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Monday, July 24, 2006

Pro Angler Reels in 25,000

It could have been a weekend to forget for David ‘Teeder’ Kennedy during the Canadian Fishing Tour’s (CFT) New Ark Super Series Pro-Am Open in Barrie this past weekend.

Broken equipment would have, by his own admission, made him throw in the towel if he were still in his first year of professional angling.

Instead, the Huntsville resident hung in and continued to fish, resulting in his pocketing $25,000 for finishing third. “This three-day tournament had the biggest payoff in Canadian fishing history,” Kennedy said.

“I believe that the payoff was more than $300,000 in prizes, with first place receiving $100,000, with second place $50,000. The prizes went right down to 30th place.”

The Barrie stop was the 20th event for Kennedy on the CFT, and was his seventh top-10 finish.

What makes his accomplishment remarkable is that Kennedy was situated in 52th place after the first day of live-release fishing for small mouth bass on Lake Simcoe. He managed to secure 10th place after two days and worked his way up to third by the end of the weekend.

No one was more surprised to make up that much ground as Kennedy.

“I had a whole list of challenges for me. The day before the tournament, my electric trolling motor blew up, and that is the most important tool on my boat to stay on top of fish. I had to race around to try and get it fixed. On the first day I brought in 18.75 pounds, but I was trying to help a guy out who was in trouble on the water. By me trying to help him out, I late coming in and was assessed a pound penalty. A pound over a three-day tournament for that much money can hurt you.”

Kennedy’s misfortunes didn’t stop there. On the second day, he managed to catch 22.85 pounds and was ready to head back into shore. “But when I tried to start my big motor, it died on me and I was more than 30 miles away from the weigh-in site.”

He managed to flag down another angler and put his amateur partner and his catch in his boat and head back to shore. “I had to use my trolling motor to get to shore and find a marina before I was stranded in the Orillia area.”

He managed to get his boat and motor back to Gravenhurst, where he managed to get it fixed by 11 p.m. Saturday night. “We managed to water test it on Lake Muskoka, and I was able to get a few hours sleep before I was up at 4 a.m. and back to Barrie.”

Under the tournament format, Kennedy and the other pro anglers would be coupled with a different amateur entrant each day. The pro’s totals would be accumulated over the course of the three days for the final result, while the amateurs would received the daily total of the pro they were paired with at that particular time.

“You are allowed a five fish limit each day. So my 15 fish over the three days came out to 62.75 pounds,” he said.

Kennedy, who was nicknamed ‘Teeder’ after the former Toronto Maple Leaf great because they shared the same last name and hard-work ethic when he was playing junior lacrosse or hockey in town, said he uses that same approach when it comes to pro fishing.

“It’s the old attitude. You never can give up and keep focussing, even with all the challenges you might have to face.”

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