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Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov [LH]

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TPWD News Release — July 7, 2010

Legendary Angler-Artist to be Featured at July Event at TFFC

ATHENS—Professional angler and artist Judy Wong of Many, Louisiana, will be a featured exhibitor at the Art’s Better Outside show and Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest national expo at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center July 17. She will show and sell her wildlife art and demonstrate fishing techniques.

Wong is an accomplished angler with a long record of tournament wins on the Bassn’ Gal Tour, the Women’s Bass Fishing Association circuit and the Women’s Bassmaster Tour. She won the Women’s Bassmaster Tour championship in 2007 and 2009. She is a professional bass fishing guide and guided on Fayette County Lake before moving to her new home on Toledo Bend Reservoir.

She is also a wildlife artist and donated artwork to the fundraising effort to build the Richard M. Hart and Johnny Morris Conservation Center in Athens.

In 2008, following her WBT championship win, Wong was invited to the White House to be recognized by President George W. Bush for her angling achievements. “As a member of the Toledo Bend Lake Association, I was chosen to be the 2008 BASS Unlimited poster artist, creating an original acrylic painting and 250 limited edition posters,” Wong said. “I presented a framed poster, along with my signature series titanium American Rodsmiths rod, a Quantum Tour Edition reel and some hand-selected Gary Yamamoto baits, to President Bush when I made my trip to the White House.”

Wong regards her trip to the White House as the highlight of her angling career, but she says her most memorable and rewarding experience was going to Germany with fellow anglers Gary Yamamoto and Roland Martin to visit deploying and returning military service men and women. “That was so emotional!” Wong said. “It was one of my proudest experiences, to be able to thank these soldiers who lay their lives on the line for our freedom.”

Recently Wong was notified of her induction into the Legends of the Outdoors National Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. She joins a long list of outdoor legends such as Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops; professional anglers Bill Dance, Hank Parker, Gary Yamamoto, Shaw Grigsby, Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin and Kathy Magers; BASS founder Ray Scott; businessmen Toxey Haas and Forrest Wood; and outdoor TV host Wade Bourne.

Also to be inducted with Wong are Charlie Ingram, Peggy Vallery, Dick Cabela, Mary Cabela, and Jack Minor (posthumously).  In addition, Ducks Unlimited will be recognized as the 2010 American Outdoor Organization of the Year.

“Some people consider me a legend, but I consider myself just ‘a woman who loves to fish,’” Wong said. “I would love to see every child get the opportunity to experience the joys of the outdoors, whether it be fishing, hunting, camping or whatever outdoor pursuit.

“I love the outdoors and have been very fortunate to pursue my dreams and make a career out of fishing,” Wong continued. “My fishing has allowed me to travel all over the country and to different parts of the world such as Portugal, Spain, Germany and South Africa. My travels have always been memorable, but the people I have met along the way—the men, women and children who love to fish as much as I do—are the ones that have touched my life the most.”

Wong was born in San Francisco, California, but moved to Houston, Texas, at age two. “My dad took me fishing at an early age, catching bluegills, catfish and anything that swam,” Wong recalled. “I fell in love with fishing and being outdoors.”

Wong said being a role model for young girls and boys is her most important responsibility. “They are the future of our sport, and it is with pride and passion that I help elevate this sport and pass it on to the next generation,” she said.

At the July 17 event at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center Wong will be joined by Texas State Artist Sam Caldwell and a number of other artists. Student artists from across the nation will be at TFFC to receive awards for winning their state fish-art contests. Winners of the Best of Show and Art of Conservation Stamp Awards will be announced, and visitors will vote for the People’s Choice Award.

The expo is sponsored by Wildlife Forever and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. The State-Fish Art Contest is an annual national competition for students in grades four through 12 and aims to involve young people in conservation through art.

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