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My Time In "The Fishin’ Hole"

From 1977 to 1999 the outdoor focused show “The Fishin’ Hole”, which was created by father Jerry McKinnis, provided me with the experience of writing and publishing music. Being involved in music was always a passion of mine and I am thankful that I was able to have the outlet of my fathers production company to work my craft on successful shows. Being in the industry so long I now know that this was a very unique situation since I was born into the business and I’m curious now what I would have experienced if I wasn’t.

My time working on “The Fishin’ Hole” truly became an overall music and sound production position. I started by composing simple songs and music for the show when it was in syndication, eventually producing over 100 unique pieces of content during the time the show was broadcast on ESPN.

In 1986 I wrote what became a new theme song for the show which was used as the opening. That song helped create achievements in my career that I didn’t imagine happening. It was a shocker to hear that Kenny Rodgers team enjoyed the theme song so much so they contacted our office wanting to consider recreating “Make A Memory” for an upcoming album they were working on. It also was great to see the over 200 letters that were sent to the office that praised featured songs used in the show and its style of cinematography which made people feel more connected to the beauty of the show. One of these featured songs called “Silence” was nominated in the “Outstanding Programming Achievement” category at the 1987 ACE Awards.

After many years of working solely on “The Fishin’ Hole” our production company transitioned to creating more content for ESPN. This expanded our show list and I begin producing, editing, and composing for several other projects including Great American Events, Timbersports, Raquetball Championships and the Forrest L Wood (FLW) Tour.

Outside of being contracted as a music producer for shows, I was employed as an audio engineer to help mix and support other parts of the production company, eventually becoming an editor for projects as well. Also, with the bulk of composed songs I had available, I built a music library of my content that could be used across several platforms. From this music library we also packaged an album called ‘AURA’ which was distributed for licensing through the company Signature Music.

I am proud of the many unique experiences that working for “The Fishin’ Hole” has provided me. My dedication to my music was developed in a way that I am very thankful for. Having a family connection to these projects did allow for my craft in music creation and production to develop and as quoted by my dad “as my son…of course that’s why he got the job, but it is quite obvious now that he is a big part of our success.”

My father’s passions and dedication to his craft was able to help me step through a door to develop my craft (Thanks, Pops!).


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