top of page

Legend Biography

Babe Winkelman


Television Host & Professional Angler

Sponsors: Coming Soon

Babe Winkelman grew up on a dairy farm near the small town of Duelm, Minnesota, He learned the
value of hard work through his labors on the family farm. He started fishing at age 6 at a creek that ran
through the family farm. It was there that he started to understand how fish moved around through the
seasons and there that his "Pattern Approach" to fishing got its roots. Pheasants and Huns were
abundant on the farm as well and his hunting career started there with his first pheasant kill at age 8.
Deer hunting started as a driver at age 10 and he shot his first buck at age 12. For whatever reason
young Babe (nicknamed by his father after Babe Ruth) fell in love with every phase of understanding
how all aspects of nature worked, 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 Longville, where he
taught himself refined his "pattern" approach to fishing that he continues to teach others today.. Less
than two months after graduating high school he became the youngest person in the history of
Minnesota to get his journeyman's Union card. In May of 1969 he started Winkelman Building
Corporation Inc., a construction company, along with his brother Dennis and Father Don. By the time he
was 25 the company had grown into 6 corporations with nearly 200 employees, but he decided that
money was not the thing to strive for in life but rather lifestyle was and sold his interests to embark
upon a full time career in the outdoors.
He started guiding fisherman in l965 and started fishing tournaments in l970. In l973 he helped found
the Minnesota State Bass Federation to get bass tournaments started and served as president for nearly
3 years. Upon starting in the outdoors full time in 75, Babe guided, fished tournaments, taught at
seminars, did promotional work for Lindy/Little Joe tackle, became a field editor for Fishing Facts
magazine writing for them and a host of other publications. In the last four decades he's penned scores
articles and currently does syndicated columns twice monthly to nearly 20million subscribers through
daily newspapers, tabloids and magazines. Good Fishing first hit the air waves in l980 and exploded in
popularity. This prompted him to start Babe Winkelman Productions Inc. and set up his own studio.
With a strong element on teaching and involving his entire family, he soon won the hearts of all outdoor
enthusiasts. 1988 was also the year Babe produced his second television series, "Outdoor Secrets" which
was the first hunting show that was on the air since l978.
In 1988 Babe was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. A few years later into the
Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame. In 1992 he was inducted into the Sports Legends Hall of Fame alongside
of Evander Holyfield for boxing, Pete Rose for Baseball and 30 other athletes from around the world.
Babe is the only outdoors man ever to be inducted into this hall of fame. In 2007 he was given the
Excellence in Craft award by the Outdoor Writers association of America (OWAA), their most prestigious
award for his work with television. As a production company, they have won a couple of hundred
awards for production excellence, 87 in a two year span alone! In 2013 Babe and Kris were nominated
by Ottertail County as Conservationist of the Year for the state of Minnesota for all the work they have
done at some land they bought for hunting with the whole family in 2002 and turned it into a paradise
for all forms of wildlife.
Babe's lovely wife Kristeen has been by his side for 25 years and is his strength, inspiration, best friend
and soul mate. Kris does a cooking feature, "Kris's Kitchen" on every episode for both shows and is
renowned as the most popular outdoor personality on cooking fish and wild game in the country. Babe
has five children and five grandchildren

bottom of page