Remembering Bill Gautsche

We wish to send our deepest sympathies out to the Gautsche family and the fishing community, as we all lost a great icon this week. Bill Gautsche left us all after sharing over 60 years with us in the fishing tackle industry. An icon of the industry, Bill shared his life and fishing stories with thousands of friends over the years.He was a lure inventor, an outstanding fishing guide as a youth, one of the most important Midwest tackle reps in the history of the sportfishing industry, and a great teacher of fishing to literally tens of thousands at consumer sport shows over several decades, tirelessly working 12-16 hours a day at these shows, teaching casting and fishing skills. He was a pioneer for Zebco and countless other name brands.

Though Bill had a historic and well-documented career in the outdoors industry – he may be best known for his work with the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum. Since 1979, Bill was the only chairperson on the Hall’s nominations and awards committee. Bill became an Executive Board member for the Hall of Fame in 2005, and from 2009-2010 served as its Executive Board Vice President. For the last two years, Bill shared his leadership and guidance as he served as the Executive Board President of the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.

In 2006 Bill received his greatest honor and became enshrined in the Hall of Fame for “his significant and lasting contribution to the sport of fresh water fishing on a national level.”

Bill will be greatly missed by many members of the sportfishing industry; our industry is a better place because of men like Bill making it what it is today.