SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – 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.
The phrase “Going Ike” was a foreign concept before Iaconelli burst onto the tournament scene in the early 2000s. Ever since, the New Jersey native has brought an entertaining and, at times, polarizing style to pro bass fishing. His cries of “Never give up!” after a dramatic final-day catch to seal the win at the 2003 Bassmaster Classic became his signature catch phrase and helped frame his legendary career.
Iaconelli has won at all levels of the sport. He is currently the only angler in history to have won the B.A.S.S. Federation National title, the Bassmaster Classic and the Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year title. An 11-time winner across Bassmaster and FLW/MLF events with more than $3 million in earnings over his 25-plus year career, Iaconelli has left an indelible mark on the sport both on and off the water.
He’s been an influential personality and fan favorite. Few anglers have been able to parlay their fishing success into building a personal brand in the way Iaconelli has. He is co-founder of The Bass University, an in-depth series of seminars and instructional materials featuring other pro anglers who serve as speakers/instructors, as well as the host of the Ike Live podcast. He’s also starred in several fishing-based TV shows that helped bring bass fishing to a broader, mainstream audience. He also co-founded The Ike Foundation with his wife to engage youth anglers through events and scholarships.
“We look forward to hosting our new inductees and their family members on Sept. 28 to not only honor them for what they have done for bass fishing, but to also bring together many in the bass fishing industry to join us in our mission of celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport,” said HOF Board president John Mazurkiewicz. “This is truly a special night in the bass fishing world, and we can’t say thanks enough to all our supporters who help us make it all happen.”
For more information on the accomplishments of the 2023 HOF inductees, visit the biography page on all Hall inductees.
About the BFHOF
The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization led by a volunteer board of directors and is dedicated to celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport of bass fishing. Since 2017, the Hall’s inductees and memorabilia representing the history of bass fishing is showcased in Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri, where it has rapidly become a popular destination. The 2023 HOF Induction banquet will be held September 28, 2023 at Wonders of Wildlife. For more information about the Hall, its mission, and to become a supporting member, visit www.BassFishingHOF.com, or contact BFHOF executive director Barbara Bowman at email@example.com.