UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

Jay Kendrick Q&A

Jay Kendrick Q&A
Jay Kendrick (illustration by Rachel Idzerda)


"Editor's note: "Backlash" runs on the last page in every issue of FLW Bass Fishing magazine. To read more compelling articles from FLW Bass Fishing magazine each month, become an FLW subscriber member.)


 

How do you go from being a nurse anesthetist to a professional angler?

Actually, I’m both. I’d say half my year is spent doing anesthesia, and the other half is spent fishing or doing things for sponsors. It’s a dual career, really, and each suits the other well.

 

They do?

Oh, yeah. I didn’t get into anesthesia by accident. I knew a long time ago that I was going to be a professional fisherman. So I needed a career that would allow me the freedom and financial wherewithal to do that. Anesthesia was it.

 

How long ago are we talking?

Over 30 years. I was probably 14 or 15.

I have this image of you in high school breaking down spreadsheets of potential careers instead of doing homework.

That’s not that far off. I did a lot of research, and I couldn’t find another profession that interested me, had the earning potential and had the freedom to work my schedule around fishing.

 

Ever regret that decision when you were taking those medical exams?

Not at all. It was a lot of schooling, but it’s paid off. Some think my road to being a pro fisherman has been easy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve scratched and clawed and had a dogged determination to stick with my plan. I’ll admit there was some frustration with how long it took, but I took the best road I knew of.

 

What can you take from an operating room that’s applicable to a fishing tournament?

Preparation. Before a patient comes into an operating room, I spend 15 minutes setting up my tools, the medicines. I don’t want to waste time. My boat is the same way. Everything is strategically positioned. This way if I need a spinnerbait, I know exactly where it is, how many I have available onboard, and in what weights and colors.

 

So, you dreamed your entire life of being a professional fisherman. What was that first tournament at the professional level like?

I don’t want to come off cocky or overconfident, but I don’t remember having that feeling like I’d made it or anything. I never doubted I would. It was just a matter of time. Just like I have no doubt I’ll win an FLW Tour event. It’s just a matter of time, though I think that’s close.

 

You certainly looked like you might win at Guntersville. You had the lead on the first day, but it kind of fell apart on day two. I have to ask, what happened?

I’d predetermined before the event I was solely going to fish for big fish. So I knew day two was going to make or break everything. I had a 3-pound lead, and if I got five big bites, I’d have a 10-pound lead. No one was going to catch me then. It just didn’t happen.

 

Have you second-guessed yourself since?

I haven’t, but I’ve had so many buddies call me up and say, “Why didn’t you just go to the grass, catch a limit and make the cut?” I told them I wasn’t concerned about making the cut. I was just focused on winning.

 

Was it because it was Guntersville – a lake you’d won on before – or do you always fish that way?

I used to fish more conservatively, but the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve been willing to fish for the win. You don’t win fishing conservatively. Besides, I tell my buddies there’s not much difference in money between finishing fifth or 50th. So you might as well fish to win. There’s a big difference there.

 

Tags: jay-kendrick  sean-ostruszka  magazine-features  backlash 

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Jigs and topwaters – that’s pretty much all you need when it comes to fall in the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Five straight years of Lake of the Ozarks hosting a Toyota Series Plains Division event in October usually takes the guesswork out of what to expect. Anglers pretty much did what they’ve come to know as tried-and-true patterns on the historic fishery. READ MORE »

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

He put his name on the map as one to watch on day one. Today, Corey Cook put his name on the hardware as one of the best on Lake of the Ozarks right now. READ MORE »

Krekovich Finally Gets Co-angler Victory

Krekovich Finally Gets Co-angler Victory

After being the only co-angler to bring in a limit the first two days of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks, the co-angler from Granite City, Ill., only managed to bring in two today worth 4 pounds, 3 ounces. Fortunately, no other co-angler brought in more than three, and his 27-12 total held up. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lady Luck shines on us all sometimes, but sometimes she doesn’t. For this morning, at least, she sure wasn’t shining on Corey Cook READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Scrapping plans and making long runs can be a scary deal, but the risk can be worth the reward. READ MORE »

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Corey Cook stumbled a bit on day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks. Bringing in 15 pounds, 4 ounces, Cook weighed an average bag and boosted his total of 38-13, which is still more than 4 pounds ahead of second place. Behind Cook, Andy Newcomb is in second with 34-6, and Shane Long is in third with 31-9. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division on Lake of the Ozarks has started out pretty much like yesterday – pretty weather but pretty short on fish. READ MORE »

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks was pretty tough by the standards of the fishery, with just one angler cracking the 20-pound barrier. Blowing the doors off the competition, at least on day one, Corey Cook hammered out 23 pounds, 9 ounces to take more than a 6-pound lead over second place. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

When the fish are on the move, it can make life miserable for anglers. Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks showcased that pretty well. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

The Toyota Series visited Lake of the Ozarks this exact same week in 2019, and it launched under torrential rains, gusting winds and a strobe light's worth of lightning that delayed the takeoff until 8:15 a.m. A year later, the weather couldn’t be more beautiful for the second stop of the Plains Division. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Erie presented anglers the opportunity to fish Erie or make a 100-mile run to Lake St. Clair. Pros found success doing both, with Justin Lucas taking home the crown by 1 ounce sticking it out on Erie. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Erie

Top 10 Baits from Lake Erie

The overwhelming majority of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament field at Lake Erie was throwing a drop-shot, with a good portion of them using the same lure on it. Yet, there were a couple of oddballs who switched up their offerings to give them an edge. READ MORE »

Lucas Wins 160K on Erie

Lucas Wins 160K on Erie

Weighing the biggest bag of the day in big wind, Justin Lucas took down Jacob Wheeler by just 1 ounce to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Erie. With 19 pounds, 10 ounces on day four, Lucas totaled 79-2 for the win. Because of the Phoenix FLW BONUS, he took home an additional $35,000 in contingency money for a total paycheck of $160,000. READ MORE »

Bertrand Back on Top at Erie

Bertrand Back on Top at Erie

Weighing the biggest bag of day three, Josh Bertrand re-took the lead in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Erie. Bertrand’s 22 pounds, 14 ounces boosted him to the top with a 62-12 total. READ MORE »

Lucas Takes Erie Lead

Lucas Takes Erie Lead

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Erie was calmer than the previous, and the anglers making the run to St. Clair had more time to do work. That being said, Justin Lucas stuck to his guns in Erie to put together a 19-pound, 14-ounce limit to move his total weight to 41-5 overall. Behind him by just 3 ounces sits Jeremy Lawyer, who is also fishing Erie, but the rest of the pack is starting to fire up on St. Clair. READ MORE »

Bertrand Starts Strong on Erie

Bertrand Starts Strong on Erie

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Erie started off fairly rough and made the run to St. Clair long and grinding. As a result, many anglers who focused on Lake Erie did very well on day one, and Josh Bertrand was chief among them, weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces of feisty Erie smallmouths to take the day-one lead. Behind him, six other pros weighed more than 20 pounds, and with calmer weather in the forecast on day two, things could really shake up. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Mississippi River

Top 10 Patterns from the Mississippi River

Instead of limits coming in bunches, the top pros were often scrambling to get five keeper bites a day at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries event. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Mississippi River

Top 10 Baits from the Mississippi River

The top pros in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River ended up using fairly similar tactics to attack the river, but with slight variations throughout. Tom Monsoor won with a variety of unique jigs, but many of the other top finishers used more standard fare. READ MORE »

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, Tom Monsoor totaled 54-10 to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River. Leading the final three days, the win is Monsoor’s second at the top level and earned him $125,000.   READ MORE »