Fishing for Freedom Tournament Has WIU, Macomb Representation
June 3, 2013
MACOMB, IL – When the fishermen who took part in this weekend's Fishing for Freedom tournament weighed in Sunday in Quincy, it was a Macomb man and a WIU alumnus and veteran who captured first place in the bass division.
The tournament, in its third year in Quincy, pairs local fishermen with nearly 150 veterans from across the country.
Jarrad Cockshoot, a 2008 WIU graduate with a law enforcement and justice administration degree and management minor, was paired with local fisherman and businessman Tim Kipling. Cockshoot is a now a police officer in Davenport, IA and a member of the Army Reserve.
Second place in the bass division went to Macomb fisherman and businessman Roger Ward and his fishing partner Michael Estright, of Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Kipling and Cockshoot caught five fish weighing a total of 13 pounds and eight ounces, and Ward and Estright caught four fish for a total of 12 pounds and four ounces.
"This was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life," Kipling said. "It's just nice to give back."
Kipling and Cockshoot first fished together in the tournament in 2011 after Cockshoot requested the pairing because he had worked for Kipling and Ward while he attended college in Macomb.
"It had been eight years since I was in school and we had a sort of reunion," Cockshoot said. "That first year we finished fifth together."
Cockshoot could not participate in the 2012 fishing tournament because he was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with the Army Reserve.
"Tim and I have a tradition that if we catch the five fish limit between the two of us then we hug each other," Cockshoot said. "The first time (in 2011) he ran over the fish to hug me."
It's the memories that Cockshoot said he treasure the most from the tournament.
"These fishermen donate their time, their money to get there, their boats and the wear and tear," he said. "It's just inspiring to see."
Kipling said his team was awarded a "plaque and a pat on the back" for their weekend win.
"That's all I needed," he said.
Ward, Kipling and his brother, Matt, sometimes serve as advisers to the WIU Bass Fishing Team about how to set up fishing tournaments.
For more information on the tournament, visit fishingforfreedomquincy.org.