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Jerry McKinnis Passes Away at Age 82

Jerry McKinnis Passes Away at Age 82

FLW has learned that Jerry McKinnis, a hall-of-famer and legend in the bass fishing world, passed away this morning at age 82. 

As an author, TV show host and owner of JM Associates, one of the most successful television production companies in the outdoor industry, McKinnis had been involved in broadcasting and promoting bass fishing and other outdoor content for more than 50 years. 

Following a career in professional baseball, McKinnis found early fame after he created the popular TV show “The Fishin’ Hole,” which aired for more than four decades, including a stint as one of the most-viewed programs on ESPN. He was a contemporary of B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott and Ranger Boats founder Forrest L. Wood, who actually guided McKinnis on the White River before Forrest launched his iconic boat company. 

McKinnis later became one of the driving forces behind ESPN’s involvement in broadcasting bass tournaments and other outdoor programming. That included broadcasting FLW Tour events, which McKinnis accomplished alongside Irwin Jacobs and FLW’s first president and CEO Charlie Hoover. 

In addition to broadcasting, McKinnis is a former co-owner of B.A.S.S. His JM Associates is still the TV and video production company for Bassmaster.

McKinnis fished more than 30 FLW tournaments in his competitive career.

“Jerry was a trailblazer with an unmatched enthusiasm for the outdoors and a unique ability to bring outdoor experiences to life for millions of people,” says FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. “He lived an amazing and inspiring life. He is a legend who will be dearly missed.”

Funeral services have not yet been announced. FLW will update readers when more information becomes available.

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