Ailing child inspires downcast Jocumsen


Steve Bowman

How long will Micheal be able to fish? Elite pro Carl Jocumsen helped friends and family answer the question when he took the 9-year-old fishing on May 23.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Carl Jocumsen’s pro bass fishing career appeared to be on the upswing. He’d cashed Top 50 checks in three straight Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments. Then he got knocked off his feet.

During the second week in May, Jocumsen finished last – 108th – at Toledo Bend Reservoir. On his way home to Frisco, Texas, the engine fried in his Ford F-250 pickup – his home-away-from-home that both houses his camper and pulls his bass boat.

“It couldn’t have gone any worse,” said the 31-year-old, second-year Elite Series angler from Queensland, Australia. “I finished dead last, lost all the points and might have put myself out of the (Bassmaster) Classic. Then I lost about a $60,000 truck. It was just shattering.

“Then I heard about Michael, and I literally haven’t wasted one second worrying about any of that. In perspective, my problems are just nothing.” (See 64 photos of their day fishing together here.)

“Michael” is 9-year-old Michael Cano of Cabot, Ark., who is also known as Mikey. In March, well into the second semester of his third-grade year at Mountain Springs Elementary School, Michael began vomiting in class. What was initially diagnosed as strep throat didn’t get any better after several doctor visits, and it progressed into “screaming headaches.”