Doug Hannon, known as the “Bass Professor” for his numerous contributions to fishing, died last week at his home in Keystone, Fla. The tackle inventor, author and TV host recently had neck surgery and complications are believed to have contributed to his death. He was 66.
Hannon, who was best known among recreational anglers for catching and releasing more than 800 largemouth bass weighing 10 pounds or more, also had nearly 20 patents for various equipment designs. He was entered into the Fishing Hall of Fame in 2000.
In the early 1970s, Hannon began writing about and advocating for catch and release of big bass. He became the most famous big bass guide in Florida , starting out by requiring three-day minimum bookings and allowing only one fish to be kept in those three days, according to his website. Then, in 1976, Doug became the first prominent guide in the state to require the release of all fish without exception. Hannon was a consultant to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on the development of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, which is not only the nation’s best example of the way state fisheries agencies should reach out and interact with the public, but also the nation’s best state-of-the-art Florida Bass hatchery, according to his website.
Hannon produced three videos, “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 outlets.
He also held patents on various fishing inventions ranging from fishing lures to chemical treatments to improve fish survival in release tournaments, to anchors, and invented the weedless trolling motor prop now seen on virtually every fishing motor.