Despite the postponement of its annual induction ceremony, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame furthered its mission of celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport of bass fishing, all due to the support of numerous donors and nearly 1,000 active bidders to its just completed virtual fundraising auction.
“Not only did nearly all the major brands that offer rods and reels, lures, clothing, boating and fishing accessories come through with great products for all levels of bass anglers, but we also had an outpouring of support from pro bass anglers from all the major tournament circuits who offered guided trips,” said Daiwa’s Curt Arakawa, who serves on BFHOF Board’s auction/fundraising committee. “Another special bonus this year were HOF inductees, including Jimmy Houston, Bob Sealy, Kevin VanDam, Rick Clunn – and 2020 inductees Steve Bowman and Jay Yelas – offering unique fishing and hunting trips and experiences that were key to helping the Board reach its fundraising goals.”
A portion of the funds raised will assist in keeping exhibits and artifacts updated at the Hall’s venue within Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium & Museum. Additionally, the BFHOF Board recently awarded financial grants to bass clubs and youth fishing organizations for worthy bass fishing conservation projects and intends to fund more such efforts in the future.
“Plus, we’ll continue to host recognition events and award our ‘meritorious service’ honors at major bass fishing functions, tentatively planned in 2021 for Redcrest, the MLF Bass Pro Tour championship in Tulsa, Okla., and the Bassmaster Classic in Fort Worth, Texas,” notes BFHOF Board President John Mazurkiewicz. “And then we’ll look forward to our 2021 induction dinner, taking place at the White River Conference Center next door to the Bass Pro Shops flagship store and WOW in Springfield next September. We’ll honor our 2020 inductees, including Bowman and Yelas, along with James Heddon, Bryan Kerchal and Ron Lindner, as well as our 2021 inductees to be announced in March.”