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Legend Biography

Dave Hughes


Former Specialty Salesman of Sporting Goods & Boats

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Dave Hughes was born to be an outdoorsman: from adventures as a young boy all the
way to sharing a contagious passion with everyone heʼs met throughout the years.
Dave can catch fish when no one else can due to his natural ability to read water
conditions; his instincts to see feeding patterns have led to decades of successful
hunting and fishing ventures. His knowledge and love kept an undertone of teaching
through his personal and professional life.

Born on June 8, 1932, in Nashville, Tennessee, he was raised by his mother, Emma M.
Hughes and grandparents Ellsworth S. and Melissa S. Hughes, following the death of
his father, Fleming Hughes, when he was just shy of age 3. His earliest memories are
fishing trips with his grandfather along the north bank of the Cumberland River. As a
young man, Dave became Outdoors Activities Director for the Atlanta YMCA Boys
Camp where he shared his love for the water with many young men. A number of years
later, while living in North Carolina, he was an instructor for a fishing school which was
an extension course offered by North Carolina State University held each year on Cape

He was called to active duty while attending Middle Tennessee State University -
sending him into the Korean War as an aviation electrician in the U.S. Navy on board
the U.S.S. Yorktown. After returning home, he returned to his fishing and hunting roots
and pursued a career in the sporting goods industry. Daveʼs knowledge and love made
him a natural sales representative with The Lack Company in Paducah, Kentucky, then
Sutcliffe Sporting Goods, one of the largest sporting goods companies at the time.
His next career moved him back to sharing his talents with others as he embraced
teaching shooting skills as the district sales manager for Daisy-Heddon, bringing an
educational element to sales and promotions for the brands for 13 years. This last
career step was specializing in marine sales as president and owner of Dave Hughes
and Associates, where he represented Invader, Sundancer, Hydra-Sports, Polar Craft,
and Dura Kraft for 25 years.

After five decades of promoting outdoor product lines, retirement opened his schedule to further enjoy the outdoors from water outings to hunting with any friend or family member ready for adventure. His hunting expertise covered the spectrum of game from small game; rabbits, squirrels, quail and doves, to waterfowl, ducks and geese, to big game, deer and elk. He pursued these each in their season around the country including Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina and Colorado. He particularly enjoyed annual elk hunting trips to Colorado, which spanned some 35 years with a group of close friends.

Hunting season limits how often one can get out into nature; however, fishing can happen every day – something Dave capitalized on with his spare time. Money earned guiding crappie fisherman on Kentucky Lake let to the purchase of his first bass boat
that was put to good use. He joined the Nashville Bass Masters soon after it was formed and shortly after was voted into the Bass Casters Ltd., a highly competitive group of fishermen. This began the challenge of competing in the many bass tournaments that sprang up across the southeast. He enjoyed the competitive challenge and still cherishes the many friendships that have lasted a lifetime. While he enjoys fishing for many types of gamefish, both freshwater and saltwater, nothing compares with the thrill of catching the smallmouth bass. This was his favorite fish to catch and he was good at catching them.

He honed his smallmouth skills over many years on Center Hill and Dale Hollow Lakes. He has fished with many well-known people within the outdoor community and the country music community. These include Bill Dance, Bill Huntley, Billy Westmoreland, Paul Elias, Jerry Reed, Lightening Chance, and David Akerman, better known as “String Bean”, to name a few.

Dave has dedicated his life to the outdoors. Through his many years, he developed and
honed his skills. His willingness to teach has allowed him to share these skills with
many people. As a result, many lifelong friendships have added to the education and
thrill of each shot and cast. He has passed on his passion for the outdoors to both of
his sons, David and Larry Hughes, and they continue to fish and hunt and use the skills
he taught them and continues to teach them. He continues to encourage his sons and
others to develop their skills and enjoy every aspect of the outdoors.

Spreading the love for learning about fishing and hunting was a lifelong theme. An impressive legacy of this outdoorsman.

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