A man I envied in my early “serious” bassing days was a man known as “the Bass Professor” His real name? Doug Hannon. A Florida legend, BASS tournament regular and magazine contributor, and one heck of a fisherman. I actually got to meet him on a tournament coverage day back inthe late 80's.
Hannon was best known for his incredible scientific insights diagnosing feeding habits of the black bass or Florida Largemouth and dozens of papers and articles on the much sought after sport fish. His personal records include bass most of us will never even see never mind catching.
Just today I was preparing a little feature on “hawg” hunting and Hannon’s memories came to mind. I googled him to get an up to date account of his recent activities and came across this from a press release:
Doug Hannon, a legend in the fishing world known as the “Bass Professor” whose unique expertise in a wide range of design skills and academic subjects in and outside of angling, died Thursday April 3 at his home in Keystone, a north Tampa suburb. Hannon was 66. 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.
The world of bass fishing has lost a great contributor. Doug Hannon was one of a kind. I have to think that whenever a group gets together to brag about “the big one” whether caught, missed, or seen, the Bass Professor’s memories will continue to remind us of what can be accomplished when we truly work at our sport.