Bass fishing art hits the Classic

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Angie Thompson
Chris Lane's Lane Changer - Chris Lane: “When I was a kid my brothers and I would fish with my dad and my Grandpa Bill on Kissimmee Lake and they only wanted to use a Devil’s Horse – morning, noon or night. But they did like to tweak them a little..."

One of the most unique booths at the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods won’t be selling gear to help you catch more fish, at least not in the traditional sense. However, the artwork you’ll find in booth 837 might inspire you to bring the great outdoors into your living room.

This new endeavor goes by the name of FishnChik Art and is the personal project of Angie Thompson, who also happens to be the V.P. of Events and Sponsorship Activations at B.A.S.S.

“At ICAST [the fishing industry trade show] last year, I walked through the fly fishing section and saw all this art about trout, the flies and beautiful scenery,” said Thompson. “And it kind of made me mad, because it seems like nobody thinks bass fishing people appreciate art. I made the decision that day to start painting.”

Thompson’s paintings are particularly unique because many portray the favorite lures of Bassmaster Elite Series anglers. For instance, the Fish Head Spin that Casey Ashley used to win the 2015 Classic on Lake Hartwell is the subject of one painting, as is the spinner bait Rick Clunn used to win the 1976 Classic on Lake Guntersville. The paintings also tell a story, with a quote from the angler explaining why the lure is special to him.

Storytelling is not something new to Thompson. She spent many years working as a producer of outdoors television shows for ESPN and other networks.

“I don’t want to just do a typical painting. I want to tell an interesting story. I’m southern,” says the native of Enterprise, Ala. “That’s what we do.”

Thompson has always been artistically inclined. She has a degree from Auburn University in Visual Arts, with a focus on graphic design. But she didn’t get serious about painting until her father, Bryan "CoolPop" Thompson, got sick in November 2016.

“He always encouraged me to study art,” Thompson said. “I think he appreciated my artistic abilities more than I did. And he was a big fisherman. After he passed away I started thinking about how to honor him. And at the same time, painting has been very therapeutic.” 

The Classic booth is also a family affair. Thompson’s oldest friend, from third grade, built the booth, and her sister Melissa Allen along with three friends from high school are working in the booth. In it, you’ll find original paintings and prints for sale, and hats and t-shirts bearing the FishnChik logo. The booth will also have outdoor photography by Thompson's brother Bryan Thompson for sale.

To learn more, visit FishnChikArt.com.