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Debating with your friends who’s the best Fishing coach?

Roland Martin, Bill Dance, or Kevin VanDam?

Here is our list of the best Fishing coaches of all time.

Do you agree with our picks?

Best Fishing Coaches:

  1. Roland Martin
  2. Bill Dance
  3. Kevin VanDam
  4. Hank Parker
  5. Ray Scott
  6. Forrest L. Wood
  7. Gary Klein
  8. Larry Nixon
  9. Mike Iaconelli
  10. Denny Brauer
  11. Rick Clunn

#1 Roland Martin

  • πŸ† Achievements: 9 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year titles
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1970s-2010s
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Roland Martin is a legend in the world of competitive bass fishing, holding the remarkable achievement of nine B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year titles. His competitive career spanned over several decades, making him one of the most enduring and successful anglers.

His renowned TV show “Fishing with Roland Martin” brought his expertise to a wide audience, providing entertainment and education on various fishing techniques and strategies. Martin has been credited with increasing the popularity of bass fishing through his television presence and charismatic teaching style.

Recognized for his significant contributions to the sport, Roland Martin remains an influential figure in fishing. His coaching and educational endeavors have inspired countless anglers to develop their skills and passion for the sport.

#2 Bill Dance

  • πŸ† Achievements: Over 23 national bass fishing titles
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1960s-Present
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Bill Dance is another giant in the competitive bass fishing world, having secured over 23 national titles throughout his career. He is best known for his television series, “Bill Dance Outdoors,” which has run for several decades.

The show helped to transform the perception of fishing from a leisure activity to a sport with techniques and finesse. Dance has played a pivotal role in educating audiences about conservation and the finer points of fishing, furthering the sport’s growth.

Bill Dance’s continued presence in the media, combined with his extensive knowledge and easy-going personality, has made him a cherished mentor and coach to anglers both young and old.

#3 Kevin VanDam

  • πŸ† Achievements: 4-time Bassmaster Classic champion
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1990s-Present
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Kevin VanDam, often referred to as KVD, is widely recognized as one of the greatest professional bass anglers of all time. He has won the prestigious Bassmaster Classic four times and has numerous other tournament victories to his name.

VanDam’s angling prowess and analytical approach to fishing have set him apart in the competitive fishing scene. He excels in various techniques like power fishing and is known for his ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions on the water.

Aside from his tournament success, Kevin VanDam is highly respected for his coaching ability, sharing his extensive knowledge with both aspiring and established anglers alike.

#4 Hank Parker

  • πŸ† Achievements: 2-time Bassmaster Classic champion
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1970s-2000s
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Hank Parker is another icon of the fishing world, with two Bassmaster Classic championships under his belt. His angling career is marked by numerous wins and consistent performances.

After his competitive career, Parker became well-known as the host of “Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine,” a fishing show that helped educate and entertain those with a passion for fishing. His warm and engaging personality made the complexities of the sport accessible to a broad audience.

As a coach, Hank Parker brings years of experience and a down-to-earth approach, making him a favorite among those looking to improve their fishing skills and knowledge.

#5 Ray Scott

  • πŸ† Achievements: Founder of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.)
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1960s-1990s
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Ray Scott is not just a coach but the pioneer who founded the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), which has had an immeasurable impact on the world of bass fishing. His vision and efforts helped to elevate bass fishing to a professional sport.

Scott also initiated the Bassmaster Classic, the sport’s most prestigious tournament. His work in promoting catch-and-release and other conservation initiatives has had a lasting legacy.

While not a coach in the traditional sense, Ray Scott’s influence on the sport has guided the careers of countless anglers, and his teachings continue to shape the next generation of the fishing community.

#6 Forrest L. Wood

  • πŸ† Achievements: Founder of Ranger Boats
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1960s-2000s
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Forrest L. Wood, known as the godfather of modern bass fishing, is the founder of Ranger Boats, one of the leading boat manufacturers in the fishing industry. His innovations in boat design and construction have made a significant impact on the sport.

Beyond his contributions to equipment, Wood has also been a competitive angler, though it’s his role as a mentor and coach that has solidified his status as a fishing legend. His insights into boat handling and angling strategies have benefitted multitudes of fishermen.

His legacy continues through the FLW Tour, named in his honor, which presents a competitive platform for anglers of all levels. Wood’s contributions to coaching and the sport of fishing are invaluable.

#7 Gary Klein

  • πŸ† Achievements: x
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1970s-Present
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Gary Klein is a professional bass angler with a career that spans several decades. He is known for his consistent performances and his approach to tournament fishing, which has earned him numerous top finishes and respect in the angling community.

Klein’s ability to understand and teach the subtleties of bass fishing has made him a sought-after coach. He is also recognized for his advocacy of competitive integrity and sportsmanship.

His involvement in the sport extends beyond competition, as he continues to share his expertise through various platforms and contributes to the evolution of the sport as a whole.

#8 Larry Nixon

  • πŸ† Achievements: x
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1970s-Present
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Larry Nixon is a seasoned professional bass angler known for his longevity in competitive fishing. With a professional career extending over several decades, Nixon has a wealth of experience and a solid track record of success in tournaments.

His patience and methodical approach to bass fishing have been hallmarks of his career, and these attributes serve him well as a coach and mentor to others.

Larry Nixon remains an influential figure in the sport, offering valuable insights and strategies to anglers seeking to elevate their game.

#9 Mike Iaconelli

  • πŸ† Achievements: 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champion, 2006 Angler of the Year
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1990s-Present
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Mike Iaconelli, often known as “Ike,” is an energetic and passionate professional angler who won the 2003 Bassmaster Classic and was named the 2006 Angler of the Year. His dynamic personality and aggressive fishing style have made him a fan favorite.

Iaconelli is also highly involved in promoting the sport, particularly to youth and urban anglers, through his foundation and various media initiatives like his web-based show, “Ike Live!”

As a coach and role model, Iaconelli’s enthusiasm and knowledge of fishing make him a compelling teacher, dedicated to bringing more people into the world of competitive angling.

#10 Denny Brauer

  • πŸ† Achievements: 1998 Bassmaster Classic Champion
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1980s-2010s
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Denny Brauer is revered in the bass fishing community, particularly for his 1998 Bassmaster Classic win. With a career that includes numerous tournament victories, Brauer is one of the top-earning anglers in the history of the sport.

His expertise in jig fishing and flipping techniques has made him a valuable coach for those looking to improve their skills in heavy cover fishing. Brauer has imparted his wisdom through various instructional videos and articles.

Brauer’s seasoned approach and dedication to teaching the intricacies of competitive fishing have left a lasting impression on both his peers and aspiring fishermen.

#11 Rick Clunn

  • πŸ† Achievements: 4-time Bassmaster Classic Champion
  • πŸ“… Years Active: 1970s-Present
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Rick Clunn is an angling legend with an outstanding accomplishment of winning the Bassmaster Classic four times over his storied career. His name is synonymous with bass fishing excellence and consistency.

Known for his philosophical approach to fishing and life, Clunn’s teachings often transcend the sport, offering lessons on mental discipline and the importance of connecting with nature.

Rick Clunn continues to compete at a high level, displaying exceptional skill and longevity in the sport, while his insights and experience make him a celebrated coach to those seeking mastery in competitive bass fishing.


Who is the greatest fishing coach of all time?

The question of the greatest fishing coach is subjective, as it depends heavily on the context, such as type of fishing (competitive, recreational), location, and personal coaching success stories.

Who was the most successful fishing coach?

Success in fishing coaching is hard to quantify, but it would relate to the achievements of students, competitive victories, and contributions to the sport’s knowledge and techniques. There’s no universally recognized figure.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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