Forrest Lee Wood is known worldwide for his success in the sport fishing industry. In 1968, he founded Ranger Boats, now the largest manufacturer of bass boats in the nation. Wood has thus become known as an “outdoor legend” and the father of the modern bass boat.
In 1955, Wood began work as a private guide on Bull Shoals Lake, the White River, Buffalo River, and Crooked Creek. He became well known throughout the region as a top fishing guide. In 1968, he began building lake boats, setting up shop in the back of a filling station. He made six boats that year, and Forrest’s Ranger boats, named after the Army Rangers and the Texas Rangers, began to attract attention. On January 1, 1969, Wood and his employees moved into an old nightclub and made 600 boats. By 1970, sales had topped 1200.
On May 4, 1971, the boat factory was destroyed by fire, though Wood managed to salvage sixty boat orders from his desk in the burning building. Remarkably, Ranger Boats was back in business within forty days. That year, Wood qualified for the first Bassmaster Classic, and the following year, Ranger was named “the official Bassmaster Classic boat.” It remained so through 2000. Even after selling Ranger Boats in 1987, Wood remained a legend in the sport fishing industry.
In 1996, Operation Bass, a tournament organization, was renamed using Forrest’s initials, FLW. The FLW tournament circuits have since seen major success in boosting the popularity of sport fishing and have been broadcast in some twenty-five countries around the world, appearing on ESPN, Fox Sports Network, Matchroom Sport, and the Armed Forces Network.
Wood has been inducted into the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, International Boating Hall of Fame, National Marine Manufacturers Hall of Fame, Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, Arkansas Game and Fish Hall of Fame, Arkansas Walk of Fame, and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. More recently, he received the 2007 Golden Glow Award presented by the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers.
As of 2008, Wood and his wife reside in Flippin, where they oversee an extensive cattle operation. In 2005, they opened to the public the Forrest L. Wood Outdoor Sports Gallery, displaying a collection of personal and Ranger memorabilia, including some early boat models.
Cobb, William H. Commonwealth College. In The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History &
Culture. Retrieved October 21, 2004
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.
Billy Murray advocates fishing as a lifetime sport. There are few people in the fishing industry that have as well rounded fishing background. Billy started his fishing career over forty years ago as a fishing guide in Arkansas. Billy and his twin brother, Bobby, became two of the most successful, competitive fishermen in the U.S., winning titles from State Championships to the Bass Masters Classic.
Since that time he worked as a cinematographer in production of the “Fishing Hole” TV Series starring Jerry McKinnis. Billy has fished everywhere imaginable. He also has authored many articles, publications and books on the sport of fishing and designed products for several tackle and boat companies. He was founder and director of the nation’s largest fishing education program, The Bass Fishing Institute, conducted in many major universities across the United States.
Due to his countless contributions in the field of fishing, Billy was elected to the Sport Fishing Hall of Fame in 1986. His piers attribute his tremendous success to his down-to-earth approach to fishing as well as his ability to relate to the fishing public. Billy and Bobby were hosts for the fishing series, “People Who Fish”, which aired on the Outdoor Channel. Billy has worked for Pradco Outdoor Brands for 30 years and has been involved in creating many of the lures and techniques that fishermen are using today all over the country.
Mike Iaconelli was born in 1972 in Pittsgrove, New Jersey. New York Times said he “…is not one of the old style fishermen. He is a fast-talking, intense, summa cum laude graduate of Rowan University.”
Mike entered the fishing scene in 1994, after winning the NC Top 100 amatuer division. In 1998, he was named the New Jersey B.A.S.S. Federation Mr. Bass, and in that same year was the BFL Champlain winner. In 2003, he was the Bassmaster Classic Champion. He was named Bass Angler of the Year in 2006, after being named champion in other events. He placed 2nd at the FLW Forrest Wood Cup in 2009, and placed 2nd in the Place Bassmaster Classic in the same year. In 2010 & 2011 he placed 2nd at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. Recently, he was named the 2013 BASS Northern Open Champion at Lake Erie, and in 2014 was the winner at the BASS Elite Series Champion at the Delaware River.
He has finished 64 events since 1994.
Topic: Bass – All About Jerk Baits
Saturday, Feb. 28: 1:00 pm, 6:00 pm
Sunday, March 1: 1:00 pm
Todd lives in Central Indiana and is a full-time bass professional on the FLW Tour. He recently completed his 2nd season on the FLW Tour. His Tour stats include 3Top-20 finishes, highlighted by a 7th Place finish at Kentucky Lake. Todd has also appeared multiple times on television on the Outdoor Channel and NBC Sports Channel. In 2014, he will be the exclusive host for a new show on the World Fishing Network called the “Bass Dr.”
Todd’s fishing resume includes a BFL Regional Championship, 2-time BFL All- American, 8 top-10′s, and 6th and 7th place points finishes in the 2011 and 2013 Everstart Central Division. He also has an impressive 9 top-10
s placing in 62 FLW events.He has won multiple local, regional, and national team trail events – including the 2007 Midwest Sportsman National Championship, 2010 & 2012 Anglers Dream National Championships.
Todd is sponsored by Red Gold Tomatoes, Vicious Fishing, Stormr, Reaction Strike, Castaic Swimbaits, Vicious Vision, Bulldawg Rods, Optima Batteries, Pro-Cure, Daiichi Hooks, Elite Rod Sleeves, River Rat Tackle, and the Red Dirt Bait Company.
Topic: Bass Fishing Tips for 2015
Friday, Feb. 20: 6:00 pm
Saturday, Feb. 21: 3:00 pm
Sunday, Feb. 22: 1:00 pm
Monday, Feb. 23: 4:00 pm
Friday, Feb. 27: 4:00 pm
Kyle is a full time crappie guide in Southern Illinois and tournament pro. He guides full time on Rend Lake, Kinkaid Lake, and Lake of Egypt. Sponsors are B’n'M, Road Runner, Tru Turn Hooks, Lowrance, Titelok, Midsouth Tackle, and Engels Coolers. Some of Kyle’s tournament highlights include:
-Top 3 at the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters National Championship 2010 – 2012
-Top 10 in 5 out of 6 National Championships since 2010
-2012 Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Alabama State Champions
-2011 SICA Classic Champion
-6 – 1st place finishes
-23 - Top 3 finishes
-Top 5 in overall points in the 2012 Crappie Masters Trail
Saturday, Feb. 28: 11:00 am, 4:00 pm
Sunday, March 1: 11:00 am
Ronnie Capps, an outdoorsman from northwest Tennessee resides near the shore of the famous “Earthquake Lake”, Reelfoot Lake where he has resided since childhood. His family’s businesses were related commercially to the lake so commercial hunting, fishing and trapping and businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and convenience stores owned by his family at Reelfoot were where all of his early experiences began. He credits his late grandfather, Jodie Randall Parker, a retired U.S. Navy Veteran for playing a large part in his love of the outdoors. Growing up, he and his grandfather were involved with hunting, fishing or trapping in some way on a daily basis. Catching Crappie was always one of their favorite things to do.
He is a graduate of Murray State University where he received degrees in Wildlife Biology & Fisheries Management. He also had a successful scholarship sports career playing college football as a decorated offensive lineman for Murray.
Being inspired by a professional friend from his childhood, Mr. Tarrant Wright, a Tennessee Game Warden, he became a Tennessee Wildlife Officer just after his college graduation. He now has over 20 years of experience as an enforcement officer dealing with wildlife, fish, and boating law. Other parts of his job include educating over 4,000 youth in outdoor knowledge and safety.
He has captured eight National Crappie Tournament Championships along with more than 100 single day competition crappie tournament events in various states throughout the US. This paved the road to his most cherished accomplishment, being inducted into the Legends in the Outdoors Hall of Fame in 2011.
Ronnie will be part of the Ask the Pros – Crappie Superstars on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2pm and 5pm and on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2pm.
Topic: Ask Ronnie How to Catch Crappie
Saturday, Feb. 21: 4:00 pm
Sunday, Feb. 22: 3:00 pm
Sunday, Feb. 22: 11:00 am
Mike Hulbert is a full time musky guide and travels all across the midwest chasing the fish of 10,000 casts. He has been guiding for 12 years and spends over 200 days a year on the water. Mike is a full time writer and Field Editor for Musky Hunter Magazine, films several shows a year with Jim Saric for Musky Hunter TV,and travels during the winter months giving seminars across the Mid-west. Mike guides in Indiana in the spring and fall and travels to northern Minnesota during the warmer summer months. You can find out more about Mike through his website http://www.mikehulbert.com
Topic: Muskies Anytime Anyplace
Friday, Feb. 20: 5:00 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 25: 1:00 pm
Outdoor writer and radio show host Dan Armitage will conduct his entertaining seminars on the Hawg Trough at this year’s sport show. Dan’s articles appear in “Outdoor Life”, “Sports Afield”, “In-Fisherman”, “Trailer BOATS”, “Bass & Walleye BOATS”, “Camping Life” and several regional outdoor magazines, and he works with the national “Hooked On Fishing,
Not On Drugs” program to conduct educational fishing seminars for youths across North America. His weekly outdoor radio program is broadcast on more than a dozen Midwest stations each Saturday.
Dan’s popular “Kids Fishing Fun” seminar is an entertaining, educational show involving the children in the audience.
In addition to his individual seminars, Dan will be Moderator of the Ask the Pros Seminar Series on both weekends.
Topic: Kids Fishing
Saturday, Feb. 21: 12:00 pm
Sunday, Feb. 22: 12:00 pm
Saturday, Feb. 28: 12:00 pm
Sunday, March 1: 12:00 pm
Derrick Filkins is the store manager and guide at FlyMasters of Indianapolis. Though the name FlyMasters suggests fly fishing, you will find conventional and fly fishing tackle at FlyMasters. The presentations by Derrick will be primarily about smallmouth stream fishing in Indiana. The latest in rod and reels, soft plastics, new Eumer spin tubes, homemade spinnerbaits, and all the associated tackle use in spin and fly fishing for smallmouth. Derrick spends several days a year fishing and the other days he is talking with customers who have been out on the various rivers and streams of Indiana fishing for smallmouth. Come watch and listen and see if you can pick up something to make fishing more successful and enjoyable for you in 2015.
Saturday, Feb. 21: 7:00 pm
Monday. Feb. 23: 2:00 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 24: 2:00 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 25: 2:00 pm
Thursday, Feb. 26: 2:00 pm
Friday, Feb. 27: 6:00 pm
Chae Dolsen started musky fishing in 1994 and has been hooked ever since. A licensed guide, and founder of the Webster Lake Guide Service and Tippy River Tackle, Chae enjoys holding seminars and fishing in as many tournaments as possible. He is a member of Muskies Inc, as well as President of WLMC Chapter #49. Chae is also on the pro staff at Tippecanoe Boat Co, Lumd, Mercury, Pure Fishing, Salmo International, Beckmann/Lindy tackle and Shack Attack Lures Dunwrite tackle.
Chae’s accomplishments include placing in the top 15 in the Hoosier Classic, the top 5 WLMC cash tourneys and winner of the “Big Fish” award at the Classic in 2007.
Saturday, Feb. 21: 11:00 am
Monday, Feb. 23: 1:00 pm
Friday, Feb. 27: 3:00 pm
Sunday, March 1: 3:00 pm
Gilbert Huxley has been fishing for carp for 33 years. He has placed in the top 10 of the ”Westside Bait/Hoosier Carpers Tournament Trail” for the past 5 out of 6 years of the trail. Hoosier Carpers was started 10-15 years ago with 7 guys getting together and fishing together for just the fun of catching one of the most powerful fresh water fish in the US. Over the years they have grown to over 200 members making Indiana the largest membership base for Carp Anglers Group.
Member of Carp Anglers Group for over 20 years
Member of the American Carp Society
Founder of Hoosier Carpers
Pro Staff; World Classic Baits
Huxley’s Custom Carp Tackle
Topic: Carp Fishing 101
Friday, Feb. 20: 2:00 pm
Monday, Feb. 23: 12:00 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 24: 12:00 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 25: 12:00 pm
Thursday, Feb. 26: 12:00 pm
Friday, Feb. 27: 12:00 pm
After many years of pleasure fishing since childhood, Jay discovered walleye fishing in Indiana in 2007. He began to explore more of the Walleye fishing in the lakes and reservoirs of Indiana. Not till after joining the Hoosier Walleye Association did Jay truly begin to focus on Walleye fishing and Tournament Fishing. After a few years of coaching from some of the best sticks in Indiana he was able to secure several club wins, Big Fish titles and the Hoosier Walleye Championship. He has qualified for the Cabelas National Team Challenge 3 years straight. He joined the Masters Walleye Circuit in 2011 and become a member of National Professional Anglers Association in 2013. Jay strives to share the knowledge he has gained and tips and tricks he has learned over the past few years to better enable others to enjoy the great sport of Walleye Fishing.
His seminars will include:
Topic: Walleye – Trolling, Casting, Baits & Electronics
Saturday, Feb. 21: 5:00 pm
Monday, Feb. 23: 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 24: 6:00 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 25: 6:00 pm
Thursday, Feb. 26: 6:00 pm
Friday, Feb. 27: 1:00 pm & 7:00 p,m
Saturday, Feb. 28: 7:00 pm
Billy has been fishing since the ripe old age of 5 at his grandparent’s farm in Tennessee. Fishing ponds grew to fishing lakes and along the way tournament fishing began to grow and the competition interested him. He experienced success in several tournament circuits at local and national levels.
Sponsors: Lucas Marine Products, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, ION Camera’s, General Tire, E3 Spark Plugs, Super Clean, Buck Knives, Strike King, Raymarine,Lews,Seaguar, Power Pole,Optima Batteries, Rigid Industries, Hydrowave, KMX Wheels, TH Marine.
Are you a catfish lover? Well, this is your seminar! The Indiana Catfish Association hosts a series of fishing tournaments for channel, blue and flathead catfish. They fish both rivers and reservoirs in Indiana, and they will be sharing their knowledge at this year’s show!
Some of the topics that will be discussed in this seminar are:
* Choosing the right tackle
* Bait and what’s right at the right time
* Controlled drifting for big blue catfish
* Cast netting for bait
* Where to fish locally
* Daytime vs. Nighttime
* Modern electronics for catfishing
* INDNR resources for catfishing and boat safety
* Conservation for big cats
* How to get your community involved in catfishing
Be sure to attend to learn this and more from professionals including ICA President Hector Carrillo, Chris Wallace, Ron Streeter, and Casey Tutorow.
We will see you there!
Friday, Feb. 20: 4:00 pm
Saturday, Feb. 21: 6:00 pm
Sunday, Feb. 22: 4:00 pm
Monday, Feb. 23: 3:00 pm
Tuesday: Feb. 24: 3:00 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 25: 3:00 pm
Thursday, Feb. 26: 3:00 pm
Friday, Feb. 27: 2:00 pm
Sunday, March 1: 4:00 pm
Elite Bassmaster Pro Tim Horton will be in Champions booth 428-429 The Alabama Mountain Lakes Booth on February 28th. If anyone would like to stop and chat, have a picture made, or get his autograph. We will also be registering attendees to win a Go-Pro Hero4 Silver the entire show. Attendees get get information on travel, camping and Fishing on 8 great lakes including Guntersville and Pickwick in our booth.
Matt will be holding a seminar filled with information about locations, fishing tactics, local resources and stories about fishing on Lake St. Clair. Lake St. Clair is a world class Musky and Smallmouth bass fishery, as well as great nothern pike, perch, walleye and sturgeon fishing.
Topic: Trolling for Musky
Sunday, Feb. 22: 2:00 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 24: 1:00 pm
Thursday, Feb. 26: 1:00 pm
Saturday, Feb. 28: 3:00 pm