Back Story: Remembering Doug Hannon

Doug Hannon, otherwise known as 'The Bass Professor,' died of complications from neck surgery at the age of 66.

Doug Hannon passed away at his home on the Thursday before Easter when the world's attention was focused elsewhere. That would suit him. Doug never sought the spotlight and the way he dressed and carried himself said so. He always seemed to wear clothes that blended into the background. Though he was affable enough when engaged in conversation, his subdued personality constituted more camouflage. He was known as "The Bass Professor" and, as might be said of most professors, he felt more comfortable when in a classroom. For Doug Hannon, the classroom was a lake and his lectern a small johnboat. Hannon, 66, and a resident of Keystone, Fla., died of complications from neck surgery. He will be remembered by the fishing community as was one of the most knowledgeable bass fishermen of modern times despite having never fished in tournaments. His specialty was catching big bass over 10 pounds, and his skill in doing so was enough to win him the respect of the nation's top fishing writers and outdoor magazines. Hannon's views on what it takes to catch the bass that live long enough to reach maximum-size potential were formed in the small waters of the Ocala National Forest, near Hannon's Florida home, and he shared such information freely. Hannon made enough money from inheritance or from his years as a guitarist in a rock-and-roll band to be able to devote his life to fishing - and in turns he did so as an angler, a guide, a writer and an inventor. He caught hundreds of bass that weighed more than 10 pounds each, and helped clients catch dozens more. He never lacked for customers, though Hannon was one of the first guides in the country to adopt catch-and-release as a term of employment. Possessing an engineer's mind, Hannon's natural inclination to tinker with things led to a number of inventions that improved fishing for everyone. Among them: • In 1980, he introduced a patented propeller for MotorGuide trolling motors that would allow them to run through aquatic vegetation without becoming fouled. It became the model for all similar props that followed. • Beginning in the early 80s, Doug invented a number of bass lures for various companies, most famously Burke Lures. The Snake Trix, one of them, ultimately became The Snake, which is still a topwater mainstay in Southern lakes where big bass roam. • In 2006, he perfected a spinning reel, the WaveSpin, whose unique spool dissipates line snarls, the universal bane of finesse fishermen. His obituary will note that Hannon was born in Manitoba of a Canadian mother and a father from Texas. Years of ranging and fishing in the backcountry of north Florida converted him into a Cracker of lanky frame and square jaw, however. His side-parted-and-combed-back thick hair added to the trademarked Hannon look. Doug and his wife, Lynn, moved to Florida soon after they graduated from college. He married Lynn while they were students together at Tulane University in the late 1960s. In 2006 she died of cancer and it rounded Doug's life with a sadness that was palpable. Given the promise that it embodies, Easter Week was a good time for the sadness to end. Related links: Doug Hannon "The Bass Professor" dies at 66

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/news/2015-06-21-top-10-patterns-from-the-all-american

Top 10 Patterns From The All-American

Giant spoons and drop-shot rigs were out in force during the All-American, as it strictly was a ledge tournament, but they weren’t the only tools that the All-American anglers worked with in the three-day event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

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Burgess Tops All-American Co-Angler Field

If Bob Burgess could have picked three better partners to fish with in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, it might have been illegal. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-19-o-canada-richardson-leads-day-2

O Canada! Richardson Leads Day 2

For a guy who’s put together two solid days of fishing to occupy the top spot in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake hosted by the Henry County Alliance, Curtis Richardson doesn’t exude a lot of confidence. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-19-top-5-patterns-from-all-american-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From All-American Day 2

Like Richardson, the would-be boater champions are all fishing ledges ranging from near the mouth of Jonathan Creek toward the northern end of the vast lake, south to New Johnsonville, Tenn. In between are anglers who haven’t strayed far from Paris Landing, nor are they likely to on Saturday when the predicted gale-force winds will make fishing unpleasant at best. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-19-all-american-midday-update-day-2

All-American Midday Update Day 2

Dealing with finicky bass wasn’t the main problem for the 98 anglers fishing in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American hosted by the Henry County Alliance on Kentucky Lake this morning. Though the anglers definitely seemed to be having their issues with the fish, it was the wind that caused the biggest obstacle for spot-hopping anglers running their milk runs north and south. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-18-padgett-leads-all-american-with-27

Padgett Leads All-American With 27

Padgett alternated among a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm, a Profound Z-Boss 25 crankbait and a Preacher Jig, fishing each in water that ranged from just under 10 feet deep to about 25 feet deep. His bag included four largemouth and a smallmouth bass that weighed just over 4 pounds. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-18-top-5-patterns-from-all-american-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From All-American Day 1

Though they fished different spots with different lures, all the top contenders in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American hosted by the Henry County Alliance on Kentucky Lake adhered to an identical theme: ledge fishing. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-18-all-american-midday-report

All-American Midday Report

READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-18-the-sun-rises-on-the-2015-all-american

The Sun Rises on the 2015 All-American

Practice day Wednesday saw temperatures in the high 80s, with more sultry weather on tap for today. Like many others, Schroeder spent most of the day riding around and checking spots with his electronics. Though undoubtedly fish will be caught from the miles of weedbeds in the lower end of the lake below Paris Landing, he figures it will be a ledge bite that wins. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-17-anglers-to-watch-in-the-all-american

Anglers to Watch in the All-American

Clearly, there’s no such thing as home-lake advantage in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American. Consider the five most recent winners: Troy Morrow of Georgia in 2010 on DeGrey Lake in Arkansas, Jacob Wheeler of Indiana in 2011 on Cross Lake in Louisiana, Brian Maloney of Missouri on the Potomac River in 2012, Kerry Milner of Arkansas on Lake Nickajack in Tennessee in 2013 and Marcus Sykora of Missouri on Wilson Lake in Alabama in 2014. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-16-my-lost-fish-troubles-continue

My Lost-Fish Troubles Continue

Lake Chickamauga is loaded with big bass, and for the first time in three previous visits I felt really good after the practice period was over. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for me, and I ended the event after day two by missing the top-20 cut by a mere 4 ounces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-15-meet-the-new-noodlers

Meet the New Noodlers

Shinichi Fukae has stuck his hand down the mouth of a bass before, but generally speaking the bass is fairly docile. It’s different with catfish, though, as Shin learned last Sunday morning when he went catfish noodling with Wesley Strader and a few of his acquaintances on Watts Bar Lake. “I thought it would be fun, and it was,” says Strader, who set up the noodling trip after he and Shin missed the cut at the Walmart FLW Tour stop presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga. Participants included Shin and his wife, Miyu; Strader’s wife, Stephanie; wildlife officer Chris Combs; and Strader friends Julie and Jake Harrell. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-11-deep-or-shallow-at-chickamauga-

Deep or Shallow at Chickamauga?

There was no sentimentality attached to the smartphone photos anglers were showing off to each other prior to the Wednesday afternoon rules meeting of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga. The photos weren’t of loved ones back home; rather, they were shots of big largemouth bass the fishermen had caught and released during practice earlier this week. In fact, there was a surprising number of such photos making the rounds, which suggests that the kind of hefty bass that can make or break a tournament for an angler are there ready and waiting as the four-day event presented by Igloo Coolers got underway this morning out of Dayton Boat Dock. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-04-blaukat-on-climate-change

Blaukat on Climate Change

As many of you know, for years I’ve been an outspoken voice on environmental issues. As a result, I’ve been celebrated by some and ostracized by others. But what some think of me being the messenger is irrelevant. It’s not about the messenger – as much as detractors try to make it out to be – it’s about getting the message out. I want to start by saying that the debate of whether or not climate change is man-made is over. It’s real, and it’s right here in our faces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-01-miss-nina-wins-more-accolades

Miss Nina Wins More Accolades

When the letter that notified Nina Wood that she was being inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame came awhile back, she was a bit surprised. None of the rest of us was. In a sense, it was a restatement of the obvious, another in a long line of awards and recognition earned by the co-founder of Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-28-running-a-college-club

Running a College Club

The sport of college bass fishing is growing at an incredible pace. During my freshman year (2011-2012), tournament fields were limited to 50 anglers, and boats were supplied by Rayovac FLW Series volunteer competitors. During the end of my senior year this season, field sizes grew larger at every tournament, and we saw more colleges providing boats for student anglers – signs of growth for sure. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-28-blog-i-m-hooked-

Blog: I’m Hooked

When I was 10 years old I could only dream about being a professional fisherman. I would spend all my time outdoors playing sports, hunting and fishing. Then, in high school, I competed in my first bass tournament and I was hooked. From that moment, my goal was to become a professional angler some day. Now, almost three decades later, after much hard work and dedication I’m competing in the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour. And I’m more excited than ever. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-26-blog-the-first-time

Blog: The First Time

This begins a series of blogs by Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Jaime Luengo of Mexico City. He joined the circuit in 2005 and has three top-10 finishes to his credit. Luengo is the author of La Magia de la Lobina Tecnicas Avanzadas, a book on bass fishing techniques, and is host and producer of Nuestra Pesca, a television series available on all cable stations in Mexico. READ MORE »