Barry Hanson's last 'East Texas Angler' airing this weekend

He's a familiar face on KLTV 7, and a household name with fishing fanatics, young and old.

But an era comes to an end this weekend, as Barry Hanson hosts his final East Texas Angler program. KLTV 7's Bob Hallmark has more on Barry's long, successful run, and the bittersweet time for the show to say goodbye.

He's been synonymous with fishing in east Texas. For 15 years Barry Hanson has been both educator and entertainer on East Texas Angler here at Channel 7, but now he's decided he's done his last show.

"15 years of doing it. I'm about to turn 65 years old. I have a little bit of a health issue with Type two diabetes. The doctor says I need a little more rest. It was a long hard decision to say I'm going to quit but I thought after 15 years and my age and everything that it was just time to hang it up while it is successful," said Barry.

He's traveled everywhere to catch fish, winning fans with his honest down home approach.

"Fishermen are one of the people that if you're trying to hornswaggle them as the saying goes they're going to know it pretty quick. In 15 years, I've never faked catching a fish, I've tried to say they weren't biting - we're coming back the next day."

And he's had his share of memorable moments.

"I've had 4 different instances were the person I'm fishing with decided to set the hook in me," he laughed.

He estimates he's caught over 2,600 fish on his program over the years, but more than that, it's been the experience that will stay with him.

"We originated the program because east Texans fish so much. I look back on it now as one of the most important things I've ever done," he told us.

A frequent visitor to the newsroom, his sense of humor always coming through.

But it's his connection with the average guy that has made it worthwhile.

"I think probably the more important people to me were the east Texas people that came forward and said come fishing on my lake, or let me take you fishing," said Barry.

This weekend, Barry signs off for the last time.

"It was not an easy decision. I chose to do the last show with my son BJ, because I wanted to end it with him. I can't believe there's not going to be anymore. Thank you all for everything you've said to me and talked to me about on the fishing show."

And for the last time, Barry's gone fishing.

The final East Texas Angler program airs Saturday at 5:00 pm and Sunday at 5:00 am.

But Barry's not gone. He will continue to work with KLTV 7 writing and producing commercials.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.