CLASSIC HISTORY- '91 CHAMP WAS A WINNER IN MANY WAYS
It has been five years since we lost Ken Cook. As a fisherman, he may have been the most knowledgeable ever on the behavior of largemouth bass, but his legacy is much more about being a family man and a friend. Ken was on the front edge of the baby boom, born in his beloved Oklahoma just after World War II. The outdoor life was in his blood and very much a part of his upbringing, so it was not a surprise that he graduated from Oklahoma State with a B.S. in Zoology. The life-long Oklahoma resident went to work with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and Conservation as a fisheries biologist. If there was ever a man who immersed himself in the world of the fish it was Ken.
Enjoying the fruits of his work, and being competitive, it was logical for him to start fishing tournaments, winning the first B.A.S.S. tournament he entered – the 1980 B.A.S.S. Federation championship. In 1983, at the age of 36, Ken made the decision to become a full-time
professional fisherman, and that year won the Super B.A.S.S. event on the St. Johns River- the first ever six-figure payday. The $100,000 check helped launch a Hall of Fame career that included 35 top 10 finishes, and 6 wins, including the 1983 Missouri Invitational,1987 New York Invitational, and the 1991 Bassmaster Classic, an event for which he qualified 14 times before retiring in 2009. To win his Classic on the Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore, Md., Ken edged out 2nd place angler Randall Romig by 3 ozs and 3rd place finisher Woo Daves by just 13 ozs. Ken was a great ambassador for the outdoors, and an avid hunter, who guided many hunting trips during his retirement. He was known to be a loving family man, and he extended that quality to the many fishermen to whom he gave advice and answered questions. People who met him described him as warm, kind, open and respectful to friends and competitors alike.