Jaclyn Cherry’s role in aiding her husband’s fishing career takes on many facets, but the most impressive might be her telepathic communication.
Her husband, Hank, surely couldn’t hear her as she prayed he stood tall on Championship Sunday of the 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, but she thinks he got the message loud and clear.
“I think as his wife, you want to be the yin to the yang,” said Jaclyn, who sees her duties as lifting him up when he’s down and cooling his jets when he’s too high.
Cherry was riding high in the 50th anniversary Classic, taking a big lead with his Day 1 bag of 29 pounds, 3 ounces. That lead shrunk from 7-11 after Day 2’s 16-10, but Cherry was still in the driver’s seat, up 4-13 on his nearest competitor. Yet early on Championship Sunday, three anglers leapfrogged him.
Thoughts of 2013 crept into minds. That’s when Cherry lost the potential Classic winning fish on Grand Lake and infamously laid on his boat deck in anguish, realizing a great chance to realize his childhood dream was gone.
The potential for another close miss was raised at 9 a.m. when, with only one fish in the boat, Cherry lost a fish. That’s when Jaclyn, watching on Bassmaster LIVE, sent the mental message she believes was answered not long after.
“I’m looking at my iPad, ‘Get up. Let’s do this. Cast again.’ I’m not letting him get down. I know he can’t hear me,” she said, adding he knew to maintain focus or when he got back, “‘Jaclyn is going to yell at me.’”
Jaclyn did get to personally address Hank about his missed fish late on Day 2. That fish would have given him closer to 20 pounds and made him feel more comfortable heading into Sunday. She knew she had to talk him down.
“That caught him yesterday. It got to him,” Jaclyn said. “I was like — this is me being the hard butt that I am — ‘Get over it. Get over it. Get back up. Stop it. You did great today. Tomorrow’s a new day. Stop it.’”