Joe Thomas had the rare fortune of growing up among some of bass fishing’s best. At the age of 18, this Cincinnati native won the 1980 Ohio B.A.S.S. Federation Championship. Almost overnight, Joe went from being an amateur angler studying Fisheries Biology in school to a legitimate professional, beating-out several seasoned competitors. From there, he never looked back.
During his twenties, Joe competed in two professional bass fishing circuits and qualified for the prestigious Bassmaster Classic four times. When he was 28 years old, Joe won the 1990 Red-Man All-American Championship Tournament in Buffalo, NY. This time, his championship came with a cash prize of $100,000.
While Joe continues to compete in tournaments and circuits across the country, he does not limit himself to working as an angler alone. For years, Joe produced a regional fishing program in his native Ohio. He also wrote a book about his experiences as a tournament competitor called Diary of a Bass Pro. That book gives an inside look at the lucrative fast-track of competitive bass fishing and highlights the difficulties of life on the tournament trail.
Adding to his long list of accomplishments, Joe has hosted two programs on Outdoor Channel for several years. On Stihl’s Reel in the Outdoors, Joe Thomas travels North America with friends and fellow angers sharing tips and secrets learned from over 25 years on the pro tournament trail. “The reason I do this show,” explains Thomas, “is because I want to do something different. I want to see why Americans absolutely and undeniably love fishing.”
Joe's NASCAR-like Outdoor Channel Boat and Truck are fixtures at many trade shows and promotional events nationally. His one-of-a-kind rig is recognizable wherever it goes. He currently resides in Ohio with his beautiful wife Diane, and three wonderful children, Ryan, Reanna and Gracelyn.