Original Caption: Professional bass fisherman Ken Cook will be one of a host of fishing pros on hand at the 1995 Bass Fishing Techniques Institute in Lafayette. The Alexandria Daily Town Talk, December 1994, photo credit USL.

In today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo, there’s a lot of 1994 goodness in this picture of Ken Cook.  Ken was one of the many household names on tour with Bassmaster at the time.  That was also near the peak of the early fishing schools like the Bass Fishing Institute.  Ken was one of six speakers to be hosted at just such a school at the University of Southern Louisiana.  Others scheduled to speak included Robert Hamilton Jr., George Cochran, Jimmy Houston, Danny Joe Humphrey, and Larry Colombo.

Of Ken, the news write-up stated, “Cook won the Classic in 1991, the U.S. Open, the U.S. Bass Championship, and Super Bass and is a 10-time BASSmasters Classic finalist.  He also holds a degree in fisheries management.”

As for the course, “Instruction will cover fishing plastic worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater, ultralight, flipping, pitching and shaking, and all other techniques.

“Also, there will be advanced sessions on bass behavior, using electronics, understanding color, pH, scent, theories of establishing multiple fishing patterns within patterns, and locating bass in seasonal situations.”

Now, a closer look at the picture.  The first thing I noticed was the rod and reel combo, one of the early and popular Daiwa series, which Ken was sponsored by.  He had developed a spinnerbait rod that fit into their rod-specific Team Daiwa lineup along with others such as Denny Brauer’s Flipping/Pitching rod, Zell Rowland’s topwater/twitching rod, Guido Hibdon’s finesse rod (spinning), Larry Nixon’s worming and jigging rod, and Rick Clunn’s cranking rod.

A look in the background will also reveal a hand-controlled trolling motor outfitted with a Big Foot extension that even has his name on it.  A lot of the big-name pros like Ken, Larry (Nixon) and Rick (Clunn) all used this setup, frequently perched on one leg while the other was used to control the motor direction by moving the Big Foot attachment.  It seems like a fair assessment to say that hand- controlled trolling motors have probably gone the way of the dinosaurs these days – extinct – lol.  Does anybody with a modern-day bass boat still have one on their rig, or know who the last professional tour angler to use one was?