Kent Brown, host of the long-running Ultimate Bass radio program out of Sacramento, Calif., announced on his Facebook page that his good friend and angling legend Dee Thomas has inoperable lung cancer.
"He was very matter of fact and said he was more interested in quality of life than quantity of life, but he would be visiting his doctor and discussing his options," Brown wrote. "His first option was to hook up his boat and go fishing this morning on (the California Delta). Dee has asked for everyone's prayers and I wanted to make sure that many of our friends outside of California were aware of the news about this Hall of Fame angler."
The 80-year-old Thomas has been on bottled oxygen for the better part of a decade, the result of a smoking habit he kicked more than a quarter-century ago. Despite that handicap, he's continued to compete in tournaments at the Delta and Brown said he's preparing for an event this weekend.
The 2007 Bass Fishing Hall of Fame inductee is known as "the father of flipping,"
"He shaped and molded the biggest revolution there's ever been in all of bass fishing," said Hank Parker in a BassFan story from 2010. "The single most impactful method of fishing was developed by Dee Thomas, and Dee Thomas alone. Dave Gliebe, Gary Klein, Denny Brauer and other guys followed suit, but the new ground was plowed by nobody but Dee."