Monday, November 04, 2019
Fishing legend Jerry McKinnis passes
After a brief stint in professional baseball, McKinnis moved to Arkansas and began guiding on the White River. He was soon giving fishing reports on a Little Rock TV station. In 1965, he started filming fishing segments for audiences which soon led to his nationally-syndicated TV show. In 1979, he signed a deal for his show with a new sports network called ESPN. The Fishin Hole TV show was the 2nd longest running show on ESPN, only after Sportscenter.
At a time when many popular fishing personalities limited themselves to a particular style of fishing, McKinnis had no boundaries. One week viewers might be watching him fish for bluegills, another week for bass, another week for pike. And a few episodes each year, he could be seen fly fishing for trout, bass or panfish, often on his home waters of northern Arkansas. A few of his fly fishing partners included coach Bobby Knight and baseball legend Ted Williams.
McKinnis was both a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame. His company, JM Associates, produced a number of popular fishing shows including "The Spanish Fly" with Jose Wejebe, "Orvis Sporting Life" with Rick Ruoff, "The Bass Class" with Denny Brauer, and many others.