Jerry McKinnis, known as one of the most influential people in the outdoor fishing industry, created The Fishin’ Hole, a television show that aired for 44 years and was the longest running show on ESPN, behind SportsCenter.
More recently, McKinnis, along with two partners, purchased B.A.S.S., a 47-year-old company that encompasses Bassmaster Magazine, The Bassmasters TV show, the Bassmaster.com website, the Bassmaster Elite Series and other professional bass tournament trails, and the 500,000-member Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.
Truly a legend in the field of outdoors television, his ideas helped launch the FLW Tour, ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, The Spanish Fly with Jose Wejebe, the Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup and the Quiznos Madfin shark fishing tournament series. Additionally, Mckinnis developed and produced the Stihl Timberports Series and introduced the programming block concept to television. In 2001, he took over production of The Bassmasters on ESPN.
McKinnis’ strength has always been building teams of professionals while keeping a keen eye on opportunities for new programs and properties. He was on the ground floor with ESPN on properties such as ESPNOutdoors.com, the number one outdoor news web site in the world and was first to provide outdoor programming for the 1993 launch of ESPN2.
Throughout the years, he has been executive producer of over twenty different shows.
McKinnis, 73, has been inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame, the National Fishing Hall of Fame and the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. He sits on the Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation board.
He is a resident of Flippin, Arkansas, although he splits his time between there and Little Rock, where his businesses are located.