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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.

BFOF Report

Glen Andrews, Bruce Holt and Mike Iaconelli

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will welcome three new members in 2023 – a pioneer of competitive fishing, an industry icon synonymous with a renowned rod company and a tournament pro from New Jersey who brought an urban flair to the highest levels of the sport.

The trio of Glen Andrews, Bruce Holt and Mike Iaconelli will be honored on Sept. 28 at the Hall’s annual induction ceremonies at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Mo. They gained entry based on voting conducted by the Hall’s 30-member selection panel and living inductees. “We are pleased that each year past inductees take a greater interest in who joins their ranks in the HOF”, said Todd Hammill, Co-Chairman of the nominations committee. “This year more than half of our living inductees took time to voluntarily vote, fulfilling their role as gatekeepers of the institution."

A true pioneer of the sport, Andrews, 93, played a key role in helping outline the rules that all bass tournament anglers still adhere to today. An accomplished tournament angler, guide and lure maker from Lead Hill, Ark., Andrews parlayed his experience and reputation into the role of rules chairman alongside Ray Scott for the first All-American tournament at Beaver Lake in 1967.

Between 1962-1966, Andrews won three Missouri State Championships, an Arkansas State Championship, was a two-time runner-up in the World Championship and a two-time World Championship winner. Despite his success in that span, he never made a single dollar in prize money. Still, his reputation as a guide and lure maker skyrocketed. He helped develop and was the first man to market what is now known as the Texas rig, referred to in the 1960s as the Andrews Slip-Sinker Worm.

Andrews has been called the “best bass angler to ever live” by the likes of fellow Hall of Famers Bill Dance, Bobby Murray, Jerry McKinnis and Scott. Dance and Murray also count Andrews among their early mentors.

As much as he loved being on the water competing in local club tournaments, Holt’s contributions to the sport came largely off the water on the business side. He was involved in the fishing industry for nearly 45 years prior to his death in 2021. Holt was best known as the quiet yet influential force that helped catapult G. Loomis to the forefront of the fishing rod category.

Throughout his 34-year tenure at G. Loomis, Holt wore many hats, ranging from heading up sales and marketing prior to Shimano’s acquisition of the company in 1997, to a nearly decade-long stint as its executive director before returning to a media communications and public relations role during his last decade with the company. He identified and supported many upcoming anglers in the pro ranks, including Ricky Green, Greg Hackney, Luke Clausen, David Walker and Mark Rose. 

Under Holt, G. Loomis leveraged its Pacific Northwest roots to expand its salmon and steelhead rod programs and placed a major emphasis on the bass fishing market, growing the G. Loomis profile and reputation by putting its rods up against the bass at fisheries like Lake El Salto, Choke Canyon, the Columbia River and the Amazon River.

BFHOF Report

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame (BFHOF) invites bass anglers both in the U.S. and Canada to support that mission by bidding on items during its ‘Classic Week’ online auction.

To participate, simply visit BidPal.net/Classic2023 and bid on a large lineup of jerseys from many Bassmaster Classic anglers, along with an assortment of fishing tackle, marine items, and many other fishing-themed gear. The auction is now live and will end at noon on Monday, March 27.

 Among the more unique items up for bid include pro angler Tyler Rivet’s ripped-sleeve jersey from his win at the B.A.S.S. Elite event on Lake Okeechobee earlier this year, a large list of new bass rods and reels being introduced at the Classic Expo from leading brands including Abu Garcia, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Lew’s, St. Croix, and Daiwa, along with lure bundles to fill any tackle box from the likes of Bizz Baits, Booyah Bait Co., Damiki, Missile Baits, Rapala, Strike King, and YUM. There’s also a special package for two to attend the 2023 BFHOF Induction Ceremony being held on Sept. 28 at Johnny Morris’ Wonder of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Mo. where the Hall’s venue is located.

BFHOF Report

To assure future efforts to protect our fisheries are supported, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Board is instituting a college scholarship program for students seeking a degree in a natural resource field with an end goal of becoming a practicing fishery manager.

Up to $15,000 will be awarded in July 2023 to the selected applicants. Applications for the scholarship are now being accepted at https://www.bassfishinghof.com/scholarship.

“Within many fishery management agencies, there is a definitive need to fill vacant positions with qualified individuals who understand and have a passion for both the sport of bass fishing and the science needed to manage those fisheries,” said BFHOF Board president John Mazurkiewicz. “Spearheaded by Gene Gilliland, Casey Shedd, and our Conservation Committee, this new scholarship program fits in ideally with the Hall’s mission of celebrating, promoting, and preserving the sport by supporting those whose future career path will focus on healthy fisheries, needed access, and clean rivers, lakes and reservoirs.”