There were tears. There were moments of silence. And then there was a great applause.
That was the reaction from the crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena, when Indiana veteran Shad Schenck announced his retirement from professional fishing near the end of the day-two weigh-in at the Forrest Wood Cup.
Schenck cited the demand of balancing full-time work life with full-time fishing life as one of his primary reasons for stepping down from the Tour.
“I really, really wanted to win one of these things bad, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Long story short, I think I’m going to call it quits just because I have a lot of other things I want to do,” Schenck said, having to stop as tears began to flow. “I really want to thank Wesley Strader and Mike McDonald with Ranger Boats. A lot of people really backed me, and that’s been rewarding in itself.
“The really cool thing about fishing, if this is all you take away, is that it’s taught me how to live life and how to treat people,” he added.
With that, Schenck embraced FLW Weighmaster Chris Jones, collected himself as best he could and walked off stage for the last time.
Though Schenck never won an FLW event, his career is not without major accomplishment. In fact, he recounted some of those milestones on stage, including helping to create one of the first college bass fishing tournaments in Indiana, climbing his way up the ranks to the Tour and logging average finishes in the top third of the standings more times than not over the last several seasons.
Schenck has earned more than $620,000 with FLW. He has nine top-10 finishes in 136 events and eight Forrest Wood Cup appearances. He finished 47th this week on Lake Ouachita.
The pro says that stepping away from the game will give him more time to spend with his children and to dedicate to his career off the water.
For more information on Schenck’s FLW career, visit his angler profile.