The Board of Directors of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame announces the Hall has awarded four conservation grants this year to contribute to the mission of celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport of bass fishing. The awardees were selected through a highly competitive process, and they represent a diverse group of deserving projects.
“All our Board members are thrilled with the ability to contribute directly to these on-the-ground efforts,” said Bass Fishing Hall of Fame President John Mazurkiewicz. “These grants will help to restore subpar fisheries or to enhance healthy ones, and it’s extra special that two of the projects include efforts from high school bass fishing teams. This fulfills our preservation mandate, and by enhancing opportunities to fish we hope we can help bring new anglers into the sport.”
An obsession doesn’t often happen in an instant. It tends to start as a budding interest and gains momentum from there.
Not so for Mark Zona, Mercury Pro and host of Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show. At age 4, on a Klinger Lake in southwest Michigan, Zona caught his first bass. That fish would not only spark an immediate and unquenchable passion for fishing, it would set the course for the rest of his life. And if you ask him about catch No. 1, you’ll see he’s no less excited about it today than he was 40-odd years ago.
“I’ve talked to my kids at length about it,” Zona said. “I remember everything about that day. I remember the weather; I remember my lure. I remember every single thing. Of all the things fishing has given my family and me, it’s given us memories that can’t be erased. They’re just so ingrained.
“I say this not from a cliché standpoint, but I want the world to feel that.”
By Al McGuckin
Caleb Sumrall cut his bass fishing teeth on the shallow bayous of Southern Louisiana pitching soft plastic lures around cypress trees and thick vegetation – pretty much bass fishing’s polar opposite of what he’ll face this week at the YETI Bassmaster Elite on Lake St. Clair.
But the former petroleum industry supply yard worker is a quick learner – and bagged a Top 20 at his very first tournament on St. Clair last September.
Not only did he learn really fast the waves here get equally as big as the smallmouth, but he’ll also be quick to tell you it’s not all about dragging a tube or drop shot around. Instead, crankbaits are a major player on St. Clair too.