Jerry McKinnis, former B.A.S.S. co-owner, founder of JM Associates, and a legend in the fishing industry, passed away early Sunday morning.
He had been in the hospital for six weeks, dealing with an infection that cropped up after a fishing trip in Wyoming. McKinnis was 82 years old.
McKinnis, along with Don Logan and Jim Copeland, purchased B.A.S.S. from ESPN in 2010, and then sold controlling interest in the organization to Anderson Media in the fall of 2017. He was the leader of JM Associates, producing award winning television and Internet shows about fishing and the outdoors. McKinnis was also the beloved host of “The Fishin’ Hole” television series, which ran on ESPN for 44 years.
McKinnis was a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, and the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame.
The 33-year-old Illinois smallmouth bass record has been broken on Lake Michigan.
The 7-pound, 3-ounce bass was caught Monday night from Monroe Harbor in Chicago by Joe Capilupo of LaGrange, Ill. It was caught on a Z-man Ned Rig in California Craw color.
The fish measured 22¼ inches long and had a girth of 16½ inches.
The former state record smallmouth was caught in March, 1985 from a Fulton County strip pit. It weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces.
According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, the fish was kept overnight in a special tank at Henry’s Tackle in Chicago and was released safely back into Lake Michigan the next morning.
By Doug Minor
Strike King/Lew’s VP Sales/Marketing
Traverse City, Mich. - First to bed, first to rise - Michigan's celebrity angler Mark Zona is real in so many ways.
I had the honor to film a smallmouth bass segment of Strike King’s Pro Team Journal with Crazy Z recently, and what a day I had!
We were up three hours before the sun and trailered to a mid-size lake near Traverse City. The sun broke with awesome colors on the skyline; it was a beautiful sunrise, yet it indicated that a front was on the way and we had to catch some good fish and get our filming that day.