Jerry McKinnis, former B.A.S.S. co-owner and founder of JM Associates, died Nov. 3. He was 82. McKinnis had been hospitalized for six weeks with an injury and infection sustained on a fishing trip in Wyoming.
McKinnis, along with Don Logan and Jim Copeland, purchased B.A.S.S. from ESPN in 2010, then sold controlling interest in the organization to Anderson Media in 2017.
He was the leader of JM Associates, producing award-winning television and online programs about fishing and the outdoors. McKinnis also was host of television program The Fishin' Hole.
McKinnis was a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame.
“Jerry was a true friend of the angler,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S, in a statement. “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 organization shortly after they acquired it.
“Jerry was one of the most passionate people I’ve ever known as it relates to the world of bass fishing,” Logan said. “I don’t think I ever met anyone who spent more time than Jerry did thinking about how to make B.A.S.S. and bass fishing better.”
McKinnis and his JM Associates team took over production of the long-running television program The Bassmasters for B.A.S.S. and ESPN in 2001. Prior to that he helped create the FLW Tour and ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, and later developed the Redfish Cup and the Madfin Shark Series.