Jim Hanley

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In recent years Western New Yorkers have discovered the beauty of Lake Erie, and the quality of life it affords our region. Those magnetic qualities of our “Great Lake” are something that Jim Hanley has known his entire life. Jim, a native Buffalonian, grew up fishing on Lake Erie – before there was Canalside, the Outer Harbor, the Spirit of Buffalo, or kayak rentals.

In 1978 Hanley transformed his passion into his life’s work when he began competing in national bass fishing tournaments around the country. During that time, he became the first captain to guide for bass on Lake Erie. In 1987 he became the only fisherman from New York State to compete in the first-ever BassMaster Elite Tournament circuit.

Jim’s profession as a tournament fisherman crossed over into 27 states, spanning nearly three decades. He hung up his tournament rod in 2005, however the experience he gained fishing with the nation’s best bass anglers served as a catalyst for his charter fishing business. He became a true ambassador for the area’s sport fishery.

When he wasn’t on the water, Jim provided his expertise in other ways. Hanley supplied fishing tips on WIVB TV 4, and through a live call-in show on the Empire Sports Network with Howard Simon. In 1989 Hanley expanded his work when he created the Jim Hanley Northeast Outdoors TV Show that aired until 2005.

Hosting the program, Hanley was able to share his vast knowledge of fishing with an available audience of 22 million homes. He also hosted celebrity guests including rock and roll legend Ted Nugent, Bob Rich, Jr. and members of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres.

In 1995 Hanley was named the Erie County Sport Fishing Coordinator and for 10 years traveled the nation and England bringing tournaments and recreational anglers home to fish the bountiful waters of Western New York.

Today, Jim Hanley is still going strong, working full-time on the water and serving as a regular expert for many media outlets on what’s biting in the Eastern Basin of Lake Erie and Niagara River.