In 1982, a 35 year-old Ken Cook earned his first B.A.S.S. Invitational win, and the second of the six Bassmaster victories in his storied career. The career was marked by 14 Bassmaster Classic appearances and a win in the 1991 iteration of the event held on Maryland’s Upper Chesapeake Bay, as well as three Forrest Wood Cup qualifications.
Despite the fact that the December 1982 Florida Invitational on the Kissimmee Chain was his first “national” win, Cook’s career really gained steam the following March, when he won the 1983 Super B.A.S.S. tournament, also in Florida, but just a little bit north on the St. Johns River.
Still, at Toho he first demonstrated that he could compete on others’ territory. His first win had been in his home state of Oklahoma, but at Kissimmee in ’82, he beat a field that was almost half composed of Floridians. As Bassmaster later pointed out, despite the fact that there were three of them in the top five, there were only five of them in the top 10 and eight in the top 20.
No anglers caught a limit all three days, and Cook and runner-up Tom Jurkewicz had the highest number of bass weighed in – 13 total. Jurkewicz did suffer a dead fish penalty for one of them, but that would not have been enough to make up his deficit. Cook used his knowledge of fishing current to win a tough tournament by exactly two pounds. He fished cover and structure close to the locks and relied on them opening and closing to move the water and generate strikes. He’d caught some fish around “smartweed” or “alligator grass” the first day, but when that dried up the moving water of the locks became critical.
In order to win this week’s contest, be the first to correctly answer the following three questions in the comments section below:
- What were the circumstances of Cook’s first B.A.S.S. win?
- Cook used an Oklahoma-made Golden Eagle spinnerbait and a plastic worm to earn the win. What worm did he rely upon and who invented it?
- The big bass of the tournament was a 9-14 caught by Florida pro Kenneth Jordon on Day One. Although as far as we know he was no relation to current Elite Series pro Kelly Jordon, it seems curious to us that someone with the same non-traditionally spelled last name earned that honor, since Kelly is generally regarded as having earned the most Bassmaster big bass awards in the modern era. Which now-retired pro was thought to hold that mark before Kelly Jordon?
The answers and winner will be announced Thursday. Good Luck!