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BFHOF Report

Mark ZonaMark ZonaMark Zona is one step away from his contributions to the sport of bass fishing being validated by his peers.

Zona, a TV personality who hosts Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show and co-hosts The Bassmasters, is one of 12 nominees for induction into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

Other nominees include:

  • Fred Arbogast, lure designer of the Hula Popper, Jitterbug and others.
  • Don Iovino, angler
  • Mike McKinnis, JM Associates, producers of Bassmasters and Bassmaster Live
  • Andy Morgan, angler
  • Takahiro Omori, angler
  • Skeet Rees, angler
  • Lynn Reeves, tackle designer
  • Bill Taylor, retired FLW tournament director
  • Clark Wendlandt, angler
  • Mike Whitaker, Operation Bass Founder
  • Alfred Williams, first black Bassmaster Classic angler

Zona, who lives near Sturgis, Mich., was informed Wednesday via phone call from Hall of Fame board members Kevin VanDam and Brandon Palaniuk.

“It was an honor to get the calls telling me I had been nominated, not to mention very humbling,” Zona said yesterday. “I’ve worked my entire life in the best industry on earth. Just to be nominated to possibly join the list of elite names in the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is incredible. It’s rare for me to be speechless, but that’s exactly how I feel right now.”

If inducted, Zona would become the third Michiana resident – all living within a 30 mile radius - to be inducted into the Hall. Louie Stout (2017) and VanDam (2018) preceded him.

The slate of nominees will be voted on by the 30-member Hall of Fame Selection Panel and 47 living members of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. Each voter will choose five and rank them accordingly.

The Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors will announce the Class of 2024 next month. The Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction ceremony on September. 26, 2024, at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Mo.