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David “Crash” Mullins Battle With Cancer Over

October 2, 2015

By Chris Erwin

They are very few times in our life that we can say we have been friends with a legend, but that is truth when it comes to David “Crash” Mullins. He changed the face of Muskie fishing in Kentucky. Cave Run Lake in Morehead, Ky. was his proving ground and he did it with style.

David "Crash" Mullins takes his last boat ride as he is put to rest in Olive Hill, Ky. (Photo Submitted)

David “Crash” Mullins takes his last boat ride as he is put to rest in Olive Hill, Ky. (Photo Submitted)

When I met Crash some 20 years ago I found him easy to like. His soft manner but laser sharp view on fishing was so on point that it wasn’t long before you heard other known Muskie men quoting him, including myself.

Crash was more than just another good fisherman. He had a vision, and he never gave it up or set it to the side even when he got the devastating news that he had multiple myeloma cancer. That was in 2007.

It was only after that awful news that I became even better friends with Crash. He would later join the Kentucky Outdoor Press as he developed an outdoor TV show, and he did this while fighting the fight of his live with an unrelenting foe.
His story of fighting on two fronts led me to admire him, and I truly felt we had become good friends. We had long talks sometimes for hours when we all got together for our annual KOPA conference.

He would tell me of his battle as the cancer would beat him down, then he would come roaring back and the next thing I knew his battle stories were about his favorite foe the monsters of Cave Run Lake.

He would often text me or call me when he was in the Myeloma Center in Arkansas. I guess the waiting to be treated went a little easier if he could take his mind away from it and talk a little fishing. I felt privileged to hear from him.

Once a few years back KOPA was meeting on the houseboats at Scott Creek Marina. Crash was telling me about this Muskie that he had raised very near where we were staying.
That evening I got out there and fished the very spot he was telling me about. Just before dark my seven-inch inline spinner passed just along the edge of the weeds and a monster Muskie exploded on the bait. I fought that fish to within inches from my dip net and the fish made one last rip under my boat and pulled out.

The next day when I saw Crash; I couldn’t wait to tell him about almost landing this giant fish… he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I’ll send you a picture when I catch it.” We both laughed.

It wasn’t but a week or so until he texted me a picture of the fish. His note said, “Thought you would like to see the Scott’s Creek Muskie 50+ inches. I let him go, now it’s your turn."

It wasn’t but a week or so until he texted me a picture of the fish. His note said, “Thought you would like to see the Scott’s Creek Muskie 50+ inches. I let him go, now it’s your turn.”

It wasn’t but a week or so until he texted me a picture of the fish. His note said, “Thought you would like to see the Scott’s Creek Muskie 50+ inches. I let him go, now it’s your turn.”

Last month I texted him and asked how he was doing. I said, “Justin (his son) had posted a thing on Facebook saying his dad wasn’t doing too well.” Crash didn’t text me back he called me. He told me things were bad, and he didn’t know if he was going to beat it this time.

After the call, I found I couldn’t hold back the tears, and I made it a point to say a little prayer for my friend each day, but there comes a time when our job on this earth is over. Crash went home on Sunday Sept. 19 and while we all lost one of our Fishing Hall Of Fame Members, heaven embraced another worthy soul.

Soc Clay wrote this tribute I thought it was something that my readers might want to read.

A tribute to David “Crash” Mullins
My name is Crash and I’m Not Ready Yet!
He’s over by the lake. I can hear him.
The shoes on his horse’s feet are striking fire from the boulders that line the shore.
I know he’s slippin’ around. He wants to cut a deal…
But I am not interested in his kind of swindle.
My name is Crash and it’s me who makes the bargains, ask anyone who knows me. No deals today, man, Not yet.
Hell no, I’m not ready yet!
He’s close now and I can smell his horse, but I won’t give him the time of day.
Not the black horseman This is God’s country and God will tell you when you can pick me up.
But the Dude best watch out My Lord won’t allow him to run amuck.
Ya, he will stop by.
I can’t help that. Eventually, he stops for all of us, but we don’t have to make it easy.
Hope he falls off that giant steed and cracks his head on a rock!
Scram out of here, Mister.
I’m not ready yet.
Don’t have my fishing shirt on; got to polish my sun glasses, tie on my scarf .
I hain’t goin’ yet.
My name’s Crash, buster, and don’t you forget it!
No yet!!
I know you have your work to do, but I have business to tend to myself.
My name’s Crash and I set the price.
I have to go someday, I know that.
But with the Lord’s permission, I’ll figure it up on my own schedule.
I’m running this place, not you!.
Not you!
Not yet!

Soc Clay
Soc Clay is a poet laureate of Kentucky

6 Responses to David “Crash” Mullins Battle With Cancer Over

  1. Michelle Mullins-Burton on October 21, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Thank you Chris! This was an amazing story about my dad. Nice read. He is sorely missed.

  2. Staff on October 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Crash was a special man he managed to touch everyone he had time to be with, he was a teacher,and knew the value of communication. I was proud to be his friend and will never forget what a difference he made.

    Chris Erwin

  3. Gina Mullins on October 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Thank you Chris for such a heartwarming article about my husband. He always enjoyed talking and texting you, and yes, it did take his mind off of ‘things’. Please send me a copy of magazine article if possible to the store address: 1110 Ky. Hwy. 801 South, Morehead, Ky 40351
    “Mrs. Crash”

    • Staff on October 21, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      I will Gina, I was proud to be a friend of Crash he was and always will be a fishing legend and a man with a soft heart and strong will, we all miss him.

  4. Billy Hurt on October 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I knew Crash for a long time. We met at a sports show. I owned the giant fish tank that is always set up at the shows. We talked a lot of fishing. I am a bass fisherman and Crash had moved on to catching Muskies but we shared many stories. My wife was going through tough times with cancer and Crash was always there to share the stories of what was going on. We called from time to time just to say hello and see how everyone was. Knowing all he was going through he always took time to call and ask how my wife was. It always helped to hear from him. I sold my Bass tub and had not seen him for some time. He will always be in my thoughts and missed.

  5. Roger Coates on October 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    The first time went to cave run we stayed at the hotel and when we were putting the boat in crash was on his way out with a state record muskie. Only met him once but he talked to us like he knew us for years. He will be missed.

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