I Met a Polar Bear, Face-to-Face! Thanks to Johnny Morris, YOU CAN TOO

  • Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium OPENS Sep, 21, 2017
  • Will be Largest, most interactive, dynamic Fish and Wildlife “Experience” in the World.
  • Located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Will also be the New Home for BASS FISHING HALL OF FAME

By Forrest Fisher

The hair on my arm shot up as if I had just walked into a static field of electricity. My heart rate quickened.  The face of the bear was powerful and profound. The moment was unforgettable. It was extraordinary.  It was sacred and it was full of Polar Bear ambition.  It was striking.

Image is courtesy of Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

The largest, most immersive fish and wildlife attraction in the world offers a video that did that to me! Visit: https://youtu.be/QnG5tf_Pp3I.

 

The Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium will celebrate its grand opening on Sep. 21, 2017.  Located in Springfield, Missouri, the 320,000 square foot structure will feature exhibits that manage to create new moments of introduction to conservation, with a focus on providing education and knowledge of wildlife, fish and sea creatures for all that visit.

Wonders of Wildlife will feature a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium adventure and will showcase 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, as well as more than 70,000 square feet of immersive wildlife galleries and dioramas.  Plus, more than a mile of immersive trails and exhibits.

Wonders of Wildlife will also offer another giant reason to visit.  Officials from the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and noted conservationist, Johnny Morris, recently announced that Wonders of Wildlife will also provide a new, permanent home for the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will honor bass fishing legends and was developed in partnership with the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), the exhibit includes a fascinating collection of artifacts and memorabilia, including authentic rods and reels, antique lures and historical photos.  More than 60 Hall of Fame members will be featured including Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin, Johnny Morris, Ray Scott, President George H.W. Bush and many others. Several artifacts date back to the early days of B.A.S.S. tournaments in the 1960s, including the scale used to weigh record catches and the first BASSMASTER Classic victory trophy.

Image is courtesy of Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

“To be part of a transformational project like Wonders of Wildlife and share the story of bass fishing with generations of future visitors is a dream come true,” said Donald Howell, president of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame board of directors. “There is no better location to honor the individuals that have played a crucial role in bass fishing. Visitors will be blown away by all that Wonders of Wildlife encompasses, and we’re grateful to Johnny Morris for his partnership and bringing this vision to life in such compelling fashion.”

The site will offer extraordinary experience for visitors with a collection of exhibits and galleries that showcase national conservation organizations within a single “must-see” destination experience, sharing the story of hunters and anglers conserving wildlife and the outdoors.

Other partner galleries include The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Fishing Hall of Fame, the Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns, the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, the National Archery Hall of Fame and many others.

“Our mission is to establish a world-class destination that celebrates people who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water,” said Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, a conservationist and the visionary behind the Wonders of Wildlife. “There are so many notable hunters and anglers that have played an important role in the conservation of our precious natural resources and habitats.  We are honored to welcome the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame to help further enrich that story for our visitors.”

Founded in 2000, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to all anglers, manufacturers and members of the media who further the sport of bass fishing.  Honorees include notable contributors to the sport who elevate it to the professional level and lesser-known supporters that have and continue to sustain bass fishing, both honoring the past and looking to the future.

While previous plans called for a stand-alone location in Alabama, organizers recognized the opportunity to reach a far larger audience by partnering with Wonders of Wildlife.

For more information, visit www.wondersofwildlife.org.  For information about the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, visit www.bassfishinghof.com.

 

BASS FISHING HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES 2016 INDUCTEES

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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.”

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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.

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George H. W. BushThe 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.

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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.