TV Fishing Legend Babe Winkelman Files for Bankruptcy


Babe Winkelman, a legend in the outdoor industry and host of “Good Fishing,” has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

According to Duluth News Tribune, court records show Mr. Winkelman and his wife, Kristeen Winkleman, owe money on mortgages for both their home near Brainerd, Minnesota and a recreational property near Perham in Ottertail County. The couple also has taxes due to the Internal Revenue Service, Minnesota Department of Revenue, balances on multiple credit cards and several other creditors.

“I’ve never been through anything like this in my life,” Winkelman said.

The court documents state that Babe Winkelman Productions grossed $185,240 in 2019, but that business owes $402,280 in trade payables. Winkelman and his wife stated to the court they have about $1.4 million in assets, including the Brainerd home, their hunting land and other personal items, including other liabilities of over $800,000.

The 70-year-old angler has been hosting outdoor TV shows for around 40 years, highlighted by the aforementioned program”Good Fishing,” which first debuted in 1980. Despite the unfortunate situation, however, Winkelman seems adamant to straighten out his financial troubles and keep his outdoor television shows, which have been off the air for over a year, rolling strong.

Winkelman is well recognized as an editor for Fishing Facts Magazine, among several other publications and for promoting Lindy/Little Joe fishing tackle. He was inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 1988. Winkelman was also inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota in 2001. In 2007 he earned the “Excellence In Craft” award from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

Babe takes great pride in teaching America to hunt and fish, and has done so since the 1980s.

Here’s an episode of “Good Fishing” where Babe targets giant Green Bay walleyes:

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