Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame honors individuals and organizations that have made a lasting contribution to freshwater fishing in Texas.
Here's a list of our honorees to date. Videos about some can be viewed in the Fishing section of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's YouTube channel.
- Tommy Martin 2012
- Tommy Martin has enjoyed a 40-year career as a fishing guide and professional tournament angler. He qualified for 19 BassMaster Classics, won five BASS national titles and 19 national tournaments. He was the first professional bass angler to acquire cash sponsors, and his winnings make him a member of the "Million Dollar Club." Tommy fishes 250 or more days a year and still has time to help involve youth and others in the sport of fishing.
- Lonnie Stanley 2012
- Lonnie Stanley is a leader in lure design and production. Founder of Stanley Baits, Inc., Lonnie began selling his home-made jigs in 1980 and developed a multi-million-dollar business. He is also a five-time BASS Classic qualifier, volunteer and donor at many events for youth and charitable causes and former co-host of ESPNís "Sportsmanís Challenge." He currently hosts the television series "G3 Sportsman" and still makes jigs by hand.
- David L. Campbell 2011
- Known as the "Godfather of Big Bass," David Campbell manages the Toyota ShareLunker Program at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Involved with ShareLunker since it began in 1986, he has contributed a great deal to the knowledge of how best to care for big fish and has communicated this information to the public through countless interviews with newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Campbell began working for TPWD in 1965 as an assistant at the Lewisville State Fish Hatchery. He has raised and stocked millions of fish in Texas waters including black bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, crappie, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, northern pike, walleye, peacock bass, sunfish and forage species.
- Edward W. Bonn 2010
- The late Ed Bonn, a state fisheries biologist, led efforts to stock striped bass (a marine species) in Texas lakes and to develop methods to cross stripers with native white bass. Both stripers and hybrids now provide recreation and food for large numbers of anglers. Bonn was also responsible for training many biologists and technicians who came to work for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as the agency grew.
- Philip Durocher 2010
- Phil Durocher served 19 years as the director of TPWD's Inland Fisheries Division, capping a 35-year career with the department. His most visible contribution was shifting attitudes toward fishing from food to sport, especially regarding largemouth bass. The result was a largemouth bass fishery that is generally acknowledged to be the best in the nation and a vital part of the Texas economy, generating some $2 billion in economic impact each year.
- Paul Hinton 2009
- Hinton is the Texas founder and director of East Texas Get Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs. Following retirement from the insurance industry, Hinton began a new career as an outdoor writer and educator. He introduced thousands of children to fishing while partnering with TPWD to also teach boating, water safety and fish identification. His home became a warehouse for supplies, and his life revolved around putting on events to get kids fishing -- all without pay.
- Charlie Pack 2008
- Pack integrates fishing into every aspect of his life. He founded the Tadpole Charitable Foundation, which has given more than 40,000 children a chance to fish. His "Fishing Country" television show has aired on several Texas stations for 18 years and won a Telly Award in 1992. Pack has won bass and crappie fishing championships and is the inventor of the "Pack Pole," an 11-foot telescoping crappie rod.
- William B. "Doc" Shelton 2007
- A physician, angler and conservationist, Shelton was recognized for his lifelong efforts to promote fishing, protect the environment, and get young people hooked on the outdoors. Among other accomplishments, he co-founded the His and Hers Couples Bass Club of Lufkin, served as president of the Friends of Sam Rayburn Reservoir, helped revitalize the Texas State Bass Tournament in the 1990s, and created the Totally Awesome Fishing Adventure to raise money to benefit cancer patients.
- Albert S. "Buddy" Bradley 2006
- Bradley, a Dallas resident, devoted much of his life to the study of largemouth bass and how to fish for them, helping to popularize bass fishing by giving how-to-fish presentations across the nation. He worked with B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott in the early years of that organization, giving seminars on bass fishing with Roland Martin, John Powell, Ray Murski and others. Bradley served as an advisor to the Shakespeare and Bomber Bait companies for many years. He was an early proponent of catch-and-release fishing and still gives fishing presentations as time allows.
- Richard M. Hart 2006
- Hart has spent years raising funds to help preserve the tradition of fishing. He coupled a successful business career with a long record of volunteer service in the Dallas area. Following a visit to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Hart became involved with efforts to increase the center's ability to educate youngsters about fishing, conservation and the environment. He led the successful effort to secure private funding for a $2.3 million structure, the Johnny Morris Fishing Conservation Center, at TFFC.
- Ray Murski 2005
- A former professional angler and former owner of Strike King Lures, Murski is co-owner of Bliss-Murski Sales Co., representatives for a wide variety of outdoor gear. He has hosted more than 50,000 youngsters on his ranch for hunting, fishing and camping.
- Michael "Shorty" Powers 2004
- Powers led efforts to involve physically challenged people in outdoor activities. He founded Turning P.O.I.N.T. (Paraplegics on Independent Nature Trips), an organization dedicated to making it possible for physically challenged people to enjoy outdoor activities. He serves on several fishing-related advisory boards.
- Skeeter Boats 2003
- Skeeter built the first bass boat in Marshall, Texas, in 1948. Interest in bass fishing exploded beginning in the 1950s as Texas built many new reservoirs and bass boats, electronic fish finders and plastic artificial baits came on the market. Skeeter continues to be an industry leader in boat-building and in the sponsorship of youth programs and education.
- Kathy Magers 2002
- Magers, a professional woman angler, spearheaded efforts to involve women and children in fishing. Magers hosted two family-oriented outdoor television series and served as national spokesperson for the Women's Sportfishing Foundation. She was instrumental in convincing B.A.S.S. to develop a national professional bass fishing tournament circuit for women.
- Sabine River Authority 2000
- The SRA is the controlling authority of Lake Fork, the premier bass fishing lake in Texas. During planning and construction of the lake, SRA cooperated with TPWD biologists in making the lake the best it could be.
- Leonard RannE 2000
- Ranne was founder of Texas Black Bass Unlimited and Freshwater Anglers Association, two major conservation organizations in Texas. TBBU contributed over $500,000 to help build the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and raised money for a number of other projects benefiting anglers and the environment.
- Sugar Ferris 1999
- Ferris and her husband, Bob, founded Bass'n Gal, the first tournament circuit for women professional bass anglers.
- Charlie Inman 1999
- While a TPWD fisheries biologist at the Tyler Fish Hatchery, Inman conducted studies that proved Florida largemouth bass will outgrow native (northern) largemouth bass in Texas. His study opened the door for stocking of Florida largemouth bass into many Texas lakes. As a result, the state record for largemouth bass was broken many times, reaching the current 18.18 pounds in 1992.
- Earl Golding 1998
- Golding is known as the father of bass fishing tournaments. A sports writer for the Waco Tribune-Herald, Golding started the first bass fishing tournament, the Texas State Championship, which is still being held after 50-plus years.
- Nick Crème 1998
- Crème invented the modern plastic worm in 1949 while living in Ohio. He later moved his company to Tyler, Texas, to take advantage of the exploding market for fishing tackle as bass fishing became more popular in Texas.
- Bob Kemp 1997
- Former head of TPWD Inland Fisheries Division, Kemp used his own money to introduce Florida largemouth bass to Texas. Kemp also served as the head of the Coastal Fisheries division and was a key player in the move to stop the commercial harvest of red drum.
- R.D. Hull 1997
- Hull engaged the Zero Hour Bomb Co. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, maker of explosive devices for fracturing oil wells, to manufacture his invention, a closed-face spinning reel anyone could cast easily. (Some manipulation of letters from the company's name resulted in one of the most famous names in fishing, ZEBCO.) The easy-to-cast reel helped make fishing more popular.
- Jackie Hewlett 1997
- Hewlett was a fishing lure collector and served as secretary-treasurer of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club (NFLCC). The NFLCC is a non-profit, educational, international organization founded in 1976. The primary objectives of the NFLCC are to foster an awareness of fishing tackle collecting as a hobby and to assist members in the location, identification and trading of vintage fishing-related equipment.
- Floyd Mabry 1997
- An early bass fishing expert, Mabry promoted bass fishing and traveled throughout the country fishing with leading outdoor writers, distributors and tackle shop owners, demonstrating the virtues of fishing with Bomber baits.