The ‘Father of Bass Boats’ became part of the IGFA Hall of Fame in 2010.
Imagine bass fishing without the influence of Forrest Wood. I suspect it would look nothing like it does today. And I’m not just talking about the boats. Clearly Wood is responsible for the birth of the modern bass boat. Without him there would be no fiberglass, glitter-covered, 250-horse-powered water rockets ripping around America’s lakes.
It is arguable that Wood is also significantly responsible for modern bass fishing. Not long after he and his wife Nina founded Ranger Boats, Wood teamed up with Ray Scott, founder of the Bass Angler’s Sportsman Society. The result was the fully-rigged bass boat – a boat sold completely rigged with a motor and all the basic gear needed to hit the water.
Wood’s experience as a guide showed him that anglers wanted, and were willing to pay for, comforts when they fished. That brought us something we all take for granted in fishing boats; swivel seats.
His experience as a tournament angler brought him in contact with his first R&D team. He used fellow anglers to improve boat design, and from that we got rod holders and aerated live wells.
Boats ready to fish right from the dealer put weekend anglers on the same fishing platforms as the pros. That closed a gap and probably did more to make professional bass anglers the rock stars they are today than any other factor.
Without Forrest Wood, there probably wouldn’t be entire cable channels devoted to fishing and hunting shows.
Due to his accomplishments, he was inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame.