Jerry McKinnis, the outdoor sports pioneer for ESPN, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Jerry had other interests besides fishing, such as baseball. He played professional baseball for the Kansas City Athletics organization. By the 1950’s, he had saved up enough money to go trout fishing on the White River. By the end of the trip, the guide had him wanting to move to Arkansas, and that’s exactly what he did. He moved to Little Rock and started a fishing guide service at Lake Maumelle. He needed a little boost in business so he started a local TV show called “The Fishin’ Hole”. This program went on to become a regional TV show, then went national is now the longest running fishing show in TV history.
When ESPN launched in 1979, Jerry saw the future and brought “The Fishin’ Hole” to cable. He went on to develop the popular ESPN Outdoors block of programming on Saturday mornings. Jerry’s business firm, JM Associates, in Little Rock, has been called the networks best friend by ESPN. Some of the shows that have made the screen are “BassMaster Tournament Trail”; “The Wal-Mart FLW Tour”; “The Bass Master Classic”; Stihl Timbersports” and “Iditarod Sled Dog Race”.
Jerry is a resident of Flippin, who splits his time between there and Little Rock, is now known for being one of the most influential figures of the outdoor fishing industry.