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Fishing with Kenny

By Meagan Russell
In Fishing with Kenny
Jan 28th, 2020

Meeting Glynn Blankenship is a Pleasure, Getting to Truly Know Him is a Treasure


“Hey Kenny, this is Glynn.”

If I heard that over the phone once, I heard it over a thousand times over the years. The conversations run together now as they are too numerous to recall but the person on the other end of the phone is a person not easy to forget.

For the record Glynn Blankenship is the best tournament fishermen this area has ever known. If you count the number of tournaments he has won, who he won them with and the different ways in which he won them, it’s not even open to a debate. Everyone who teamed up with him in a boat to fish team tournaments was successful.

When he still fished tournaments, Glynn could do it all. Long before the video game style of electronics of today, Glynn was excellent at reading the basic flasher style depth finders. He could locate areas and fish that no one else knew existed. Over the years his ability to find these types of areas caused some issues for him on and off of the water. I would hear people say, “Glynn doesn’t own the lake (Lake Darbonne) so he shouldn’t be so confrontational with people who fish up there.” It wasn’t the people who fished the lake that bothered him, what bothered him was people would look for him on the water, then go behind him and fish areas they knew nothing about until they saw his boat there. “Fishing the fisherman” he called it.

His attention to detail was one of the first things I noticed about him when we began fishing together as a team. He was meticulous in his tournament preparations. He was as anal about the way he did things as I was, so our initial connection had a common thread. We won a tournament at Felsenthal frog fishing back when the frogs we used required sharpening the hooks by hand. As I was bagging our fish to take them to the weigh-in I saw him pick up my frog and run his fingers over the hooks. He was checking to see if I had taken the time to sharpen them.

He was comfortable fishing deeper water, I was more suited fishing the shallower areas of a lake. He was slow and methodical, I was put the trolling motor down and cover as much water as I could. We would throw ideas at each other as if we were looking at two sides of the world, fishing and otherwise. We are as different as night and day but it worked for us as a team and it works for us in our friendship.

When I first began talking to Glynn on a consistent basis, I would pick his brain over various fishing scenarios, lures, techniques and such. He knew what I was doing so his answers were guarded and vague at first. As our friendship grew, the answers became more open and honest but our conversations went far beyond tournaments and fishing as well. To this day, when a conversation starts about fishing we usually end up discussing sports, politics, religion, or whatever else might be the topic of the day. Regardless of the topic and true to his nature, Glynn gives you an honest opinion.

Having been in a wheelchair due to a hunting accident at the age of 18, Glynn’s love of the outdoors has never waned. Even now nearing the age of 60, at his house you will find a pond stocked with bream and bass, bird houses, bat houses, bee houses, martin houses and anything else needed to attract visiting wildlife. He has even bought and raised baby ducks. Having not fished tournaments in quite a few years I believe what he has created around him has allowed him to stay in touch with the outdoors.

He takes great pleasure in riding around on his golf cart, kept company by his three dogs as they patrol his compound. His time is spent tinkering with his various projects or side jobs that keep him busy. I asked him once if he missed fishing tournaments and he told me, “I do but I just can’t prepare for them like I used to. It just takes too much out of me. That’s hard on my body. I had my time and I enjoyed it but I am OK with that as well.”

I didn’t think I would ever meet anyone who had the drive to fish as I did but I will admit Glynn’s drive would at least equal or maybe even surpass mine. For years, it was his driving force. Some considered him a sourly individual who could be cantankerous when dealing with people, but he is really someone who is very competitive. His tolerance for fake or lazy people, especially when it came to fishing, is extremely low. On and off the water he always knew what and who he was dealing with.

Here is a story that will give you a better idea of who Glynn Blankenship is.

Once while we were waiting to blast off at the beginning of a tournament, the boats were lined up on the bank, waiting for the flights to start leaving. We would usually sit quietly, going over our day’s plans in our own individual heads or making last minute tackle adjustments based on the weather. On this day, as we sat in the slowly changing light, I glanced over at Glynn and he was looking straight ahead not blinking an eye. Suddenly he said out loud, “Andy, are you ready?”

Andy was the guy’s name sitting in his boat next to us. “Ready for what Glynn?” came the slow country drawl of a reply.

Glynn slowly turned, looked at Andy and said, “Are you ready for the beat down we are going to give you today?” The look on Andy’s face was priceless. Glynn wasn’t being mean, he was simply stating what he believed was about to happen. If he had the chance to take a dig at you to gain a mental edge, no competitor was off limits.

We have argued on and off the water, we have spent days not speaking, we have laughed together and have had more than just a few emotional conversations. He has a great heart, a dry but quick sense of humor and is very good and patient with children. He is my confidant, a mentor and one of the best friends I have ever had. Glynn is just a good, decent man in a world that lacks for those kinds of people.

Well, it looks like we have run out of time and space for this month. Thank you for allowing me to give a very special shout out to someone who has been so vitally important to me on and off of the water over the years. My only wish is that you could know Glynn Blankenship the way that I know him. If you get to meet him, it is a pleasure to truly get to know him; it is a treasure!

Please be careful in the woods and on the water! I will see you next month!