I know, I know. We have to forgive him for wearing that silly T cap that stands for some SEC school that we don’t like, but this is about fishing. Bill Dance is an icon in the fishing world. And when Bass Pro owner Johnny Morris finally got Memphis politicians to finally open up the old Memphis Pyramid for business, it was only natural that the store be named after Dance. I moved to Memphis almost 10 years ago and this was being talked about then. But it didn’t happen until the past year or so. And now it is going to be something. But not worth moving back to Memphis for.
Today we’ll start Bill Dance Week with a tip of the hat to a monument being built to the most famous bass fisherman of all that will never be topped. It’s the Bill Dance Bass Pro Shop in Memphis, Tennessee, his hometown. It’s scheduled to open later on April 29 in the downtown area. Special guests will include dozens of celebrities from Jimmy Houston to TurtleMan to Bass Pro Owner Johnny Morris to Miss Tennessee Kiara Young. Even Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze will be there, but don’t let that keep you away.
It’s not just a store. it’s a tourist destination. Not quite a “Disney World” for fishermen, but close. It will have an indoor swamp with more than 600,000 gallons of water and 1,800 fish. It will have a river with alligators and a water area big enough to float and test out boats — inside.
Another hometown hero – Ducks Unlimited – will also be featured with a 4,500 square foot natural heritage display. There will be a Big Cedar Lodge with accommodations like treestand suites and duck blind suites that look out over the store…and on and on and on. And yes, the bowling alley where the ball returns to you from a fish’s mouth..well.
You can also ride 23 stories to the top and view the gigantic Mississippi River. Enough already. And somewhere in there lies the largest fishing supply, outdoor equipment and marine store in the world. Want a personal tour from Bill himself? Here you go…