Babe Winkelman

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Babe Winkelman
Residence Backus, Minnesota
Nationality American
Known for Professional fisherman, television host
Home town Duelm, Minnesota
Spouse(s) Kris
Children Jasmine; Karlee; Donielle; Mackenzie

Babe Winkelman is a Minnesota-based professional fisherman, first coming into the national spotlight with "Babe Winkelman's Good Fishing" television program, which was first syndicated nationwide in the mid-1980s. The program airs nationally on NBC Sports cable network and syndicated on over-the-air local television stations nationwide.

Early life[edit]

Babe Winkelman grew up on a small farm near the small town of Duelm, Minnesota, where on Stoney Brook he was fishing, hunting and observing wildlife. He learned the value of hard work through his labors on a family farm. He learned by the example of his parents on how to run a business and get your fingers dirty at the same time.

From the time he was crawling, Winkelman lived the outdoor life, in constant contact with the natural processes of life and death, and the cycles of nature. Through endless hours of hunting and fishing, he polished his skills. During the 1960s, every possible moment was spent at the family cabin on Hay Lake near Brainerd, where he taught himself a "pattern" approach to fishing that he continues to teach others today. At the same time, beginning at age eight, he was developing his skills as a hunter of birds, small game, and deer.

"Hey, Good Fishing!"[edit]

After helping build a successful construction business with his father, Winkelman listened to his true calling and in the early 1970s took a huge risk by starting Babe Winkelman Productions. It would be a company bearing his name and his personality, its mission to teach others how to be successful when fishing and hunting while always remaining respectful of the natural world.

The public got to know Winkelman as a fisherman because he has been at it full-time, since 1975, and began appearing on TV back in 1978 on commercials for Deepwoods OFF. In 1980 he started producing television on his own.

Babe's efforts at TV would finally pay off when "Good Fishing" made its national syndicated debut in 1985, usually airing Saturdays in most television markets. The show, produced in Brainerd, Minnesota near his home, contained a great deal of stock video footage from the past and present, not just educating anglers, but entertaining families as well, with Babe's easygoing style and the integration of his family on the shows. Each show ended with the tagline for next week..."until then, hey...good fishing!"

One example was the addition of his then-wife Charlie, who demonstrated simple and easy to prepare fish dishes for the family. Winkelman's current wife Kris, hosts a similar feature called "Kris' Kitchen" on "Good Fishing" and on Winkelman's companion hunting show "Outdoor Secrets". Another was the inclusion of his two daughters on his fishing trips and their own proficiency as anglers. And yet another was his brother David, who wrote, produced, and sung the opening and closing theme songs in the show's early years.

Personal life[edit]

Winkelman has been married three times; first to Donna, then Charlie, and now his current wife Kris. Babe has one daughter from a relationship when he was young, Amy. Winkelman has three daughters from his second marriage; Jasmine, Donielle, and Mackenzie; and one daughter, Karlee, from his marriage to Kris. Winkelman has four grandchildren, Jasmine is the mother of Caden and Paxton and Mackenzie is the mother of Zara and Mazon. The Winkelmans reside on 262 acres (1.06 km2) of primarily wooded property west of Backus, Minnesota.


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