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GRANT, Ala. – Jay Kendrick spends hours on his feet in the operating room, checking vitals and monitoring patients. He’s an nurse anesthestist at Huntsville Hospital, but that’s only part-time.

“The earliest memories of childhood I have are fishing. Probably 3-4 years old I have memory back that far,” he said.

Kendrick is also a professional angler.  When he’s not in the operating room, he’s on the lake checking vitals and monitoring a different kind of patient.

“When I really decided I wanted to pursue it at this level was probably in junior high. The reason I went into anesthesia at all is because I had to have an income because getting into this sport like anything else it’s costly. It’s expensive,” said Kendrick. “When I was in anesthesia school I was real close to realizing what I wanted to do and all the years of work were about to culminate. I had a picture of a Ranger boat and tow vehicle taped to my refrigerator in my kitchen. Every morning I’d get up, I’d look at that.  That was my motivation… every day.”

His first purchase after graduation was that Ranger boat.  Now 48 years old, Kendrick is fishing on the FLW tour.  In his first year, he qualified for this weekend’s Forrest Wood Cup… bass fishing’s national championship.

“After qualifying for Forrest Wood Cup, I had a talk with myself and I said ‘I told you so. I knew you had the skill set to do it,'” said Kendrick. “I knew you had the passion and drive. My fishing style is very conservative and in order to win one of these national events you really have to roll the dice and take some chances. I’m not a big dice roller.”

We asked if he plans on rolling the dice this weekend.

“I’m rolling the dice Taylor, absolutely! I’m gonna shake ’em up and throw them at Wheeler!” Kendrick said.