A former United States president, a noted bass fishing educator, and one of the most innovative designers of soft plastic lures will join the current 59 members when they are formally inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in March. During their fall meeting, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Board of Directors honored former President George H.W. Bush, Billy Murray and Gary Yamamoto at the Hall’s annual induction dinner. The event took place at the DoubleTree Hilton in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday, March 3.
“While serving as both the Vice-President and as our President, George Bush took exceptional interest in fisheries, water access and conservation issues. President Bush is also a pretty good angler himself according to fellow Hall member Ray Scott,” said BFHOF Board president Sammy Lee. “Billy Murray has helped thousands of bass anglers find more fishing success through his involvement with the Bass Fishing Institute and his idea for a traveling “Hawg Trough”, and Gary Yamamoto continues to develop some of the best baits out there. Yamamoto is an accomplished angler in his own right.”
Gary Yamamoto – Yamamoto, founder of Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, is credited with numerous innovations in the design and manufacturing of soft plastic lures. His Senko is one of the most important lure developments in recent years and his other creations, including the Hula Grub, are mainstays in anglers tackle boxes the world over. A very successful professional angler in his own right, Yamamoto sponsors numerous pros in the United States, Europe and Japan, and is also publisher of Inside Line Magazine.
George H. W. Bush – The 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush had a major and positive impact on sportfishing in general and bass fishing in particular during his term in office. As Vice President, Bush played a key role in the passage of the Wallop-Breaux amendments to the Sport Fish Restoration Act, which generates more than $650 million per year for sportfish restoration, access and other fishing and boating projects. In 2014 he received the inaugural “Keep America Fishing” Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong personal commitment to recreational fishing and conservation of America’s fisheries and wetlands. During his term as President, Bush established the first national policy goal of “no net loss” of wetlands, he established 56 new wildlife refuges, restored 3 million acres of wetlands and signed the Clean Air Act reauthorization that required cleaner burning fuels. A personal friend of Ray Scott, Johnny Morris and other leaders in the sportfishing industry, Bush used the “bully pulpit” of his office to promote recreational fishing.
Billy Murray – Billy is the twin brother of fishing legend Bobby Murray. While his brother is best known for his tournament prowess, Billy was making a name for himself behind the scenes within the industry. Murray has been all over the bass fishing world. In 1975, Murray formed and organized the Bass Fishing Institute, a forerunner of today’s Bass University. Murray traveled the country with a select group of anglers educating tens of thousands on bass fishing. As part of that effort, Murray created a 30-feet long traveling aquarium commonly referred to as the “Hawg Trough.” Those aquariums are still used today and are a common part of the fishing world. Murray, an employee of PRADCO for almost three decades, also was instrumental in designing many of today’s popular lures. In addition, he served as cameraman/producer for 10 years on the “Fishin’ Hole” show in its early years of becoming the longest running outdoor show on television. In the 1990s, Murray, along with his brother Bobby, starred in their own television show “The Guys,” that aired on ESPN.
About The Hall of Fame — The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization dedicated to all anglers, manufacturers, tackle dealers, media and other related companies who further the sport of bass fishing. In February 2013 the board of directors announced the completion of a decade-long, exhaustive quest to secure a permanent home with the selection of Cullman, Alabama as the future site of the Hall – and what will now be the International Bass Fishing Center. The IBFC site will be constructed as a joint project with the City of Cullman, Cullman County and the City of Good Hope – a project that includes an adjacent civic/convention center, all of which will be housed on the 110-acre parcel known as the Burrow property. The Hall will enjoy a dedicated 30 acres of the property, which will include ponds, gardens and an aquatic-education center. The entire project is estimated to cost in excess $17 million with structures that will encompass 101,000 square feet. Dependent on fundraising efforts, the BFHOF Board hopes to break ground in fall 2016. Support the BFHOF by becoming a member. Call 888.690.2277 for more information.