The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors proudly announced today the selection of five individuals who have made a substantial mark on the sport of bass fishing for induction into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2020, which will be inducted in ceremonies at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield on Thursday, September 24, 2020, includes two Bassmaster Classic winners – Jay Yelas and the late Bryan Kerchal – along with three bass fishing industry innovators include Steve Bowman, a noted figure in bass fishing media and the professional fishing scene, the late lure designer James Heddon, and fishing educator Ron Lindner.
The inductees were nominated by members of the Hall of Fame and elected by a 30-member panel of sportfishing industry leaders, members of the outdoor media, professional anglers and members of the Hall of Fame.
By Al McGuckin
Mark Zona graciously took a few minutes to frame up these challenging times in America with a personal perspective rich in gratefulness for family, fat bass, and even talk of werewolves and Star Wars characters.
Q: The C-19 virus has obviously created a fairly dark time in America’s history we all hope will end really soon. Give us something to smile about, Z.
Zona: As Americans, we’re never going to forget these days, but the silver lining right now is getting to spend exponentially more time with my wife and kids. In fact, as soon as we’re done with this interview, we’re jumping on the family pontoon boat. And trust me, under normal circumstances, I never get to spend a weekday afternoon on a pontoon boat with my family.
Q: Fishing and time outdoors with family is definitely a very popular thing to do right now. Give the parent who may be taking their kid fishing for the first time some Z-Train wisdom.
Zona: It’s all about action. We’re not trying to catch trophy bass here folks. We’re trying to have a good time – and for kids, that means worms on a hook under a bobber for anything that will bite. And listen to me, when they show signs of boredom – move on – pack it up – don’t force them to stay if the fish aren’t biting
Q: You get to choose three bass lures to fish with anywhere in America for the next 30 days – what three are you picking?
Zona: A half-ounce green pumpkin Strike King Thunder Cricket, second --- a 4.75” Rage Swimmer swimbait on a ¼ ounce belly-weighted 5/0 Trokar hook, and are you ready for the silver bullet I plan to take down the werewolf with? Number three – a green pumpkin purple fleck tube on a spinning rod with a 5/16 ounce jig head.
Q: What’s been your best fishing experience the past three weeks?
Zona: That’s easy, because it was one of the best fishing experiences of my life. I was with Martin Truex Jr. on a private lake in Arkansas, and with zero exaggeration, we caught 200 bass between 6 and 8 pounds on a Thunder Cricket for a Zona Live show on Bassmaster.com.
Q: A lot of people are spending an exceptional amount of time kicking around the house in pajama pants these days. What is the one Carhartt garment you wear so often your wife Karin is nearly tired of seeing it?
Zona: That’s an easy one too. My black Carhartt vest, of course. In fact, I absolutely plan to wear it today on our family pontoon cruise. No shirt beneath, with my 1991 tattoos blazing. To be real honest, I think I look a lot like Han Solo when I wear it.
By Al McGuckin
Few could have imagined how Ron Davis Sr.’s unique new lure invention would profoundly improve the catches of bass anglers for decades when he sold his first Chatterbaits at a South Carolina tackle show 16 years ago.
Of course, dozens of manufacturers now mimic Mr. Davis’ patented lure, and for good reason – it’s easy to use – it’s versatile – and it flat-out catches fish.
But look inside the playbook of Team Toyota’s Matt Arey, who grew up in the geographic epicenter of the lure’s birth and rise to popularity, and you’ll find at least three good options worth implementing to your vibrating jig game to increase your catches even further.