Wingate dies after battle with prostate cancer - Major League Fishing

Wingate dies after battle with prostate cancer

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Jack Wingate of Wingate's Lunker Lodge on Lake Seminole in Georgia
December 9, 2011 • MLF • Archives

Jack Wingate, one of the seminal figures in the foundation of tournament bass fishing, succumbed to prostate cancer earlier this week at his home on the banks of his beloved Lake Seminole. Wingate, 82, was the former proprietor of Wingate’s Lunker Lodge, a crossroads gathering place for many of the iconic figures in the bass-fishing world, among them Forrest Wood, Ray Scott, Tom Mann, Roland Martin, Bill Dance and all of the tournament greats of the past 40 years.

Wingate participated in Scott’s first tournament, on Beaver Lake, Arkansas, in 1967, but, more importantly, provided Scott with the names of several anglers who would become the charter members of his fledgling Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. Wingate participated in a few of Scott’s early events, and hosted the Seminole Lunker tournament in 1968. It was the first of dozens of major tournaments held at Wingate’s during the next several decades and he and his Lunker Lodge were featured in all the major fishing magazines and television shows since the early 70s.

“Jack Wingate will be remembered by the many fishermen who enjoyed their time spent at Lunker Lodge in years past,” said Wood. “His stature in the fishing world is well-known and significant, and his impact will reward many far into the future. Being a friend of Jack Wingate was an honor for me. He rode a Ranger for many years, and I take much pride in that as well.”

Wingate only fished a few national tournaments as he could never resist the tug of southwest Georgia on his heart for long, but he still loomed large as one of the founding fathers of the sport and counted the likes of Wood and Scott among his lifelong friends. Although his role in the formative stages of tournament bass fishing will perhaps serve as his most enduring legacy, Wingate counted his Fishing Camp for Boys, which he ran for 33 years, among his greatest achievements.

A Korean War veteran (Navy), Wingate was a member of Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of the Confederacy, and the Apalachicola Band of the Lower Creek Indians.

Wingate is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joyce, and three daughters: Kathy, Peggy and Jacquie.