Dylan would have joined his uncle on the Elite Series or one day take part in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. But we can all help keep his name attached to those famous venues of the sport he loved.
People have already been helping in ways Misty never imagined.
“I’ve just been amazed by the response we’ve gotten,” she said. “So many people are doing it in so many places — and they’re posting pictures on the Facebook page. That’s been the most amazing part. Getting to see people do this has just been overwhelming.
The rock I tossed in at Logan Martin on Sunday is now sitting at the bottom of a lake that has hosted several B.A.S.S. events, including the Bassmaster Classic in 1992, 93 and 97. A while back, I threw a similar stone into Lay Lake, site of several more Classics.
Jim Sexton, our vice president of digital communications here at B.A.S.S., made the toss at Lake Guntersville a while back, tying Dylan’s name to one of the most legendary lakes in the history of competitive fishing.