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Tributes to US fishing legend Jerry McKinnis

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Tributes have been paid to fishing legend, Jeff McKinnis, who died this week at the age of 82. Picture: Bassmaster.

Tributes have been paid to fishing legend Jerry McKinnis, the former co-owner of B.A.S.S., who died this week at the age of 82.

Along with Don Logan and Jim Copeland, he purchased B.A.S.S. from ESPN in 2010 and then sold controlling interest in the organisation to Anderson Media in 2017. He was also founder of JM Associates, the producer of award-winning television and internet shows about angling and the outdoors. For 44 years he hosted The Fishin’ Hole on ESPN.

He was also a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the International Game Fishing Hall of Fame. 

McKinnis had been in hospital for six weeks, dealing with an injury and infection sustained on a fishing trip in Wyoming.

“Jerry was a true friend of the angler,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “He contributed so much to the sport of fishing, extending all the way from his days on The Fishin’ Hole through his ownership of B.A.S.S.”

McKinnis and his partners hired Akin to lead the 500,000-member fishing organisation shortly after they acquired it.

“Jerry was one of the most passionate people I have ever known as it relates to bass fishing,” said Don Logan. “I don’t think I ever met anyone who spent more time thinking about how to make B.A.S.S. and bass fishing better – better for anglers, the fans, members and the sponsors.

“We came from very different backgrounds and totally different perspectives, but we were always able to reach common ground on any issue or problem we faced. He was not only a business partner, but also a friend.”

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