SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – After having to cancel its annual induction dinner in 2020, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors is ratcheting up its efforts to honor both the 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame inductees at this year’s celebration, taking place on Thursday, September 30 at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium. The efforts to celebrate those who have made a lasting impact on the sport would not be possible without the wide-ranging support from across the bass fishing industry.
“Over the past few years, our induction dinner has become a must-attend event, and that has again proven true in 2021 with the support we’re receiving from companies, past inductees, pro anglers, and others who share our passion for the sport,” said John Mazurkiewicz, president of the BFHOF Board. “We can’t say thanks enough, especially to Major League Fishing, Rather Outdoors and B.A.S.S. for their involvement in helping us make the induction banquet a first-class event.”
MLF is sponsoring an online auction featuring memorabilia and one-of-a-kind outdoor experiences during the week leading up to the induction ceremony. Rather Outdoors, the parent company of Lew’s, Strike King and Zebco, will sponsor a pre-dinner event within the BFHOF portion of the Wonders of Wildlife venue where inductees’ plaques will be unveiled and commemorative jackets will be presented. B.A.S.S. will serve as presenting sponsor of the dinner that will precede the Hall of Famers’ induction speeches.
“It’s great to see the bass fishing industry truly come together to celebrate our sport for this one night,” Mazurkiewicz added.
The 2020 induction class features Steve Bowman and Jay Yelas along with posthumous inductees Bryan Kerchal, Ron Lindner and James Heddon. Gene Gilliland, Trip Weldon and the late Jason Lucas comprise the 2021 class.
Along with financial assistance from presenting sponsors MLF, Rather Outdoors, and B.A.S.S., many more leading bass fishing industry firms have offered support, including ‘Gold’ sponsors Bass Cat Boats, PRADCO Outdoor Brands, and Wired2fish.com, ‘Silver’ sponsors AFTCO and Daiwa, and ‘Bronze’ sponsors In-Fisherman, Phoenix Boats, Simms Fishing, and Shimano.
Starting on Tuesday, Sept. 28, the popular BFHOF online auction will go live online. Items available for bidding include tournament jerseys and fishing trips with professional bass anglers, bucket list fishing adventures at Angler’s Inn on Mexico’s Lake El Salto and the smallmouth-filled waters of Lake of the Woods in Canada, along with loads of rods and reels, lures and fishing and boating accessories. As noted by BFHOF Board member Bruce Stanton, “we’re honored that 2001 HOF inductee Bill Dance has donated an exclusive bass fishing trip with him on a private lake in his home state of Tennessee. You can be assured this will be a most sought-after auction item.”
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. 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 protected].