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Kevin VanDamKevin VanDam

Dania Beach, FL – Kevin VanDam has won yet another honor.

The Michigan pro, who recently retired from professional bass competition, was among five angling greats named to the 2024 class of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame.

This year’s inductees into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame represent angling luminaries who have made significant contributions to the sport. In addition to VanDam, they include James A. Henshall, a pioneer in bass fishing who revolutionized angling techniques and fish culture; Tom Pfleger, whose four-decade career is marked by 24 IGFA World Records and pioneering environmental research; Nick Smith, whose billfishing prowess and conservation efforts have set global standards; and Ralph ‘Agie’ Vicente, whose half-century commitment to marine conservation and ethical angling practices has left a lasting impact on Latin American fisheries. 

Elected unanimously by the IGFA Board of Trustees, the 2024 class will join 146 legendary anglers, scientists, conservationists, writers, and fishing industry leaders whose contributions to sport fishing are forever enshrined and celebrated in the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame.

“As we welcome these distinguished individuals into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame, we celebrate not just their remarkable achievements but their enduring legacy in shaping the very fabric of recreational angling,” said IGFA President, Jason Schratwieser. “Their unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and conservation serves as a beacon of inspiration for anglers worldwide. In honoring their contributions, we reaffirm our commitment to preserving the rich heritage of our sport for generations to come.”

BFHOF Report

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame (BFHOF) has announced its second year of its Fishery Management Scholarship Program that provides financial support and encouragement to high school and college bass anglers pursuing careers in fisheries management.

Up to $15,000 will be awarded in June 2024 to selected applicants. Applications are now open and can be submitted through the BFHOF website: https://www.bassfishinghof.com/

“Many fishery management agencies face a growing need for qualified individuals who possess both a deep understanding of the science behind fishery management and a passion for the sport of bass fishing,” said BFHOF Board President John Mazurkiewicz. “Spearheaded by Gene Gilliland and our dedicated Conservation/Education Committee, this scholarship program aligns perfectly with the Hall’s mission of celebrating, promoting, and preserving the sport by investing in the future of healthy fisheries, accessible waters, and clean aquatic ecosystems.”

Scholarship eligibility:

  • High school seniors committed to enrolling in a four-year college or university program
  • Undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in a four-year college, university, or accredited graduate program
  • Declared or planned major in biology, aquatic ecology, fisheries, marine science, or a closely related natural resources field

Application requirements:

  • Short essay outlining career goals in natural resources and describing the applicant’s dream agency job
  • Proof of membership in a recognized bass fishing organization or valid fishing license
  • Completed BFHOF Fishery Management Scholarship Program application form

Selection process:

Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of distinguished individuals involved in fishery management across the U.S. and Canada. The panel includes Phil Morlock, Director of Government Affairs for the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association; Chris Horton, Senior Director of Fisheries Policy for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Ross Self, Chief of Inland Fisheries for the South Carolina DNR; and Dr. Mark Rogers, Tennessee Cooperative Fishery Research Unit Leader at Tennessee Tech University.

Application deadline: April 15, 2024

Scholarship award:

  • Up to $15,000 total to be distributed among selected recipients
  • Awarded as a stipend for school-related expenses

For more information:

Traditions Media Report

Fisherman with nice crappieFisherman with nice crappie

Recreational anglers have long benefited from advancements in technology. From fully-rigged fishing boats filled with high-tech electronics to amazing reels, rods, lures and even superlines, better tech has equated to more effective, fun, and productive results. But there is concern among some anglers about one of the latest and most incredible advances to hit the fishing scene. It is called forward-facing sonar (FFS), and angling experts are heralding it as far superior to any recreational fishing electronics feature ever created.

“This technology has been around for about three years now and it is truly amazing,” says Patrick Neu, president of the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA). “It is, quite frankly, far superior to any fish-finding electronics I’ve ever used, and therein lies the concern,” states Neu. “As the technology comes down in price and even more anglers utilize it to find and catch greater numbers of fish in both freshwater and saltwater, there will be much higher catch rates. In species that are targeted for harvest, especially, higher catch rates ultimately lead to more stress on the fisheries.”

For this reason, continues Neu, the National Professional Anglers Association feels it is important to do its part as steward of the resource to help fisheries managers understand the effect this technology may have on fish stocks. “We need to help fisheries managers across the country understand how effective this new technology can be, and we need to assist them in any way we can as they begin to look into the effects of increased catches due to this new technology.”

BFHOF Report

Supporting those whose future career paths will focus on healthy fisheries, essential access, and clean rivers, lakes and reservoirs, The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors has announced the 10 recipients of the inaugural Fishery Management Scholarship program stipends. Each of the winners will receive a $2,500 stipend to assist with undergraduate and post-graduate educational needs during the 2023-24 school year. 

“Through the Board’s many contacts in fishery management positions at state, federal and provincial levels, we are aware of the need for future fishery and natural resource professionals,” said BFHOF Board president John Mazurkiewicz. “We also know many of those same folks come from the ranks of recreational anglers, especially those who enjoy bass fishing. This project not only abides by our mission of celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport, but it also has an impact on well-managed recreational fisheries throughout the U.S. and Canada. Along with assisting these students financially so they can pursue their educational goals, the Bass Fishing HOF is also doing a small part to support the business side of our sport.”

BFHOF Report

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors will provide financial support to six conservation projects that will enhance habitat in lakes in Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, along with supporting a smallmouth bass tracking study at Lake St. Clair in Michigan.

To help maintain Lake St. Clair as one of the premier smallmouth bass fisheries, the BFHOF Board will help fund an acoustic telemetry tracking project to study smallmouth bass movement within the fishery. The data collected will allow MDNR fishery managers to address questions related to the dispersal and movement of bass after being released following tournaments, along with evaluating the survival of fish post-release. The DNR will establish a ‘Class Bass’ program that allows K-12 students to adopt and track the movement of acoustically-tagged fish and learn about the importance of smallmouth bass to the Lake St. Clair ecosystem. They’ve proposed to partner with youth, high school, and college tournaments by providing those anglers with a data collection protocol for fish caught, weighed, and released during their event.