August 2007

Tim Tucker, Legendary B.A.S.S. Writer Dies

By Jim Shephard
The Fishing Wire

The outdoor industry lost one of its most published and colorful outdoor writers last month. My friend Tim Tucker was killed in a bizarre car crash outside Gainesville, Fla. For the past 20 years, Mr. Tucker's byline has appeared in a variety of the nation's most widely read publications.

He was a recognized expert — and character — in the character-filled world that is professional fishing and outdoor writing.

Mr. Tucker was the only fatality in a crash that happened when his vehicle crashed into an Alachua County Sheriff's cruiser as the deputy was trying to route traffic away from a vehicle pulled off the interstate into an emergency lane. Mr. Tucker died at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida.

Across the industry, reaction from Tucker's many friends and colleagues are a combination of shock and loss.

"He has been a bud for many, many years," said a shaken Gary Giudice of Blue Heron Communications. "We've all lost a good friend and great talent. I spoke with Darlene [Tucker's wife], and she says Kyle's going to be OK, but it's just such a shock to all of us."

Mr. Tucker cut even a wider swath through the outdoors industry than his substantial size would indicate. With a quick wit and willingness to see the absurdity of almost any situation, he could quickly reduce someone to tears of laughter. He could also be bitingly honest in his writing.

A senior writer for BASSMASTER Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times, Mr. Tucker's work regularly appeared in Southern Outdoors, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, American Angler, Fishing Tackle Retailer, Southern Saltwater, Fishing Facts, Florida Sportsman, Bassin', Florida Wildlife, Bass Fishing, Petersen's Fishing, Texas Game and Fish, Advanced Bass Fishing, Bass Pro Shops' Outdoor World, Crappie, The In-Fisherman, North American Fisherman, Bass and Walleye Boat, Remington Country, Tournament Angler News, Aqua-Field Publications, and others.

His newspaper contributions included Palm Beach Post, Gainesville Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Ocala Star Banner, Lakeland Ledger and Greensboro News and Record.

His latest project “Tim Tucker's Pro Angling Insider” was a one-of-a-kind bi-monthly newsletter designed to help fishermen make more money in the business of fishing. He was also a featured guest on The Bassmasters, Prime Time Outdoors and Outdoor Trails with Barry Stokes as well as other national fishing shows.

Mr. Tucker also authored eight books, including Roland Martin's 101 Bass-Catching Secrets, Secrets of America's Best Bass Pros, Bill Dance on Crappie, Diary of a Bass Pro, and Bill Dance on Largemouth Bass.

He had the ability to good-naturedly skewer unsuspecting BASS pros when they made comments in press meetings that were, well, silly or illogical. Instead of getting angry, most of them laughed right along with everyone else, realizing that Mr. Tucker had them.

He was also quick to offer assistance to fellow writers or newcomers to the fishing world. Five years ago, he offered me a bit of advice that has served me well since then. "Don't try to act like you always understand what these pro guys are saying," he said; "ask them what they mean, and you might find out they're just as confused as you about what they meant. Keep 'em honest."

Tim Tucker was also a guy who laughed at himself as quickly as others. A very large man, he used a scooter to get around. Stealing that scooter from an unsuspecting Mr. Tucker, then riding it around became a sport for everyone from writers to pro anglers and tournament execs.

We all took turns swiping his scooter, popping wheelies and racing around BASS venues while he threatened us with everything from dismemberment to making people tow him and his scooter back to the hotel if they ran his battery down.

Mr. Tucker leaves a wife Darlene and twins Kyle and Rachel as his immediate family. Like them, all of us fortunate enough to have known this man are dealing with a loss that will leave a hole in the close-knit outdoor community.