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

Tags: blog  colin-moore 

/tips/2015-05-19-blog-what-might-have-been-at-eufaula

Blog: What Might Have Been at Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is in the books, but ever since the tournament I haven’t slept very well. If you know me, you know I just “love” losing fish, but I think this latest event was the worst of my career. I finished 12th, which isn’t so bad, but the “what could have beens” got me again. On the last day of practice, I caught nearly 30 pounds, including one around 10 pounds and a 7 1/2-pounder, making it a day I’ll never forget. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-14-shallow-deep-and-in-between-at-eufaula

Shallow, Deep and in Between at Eufaula

A couple of weeks ago Eufaula was high and off-color, and the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State that begins this morning was shaping up to be a shallow-water showdown. The lake has fallen by a couple of inches since then, however, and now the odds are even that both inshore and offshore patterns will be in play. In fact, one Eufaula expert who isn’t fishing the tournament expects it will take a mixture of patterns to make it to Sunday’s championship round and claim the $100,000 that goes to the winner. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-blog-frogging-of-a-different-kind

Blog: Frogging of a Different Kind

As a bass fisherman, I have a special feeling for that time of year when I can start fishing a frog again. I’m not sure if the rush of adrenaline I feel is from that first explosion when a bass crashes the frog, or the anticipation of it. Whatever it is, I love it! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-strader-maintains-lead-at-halfway-mark

Strader Maintains Lead At Halfway Mark

Midway through the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour, Tennessee pro Wes Strader is in first place in the Angler of the Year race, and his prospects for winning it are as good as anyone’s. Two upcoming events, at lakes Eufaula and Chickamauga, “fish” in a way that suits his style, and he has a good track record on the Potomac River, the last Tour stop of 2015. A good finishing kick could earn the veteran his first AOY title. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-10-top-10-patterns-from-kentucky-lake

Top 10 Patterns From Kentucky Lake

READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-09-redington-rallies-at-kentucky-lake

Redington Rallies at Kentucky Lake

READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-09-readhimer-goes-one-for-one-at-kentucky-lake

Readhimer Goes One for One at Kentucky Lake

READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-09-kentucky-lake-rayovac-day-three-midday-report

Kentucky Lake Rayovac Day Three Midday Report

READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-08-top-5-patterns-from-day-2-at-kentucky-lake

Top 5 Patterns From Day 2 at Kentucky Lake

Randy Haynes hasn’t won yet, but his leapfrogging from fifth to first on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Kentucky Lake was more than a little reminiscent of his victory in 2014. In that tournament, which took place in late May, Haynes was third after the second round behind Jason Lambert and Brandon Hunter, respectively. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-08-haynes-leads-on-kentucky

Haynes Leads on Kentucky

This time last year, Randy Haynes was poised to win the Rayovac FLW Series tournament on Kentucky Lake, which took place out of Kenlake State Park. This year, the event is headquartered at Moors Resort & Marina farther up the lake, but otherwise everything else is pretty much the same. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-08-kentucky-lake-rayovac-midday-report-day-two

Kentucky Lake Rayovac Midday Report: Day Two

READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-07-redington-leads-on-kentucky-lake

Redington Leads On Kentucky Lake

Tom Redington of Royse City, Texas grabbed the day-one lead in the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Kentucky Lake with a five-fish limit that totaled 24 pounds, 13 ounces. Redington has a 1-ounce lead over Chris Blackwell of Clarksville, Tenn., while Brandon Hunter of Benton, Ky., is third with 22-10. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-07-kentucky-lake-top-5-patterns

Kentucky Lake Top 5 Patterns

READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-07-kentucky-lake-rayovac-midday-report-day-one

Kentucky Lake Rayovac Midday Report: Day One

READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-07-in-or-out-on-kentucky-lake

In or Out on Kentucky Lake

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-06-tornadoes-sweep-across-oklahoma

Tornadoes Sweep Across Oklahoma

2014 Rayovac FLW Series Champion Zack Birge, whose appears in the Central Division Tournament on Kentucky Lake was cut short by tornados at his home town in Oklahoma, characterized the damage to his house as “a near miss.” READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-06-blog-make-a-plan-and-work-the-plan-

Blog: Make a Plan and Work the Plan

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I’m bombarded with an array of emotions and a new to-do list every day. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. Make a Facebook post. Call mom. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I’ll be treated poorly. Rig rods. Do sponsor work. People won’t like me. My son will miss me. I’ll miss my family. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-05-kentucky-lake-could-be-tough

Kentucky Lake Could be Tough

Bass at the center of everyone’s attention in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Kentucky Lake next weekend might not know whether they’re coming or going when the tournament kicks off. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-24-blog-east-vs-west

Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-blog-the-bucket-list

Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »