This is no fish tale. John L. Morris has arguably hooked Springfield’s largest business concept with Bass Pro Shops and its focus on the outdoors – and he started it all behind a bait counter at his dad’s Brown Derby liquor store. Since the early 1970s, the visionary Morris has added Big Cedar Lodge, Tracker Marine, Dogwood Canyon Nature Park and Top of the Rock Golf Course to his business tackle box. He’s also linked to the Wonders of Wildlife Museum, for which Morris has dedicated tens of millions of dollars. With 56 stores and counting, Forbes has ranked Bass Pro as the 96th largest private company in America with 2009 revenues of $3.6 billion and 18,000 workers. Morris’ commitment to the environment has earned him the Teddy Roosevelt Conservationist Award and the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America’s National Conservation Achievement Award.One of SBJ's 31 Game Changers in conjunction with Springfield Business Journal's 31st anniversary.