Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame to Induct Six Legends in 2024
(Hayward, Wisconsin) The International Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame will be inducting six individuals into their 2024 class. This recognition is bestowed on those that have spent a great share of their lives promoting, educating, and sharing their passion for fresh water fishing in a manner that positively impacts the sport for the millions of anglers around the world. There are many who love to fish, but few that can be considered Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Famers.
Albert Gagliarducci – Massachusetts
Albert Gagliarducci’s first foray into making his own lures involved melting lead in a smelting pot in the backyard of his two-room rental apartment and pouring it into his hand-made plaster-of-paris molds. Details were hand painted using a collection of his wife’s nail polish. His first lure was the Shad Dart and he had just completed making a can full when he received a call from Frank Sousa, the legendary sportswriter for the Springfield Daily News and Republican newspapers with an invite for fishing the next day. It was a great day on the water, and it was the Shad Dart that seemed to be the reason for their success. That was the beginning of Gagliarducci’s lure business as an article penned by Sousa created a huge demand for the Shad Dart. The lures that followed the Shad Dart were Eel Tails, Needle Fish, Darters, Mambo Minnow, Floating Rattle Popper, Super Mack, Mr. Bunker, Floating Rattle Popper and the Tu Starts.
Looking for a new challenge, Gagliarducci sold his first venture and founded his second company, Gag’s International, in 2003. He introduced the Slammer Lure, and it was during this period he worked on his wooden lure line.
Gagliarducci went beyond his lure businesses to promote angling. In 1990, he began a Friday segment on the evening news with NBC affiliate WWLP, Springfield, MA., titled Gone Fishing, sharing his love for the sport. Each broadcast was aired again each Monday morning. Gagliarducci created over 700 episodes during that 11-year run. He has also been involved with many fishing organizations through sponsorships and promotions.
Tim Huffman has been educating fishermen for over 35 years, giving them how-to information for catching crappies. His articles, columns and photos have appeared in many regional and national publications. He served 15-years as editor of Crappie Masters Tournament Trail Magazine and was co-founder and editor of Crappie NOW Magazine where he is currently senior writer. He has published nine books on crappie fishing and in 2022 Huffman was presented with the Wade Bourne Communicator of the Year award by the Legends of the Outdoors organization.
Jerry Martin has dedicated much time, expertise, outreach, and resources to sharing the joy and value of fishing while protecting, growing, and promoting native freshwater habitats for the benefit of wildlife and people. Jerry’s significant contributions include conserving diverse habitats and vital freshwater ecosystems.
Martin has a proven track record of providing long-term benefits for freshwater ecosystems, their wildlife (including fish), and the people who enjoy them. He has gone to great measures to conserve and celebrate the Midwest’s natural resources through land and financial donations.
Martin is a life member of the National Fishing Lure Collector’s Club (NFLCC) and joined early in his collecting career. According to NFLCC, “His 43 plus articles in the NFLCC Magazine over the years are a wealth of knowledge. It is safe to say that his articles on fly rod lures provide the greatest and most authoritative source of fly rod lure history, marketing and construction that exists today.”
According to people in the NFLCC Martin had the largest and most complete collection of fly rod lures. In 2019, Jerry decided it was time to pass his fly rod lures on to others to enjoy and began selling them. He donated funds from the sale of his lures to conservation organizations to help purchase land. He was inducted into the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club Hall of Fame in 2020.
From the late 1960’s through the mid 1990’s, no fisherman was more emblematic of the rise of big bass fishing in Southern California than “Lunker” Bill Murphy. During this span, his monthly contributions to the catch census on the San Diego city and county lakes following the introduction of Florida strain largemouth were remarkable. As those fish grew, so did Murphy’s reputation.
Murphy had been introduced to plastic worm techniques in the early 1960’s by the experts of the era. Besides his plastic worm success with a technique called “stitching,” – a method he pioneered and which Lunker City Lure company adapted products for in the 1990’s – Murphy also excelled with live baits. Later in his career he added lead core trolling to his repertoire as well.
In 1992 he got the notion to share his experiences and knowledge and he compiled the materials that made up the basis for his 1992 book, “In Pursuit of Giant Bass,” co-written with Chicagoan Paul Prorok.
San Diego fishery biologist Larry Bottroff, who personally observed, measured, weighed, and handled many of Murphy’s catches over 20-plus years, described “Lunker” Bill as, “one of the greatest bass fishermen of our time.”
Dan Small has written more than 1,000 articles for national and regional magazines, including Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, Game & Fish publications, Wisconsin Natural Resources, Wisconsin Trails, Petersen’s Publications, Fishing the North Country, Flyfisher, In Fisherman, Great Lakes Angler, Fins & Feathers, Fishing Facts, Fishing Tackle Retailer, and others. He served as editor of Wisconsin Outdoor News from 1993 to 1998, and as contributing editor from 1998 to the present.
From 1984 to 2020, he hosted the weekly TV show Outdoor Wisconsin, which aired on PBS stations throughout the U.S. Since 2006, he has hosted and produced the weekly radio show, Outdoors Radio, which airs on 21 terrestrial stations in Wisconsin and Minnesota and is available on multiple podcast platforms. Roughly half of Dan’s published articles and broadcast segments have focused on freshwater fishing and water conservation issues.
Dan’s books include: 100 Wisconsin Fishing Trips (co-author, 1982), The Official Outdoor Wisconsin Cookbook (co-author, 1988), and Fish Wisconsin (1990, 1993). He has hosted and produced numerous videos, including Gamefish! (1988) and Learning to Fish for Stream Trout (2022). His articles, broadcasts and photos have won more than 300 awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers.
Roger Stegall – Mississippi
Roger Stegall is a full-time professional bass fishing guide from Iuka, Mississippi who was inducted into the Mississippi Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2019. He has over 30 years’ experience guiding on Pickwick Lake and is widely known for his prowess in chasing the elusive smallmouth bass. Roger has caught more trophy smallmouth bass in tournament fishing and through his guide service than most fisherman could ever dream of.
Roger’s dedication to his craft and his reputation makes him a most sought-after guide by serious fishermen from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and beyond. He fishes more than 200 days each year and has seen many of his clients catch their personal best bass with him on Pickwick Lake.
Aside from his professional relationships, Roger is a pleasure to fish with as he strives to not only see that his clients catch fish, but he is always eager to share his knowledge of bass fishing techniques and products. From senior-aged anglers to young beginners, Roger’s clients keep returning year after year because of the enjoyable time spent in the boat with him.
After many years in the professional guide business, Roger still has a passion for the sport, and desires to see that passion passed down to younger anglers and he is a true ambassador for the sport of bass fishing.
The Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum is the international headquarters for education, recognition and promotion of fresh water sportfishing. Their mission is to develop and maintain the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and its museum for the preservation and display of historical artifacts of fresh water sportfishing. They strive to conduct and maintain a program for the recognition of persons, organizations and institutions that have made significant and lasting contributions to the sport and heritage of fresh water fishing. The Hall of Fame conducts and maintains a program for qualifying, compiling and publishing all fresh water sportfishing records. The Hall of Fame also maintains a library that disseminates information and acts as the clearing house for historical and contemporary publications for the fresh water sportfishing industry. The Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame institutes programs to foster, maintain and improve the environment for future generations through promotion and education. Visit their web site: www.freshwater-fishing.org
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October 1, 2023