Lessons from legends: Forrest Wood

This past January, our sport lost one of its best. Forrest L. Wood — founder of Ranger Boats — died from a heart attack. He was 87 years old.

Forrest was admired by all who knew him. He dedicated most of his life to developing and perfecting his elite brand of boats, while helping countless others realize their goals and dreams along the way … me included.

Ranger was one of my first paying sponsors, and they still support me today — 35 years later.

Interestingly, it wasn’t Forrest who gave me that initial opportunity. It was his wife, Nina. She thought I’d make a good addition to the Ranger family. The truth is, Forrest wasn’t too keen on the idea. I didn’t look anything like the average bass angler in those days. I looked like I belonged more on a surfboard than a bass boat. But Nina liked me, and she was willing to take the chance. Using her powers of persuasion, she got Forrest to come around.