Doug Hannon, Legendary Angler & Inventor, Dies at 66

News & Tips: Doug Hannon, Legendary Angler & Inventor, Dies at 66...

Doug Hannon, considered a legend in the fishing world and a longtime host on ESPN's Sportsman's Challenge TV series, died March 28 in his home in the Tampa, Fla., suburb of Keystone, according to a press release. He was 66.

Doug Hannon
Doug Hannon, known as the "Bass Professor", passed away March 28, 2013, in Florida at age 66.

The release stated Hannon recently had neck surgery and was recovering at home, said friend Russ Riley, a family spokesman and president of WaveSpin/MicroWave, a fishing a fishing components design company Hannon launched eight years ago, and which he served as its chief engineer.  
Hannon was best known by recreational anglers for catching-and-releasing over 800 largemouth bass of 10 or more pounds, also had nearly 20 patents for numerous fishing tackle, lures and boating propulsion designs, the release stated.

Four decades ago, Hannon was put in the fishing world spotlight with his introduction of the weedless trolling motor blade.  It allowed anglers to fish vast areas of previously inaccessible weed beds where bass live and is still used by millions of anglers today. 

Hannon, known as the "Bass Professor", recently released his newest innovation, the MicroWave Line Control System by American Tackle, which was introduced at fall and winter fishing and trade shows in Australia, Asia and Europe, and in North America.  

"He was deeply analytical and had an exceptional ability to visualize and solve complex issues, especially when it came to fishing tackle, lures and components geared to helping anglers enjoy the sport," Riley said. "You could instantly see and feel his passion when he was showing anglers at fishing shows his engineering designs in use such as casting and catching fish. He absolutely loved the sport."

The release said Hannon had also recently made advancements to spinning reels, naming it the WaveSpin based on its "radical" wave spool design, which is said to eliminate birds' nests giving tens of thousands of anglers using it long "tangle-free" effortless casts.

Hannon was hailed by Outdoor Life as one of its 25 people "whose lifetime achievement has had the greatest positive influence on hunting and fishing."  In 2000 he was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisc.

'"It will be extremely hard without him but Doug and his business partners mapped out great plans for the future of the company," Riley said. "Doug laid the ground work for this company to continue on and be very successful, not only with his recent technology now on the market, but with several other designs in the wings."

Besides his recent success as a fishing tackle and components inventor, Hannon documented the catch-and-release of more than 800 largemouth bass weighing 10 pounds or greater to his credit, making him one of the country's preeminent big-bass authorities. He was also a highly skilled diver, underwater photographer, author, filmmaker and lure designer.

As one of the world's greatest authorities on bass fishing Hannon wrote hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles on his observations. He also penned three books, Hannon's Field Guide for Bass Fishing, Catch Bass and Big Bass Magic. He filmed and produced videos with 3M called "Understanding Bass", "Catching Big Bass" and "Bass-Formula for Success", which among them won Cleo and Teddy awards.

He published the Hannon Moon Times nationally for TV, magazines, newspapers and radio and an annual pocket guide for anglers called the Moon Clock, now in its 32nd year.

Through his TV work and tips at fishing shows, Hannon introduced tips to millions of anglers enriching their enjoyment of fishing, along with many celebrities among them the late General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who he taught how to fly fish for bass.

According to the release, Hannon was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1946 to a Canadian mother and a father from Texas. He moved to the United States at the age of seven. He attended Governor Dummer Academy in South Byfield, Mass., and went onto Tulane University in New Orleans, La., to complete his B.A. degree. He was also an accomplished guitarist playing in rock and roll bands there, and developed a lifelong love for running.