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  • IGFA | William K. Carpenter
    Trophy Clubs Conserve Our Work FISHERIES RESEARCH MANAGEMENT IGFA Great Marlin Race Billfish Conservation Act Conservation News Resources Socioeconomic Resources Regional Fisheries Bodies Information Exchange Position Statements Educate IGFA School of Sportfishing Observer Training IGFA Junior Anglers Fishing Summer Camp Education and Outreach Programs Release Recommendations Education Staff Volunteer Opportunities Resources Videos PHOTO GALLERY IGFA Publications E Newsletters Species Database Captains and Guides IGFA Mobile Weigh Stations Support Join or Renew Make a Gift Shop Upcoming Events Advertising Opportunities Contact Donor Opportunities Donor Societies Member Discounts Membership Benefits William K Carpenter Click here for more IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame videos 1919 1987 1998 Inductee Bill Carpenter devoted 28 years of his life to serving IGFA During that time he served as President 1960 1975 and Chairman of the Board of Trustees 1975 1987 but is best remembered as one of the outstanding bluefin tuna anglers of all time Although big bluefin were Carpenter s favorite quarry he also traveled extensively around the billfishing circuit including Cabo Blanco Peru where he caught three black marlin in the 1 000 pound category the largest weighing in at 1 241 pounds Still Carpenter s renown as an angler centers on tuna Anglers in the Bahamas once reported that Carpenter outfought 15 giant bluefin tuna off Bimini and Cat Cay in a single day Basically shy and unassuming the former World War II fighter pilot was known as a spirited hard nosed competitor A seven time winner of the Cat Cay Tuna Tournament he also served four years on the U S Team in the International Tuna Cup Match at Wedgeport Nova Scotia Carpenter was a pioneer in the practice of tagging and releasing game fish Of over 600 bluefin tuna Carpenter caught during his lifetime most were tagged and released In the

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  • IGFA | Henry Chee
    and shore was by carrier pigeon Marlin fishing required supreme effort and sacrifice But catching marlin in Hawaii is what Henry Chee did and he did it better than anyone Born in Honolulu in 1910 Henry and his wife Ellen moved to Kona in 1931 where he was hired by Charles Finlayson for his sportfishing business and soon began running the Malia The venture thrived until the December 7 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor Recreational angling came to a standstill and Henry found himself operating tugboats in Honolulu Harbor for the Defense Department After the war he returned to Kona which was becoming a popular big game destination In the 1942 book Pacific Game Fishing Kip Farrington had sung the area s praises even recommending two very good sport fishing cruisers owned by Charley Finlayson By the mid 1950s Kona s charter fleet had grown to seven boats and their skippers were known as the Magnificent Seven Henry quickly established his pre eminence capturing nearly half the fleet s total marlin catch year after year He had several fish close to the grander mark topped by Jack Whaling s 1 095 lb All Tackle Pacific blue marlin caught in 1964 There was no doubt Henry Chee knew how to find big fish And that lure helped too Plastic was new in 1949 and Henry was one of the first to experiment with it Intrigued when he came upon a screwdriver embedded in resin hardened in a jar and using the family kitchen as his laboratory Henry borrowed bar glasses for molds inserted copper tubing doll eyes and shell for color and reflection poured in fiberglass resin boiled the glass on the stove and removed the hardened blank He turned it on a lathe and hand cut the attack angle with a miter box all by eye so no two of his straight runners were exactly alike Skirts were made from red inner tubes fish skins and oilcloth tablecloths Each lure was tested in the most scientific way if it caught fish he kept it if it didn t he didn t Henry Chee had created the offshore trolling lure as we know it today Eventually his secret got out and copies began appearing some taking on strange shapes and sizes But the current models are nearly identical to Henry s original with straight sides center pull and flat face bevel While these Chees were attracting international attention Henry was building upon his reputation The Honolulu Advertiser frequently ran photos of him with his anglers and their record catches Notable figures came to fish with Henry Arthur Godfrey Lucille Ball Roy Rogers but President Franklin Roosevelt missed his chance when he couldn t be transferred from his warship to the Malia Henry Chee was a student of fishing his entire life He spent hours absorbing the knowledge of elderly Hawaiians He traveled daily to the best fishing spots observing changes and collecting data He compared moon and tide information and made

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  • IGFA | John Chibnall
    recreational angling Chibnall hails from Hamilton on New Zealand s North Island and it was here he caught his first fish at an early age As a boy he often served as deckhand on a vessel that carried sheep ashore from Slipper Island in the Bay of Plenty On the return trip the Doris became a fishing boat and John landed his first kingfish from her deck When John was a teen his father purchased a cottage at Long Beach and with more opportunities to fish John s love of the sport grew John s field of expertise was transportation and logistics management specializing in liquid and equine international movement It was his business that took him around the world to places like Mexico the U S Hawaii South Africa Fiji and Australia but while traveling he always made time for fishing adventures He landed a 1 220 pound black marlin in Cairns and many photographs as well as BOISC and IGFA records attest to his angling skills and fine mako shark marlin southern yellowtail and yellowfin catches John s 20 year participation in the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament began in 1967 and he captured the tuna prize one year for a 280 pound yellowfin In 1974 he was appointed to the HIBT s Board of Governors a position he held until the association dissolved in 1999 However the Bay of Islands fishing grounds are the ones John Chibnall knows best His impressive knowledge and understanding of the country s fisheries have kept him at the forefront of management issues since the mid 1960s when he was elected to the Committee of the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club He has held every BOISC position including President and Chairman has represented the organization internationally and was a founder of the first international fishing club tournament in New Zealand For 42 years he has served in a variety of posts on the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council now known as New Zealand Sport Fishing a strong national body of 58 clubs and more than 30 000 members responsible for managing and promoting the sport of fishing for all New Zealanders John Chibnall also was instrumental in setting up and serving as Chairman of for seven years the New Zealand Marine Research Foundation which initiated the first satellite tagging program in the country And in 1987 John embarked on one of his greatest achievements the successful lobbying of the Government to ban commercial longlining and the sale of marlin caught in New Zealand s economic zone Boats are another passion of John s and he has built several including the Aloha Kai and the Lanakai He is also responsible for the salvage and restoration of the Otehei one of four boats commissioned in 1926 by the Zane Grey Club the famous fishing lodge in Otehei Bay in the Bay of Islands When John recognized what he thought was the Otehei on a Lake Taupo mooring one day in 1976 he borrowed a

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  • IGFA | Homer Circle
    started fishing with an old bamboo pole and ripe mulberries when he was 12 years old Though he fished mostly to bring food home it was fun and bass were fascinating The more he learned about bass the more he realized they weren t easy to catch and the more his obsession grew After graduation in 1932 Circle began buying stocking and selling fishing tackle in a sporting goods store The job couldn t have been more perfect he learned about the companies and their products and met the best fishermen in town Eight years later the editor of the local Springfield Ohio Daily Newsapproached him about writing a daily sports column and a weekly fishing column Homer jumped at the chance and never forgot the editor s advice on his first day Write the words the way you talk so people can stroll through and don t have to climb over big words Five years later on a fishing trip to Michigan with his child bride Gayle Circle stopped at the James Heddon Sons Fishing Tackle Company He arrived with a plug he had made the Walnut Crab hoping for a sale Heddon didn t buy the lure but they wisely hired Circle as vice president of advertising and public relations For 15 years Circle traveled the country testing Heddon products attending trade shows and learning the secrets of the top bass anglers He had a special aptitude for design and helped develop the first high vibration type lure that emitted a pulse Fishermen began catching more bass with the Sonic lure than they ever dreamed possible and it became the first lure to sell more than a million in a year Homer possesses a natural storytelling ability He tells stories the way they really happen his advice is uncomplicated yet masterful And so his return to writing was inevitable In 1964 he became Sports Afield s Special Features Editor and in 1968 was named Angling Editor When Sports Afield ceased publication in 2002 Uncle Homer became the new bass columnist for Outdoor Life magazine Circle s knowledge and personality transferred easily to other mediums He was the host of three television shows The Fisherman Sports Afield and The Outdoorsman And when Glen Lau decided to making a documentary about bass in 1971 he asked Homer to be his fisherman Bigmouth appeared two years later and immediately was hailed as the most significant film ever produced about largemouth To this day Circle insists he learned more about bass during the 14 months of filming than he had in 45 years of fishing The film was a turning point in Circle s career and he returned to bass fishing with a deeper understanding of his longtime adversary and concern for its survival When Lau began planning Bigmouth Forever in the mid 1990s there was never any doubt that Homer would be in that film too Homer Circle has given much to the sport of fishing and his accomplishments and awards

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  • IGFA | Pierre H. Clostermann
    Conservation Act Conservation News Resources Socioeconomic Resources Regional Fisheries Bodies Information Exchange Position Statements Educate IGFA School of Sportfishing Observer Training IGFA Junior Anglers Fishing Summer Camp Education and Outreach Programs Release Recommendations Education Staff Volunteer Opportunities Resources Videos PHOTO GALLERY IGFA Publications E Newsletters Species Database Captains and Guides IGFA Mobile Weigh Stations Support Join or Renew Make a Gift Shop Upcoming Events Advertising Opportunities Contact Donor Opportunities Donor Societies Member Discounts Membership Benefits Pierre H Clostermann Click here for more IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame videos 1921 2006 2001 Inductee Pierre Clostermann is a war hero famous author and lecturer successful businessman revered statesman international angler and conservationist Born in Brazil and schooled in France he served as a pilot with the RAF and the French Air Force becoming the leading French ace from World War II and receiving the Liberation Cross the French Medal of Honor Retiring as a Brigadier General after the 1956 Suez Campaign Clostermann continued to serve his country as an eight term member of the French Parliament and President Charles DeGaulle s Under Secretary of State A dramatic success in business as well he founded Europe s Reims Aviation building 8 000 Cessnas before he sold the company was a Vice President of Cessna Aircraft Company and served on the boards of Air France and Renault Clostermann is the author of nine books Le Grand Cirque The Big Show the best book written about World War II according to William Faulkner has been translated into more than 50 languages and has sold millions of copies another title Des Poissons si Grands describes his fishing exploits which are just as amazing as his other endeavors For more than 60 years Clostermann has fished for magnificent fish in magnificent places very often being the pioneer

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  • IGFA | William G. "Bill" Dance
    fishing knowledge with others As a boy in Tennessee he was introduced to the joys of the sport by his grandfather In the mid 1960s Bill worked a regular job but dreamed of the fishing business and his skills were already creating a sensation in local fishing circles This dream became reality in 1967 When Ray Scott began searching for 100 top notch anglers to participate in his first bass tournament the name of one young fisherman Bill Dance kept popping up Bill accepted Scott s invitation to fish the All American Bass Invitational on Arkansas Beaver Lake and within two minutes of lines in the water Bill caught the first bass in the first ever bass tournament This was the dawning of professional bass fishing and Bill Dance s dominance of the B A S S tournament trail It was now possible to fish for a living and Bill made the most of it setting records along the way In the 14 years he fished the tour he won 23 national titles Of his 78 total B A S S entries he finished in the money 64 times In 1968 he won three B A S S events in 1969 he won two In 1970 he won three more and the first of three B A S S Angler of the Year titles The sport of bass fishing was less than a decade old but Bill Dance was already a legend the personification of the word professional In 1970 Bill quit his sales job and became a full time pro the first along with John Powell Tournaments were already having a profound influence on bass fishermen anglers wanted to see their favorite pros try out their techniques and fish with their equipment and gear Dance began working for plastic worm innovator Nick Creme teaching seminars and entertaining vendors The job even came with a company car Clearly sponsorship relationships between pros and tackle companies had been set in motion In 1980 Bill Dance retired from the tournament circuit He was just too busy One thing keeping him busy was Bill Dance Outdoors his television show launched in 1968 In the early days Dance was producing shooting and editing the shows lining up guests doing promotional work handling sponsor commitments and hundreds of outdoor shows a year while fishing an increasing number of tournaments But stressed or not Bill was a natural on TV and Bill Dance Outdoors was an immediate success Now in its 38 th year carried on the Outdoor Life Network OLN since January 2004 the series has aired more than 2 000 shows making Dance one of fishing s most recognizable icons With his love of the sport and his irrefutable skills he is the perfect fishing buddy Dressed in jeans sneakers polo shirt and his trademark University of Tennessee baseball cap and sunglasses Bill Dance is an idol to millions of anglers Dance shares his expertise in additional ways he s the author of seven

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  • IGFA | Roy B. Dean
    Dita Lou also pioneered the waters off both Mexican coasts becoming staunch and vocal advocates of the excellent angling opportunities in their adopted country One of Dean s dental school instructors was Tuna Club member Dr George Chuck who introduced Dean to light tackle angling Doc embraced the sport and it was his enthusiasm for light tackle sailfishing in particular that led to the formation of the Sailfish and Tarpon Club of Mexico in 1943 Three years later this club became the first organization to sponsor the tagging of sailfish With tags supplied by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and later by Pan American World Airways in cooperation with the IGFA more than 2 000 fish were tagged and released Though fisheries experts denied it Doc had long suspected there were white marlin in the Mexican Caribbean Based on his research he determined they would be found in the deep rough waters off Cozumel In May 1962 Doc and Dita made a trip east where Doc captured the first white marlin on rod and reel in Mexican waters The couple frequently returned to the Yucatan to fish however more often than not if was for the bonefish and permit which had captured their fancy In the process of establishing the Sailfish and Tarpon Club Doc had contacted the fledgling IGFA for assistance and information His frequent correspondence with Francesca LaMonte was filled with valuable insights about Mexico s abundant sport fish and Pacific billfish migration data that was shared with U S fisheries agencies and it led to his appointment as an International Committee member in 1944 Roy Dean served the IGFA for 45 years and according to E K Harry was an invaluable diplomat From the many contacts he made as Mexico s representative came the idea of an international fishing tournament Fishing rodeos were popular in Mexico at the time but Doc envisioned something different a competition between IGFA club members using light tackle abiding by IGFA rules and releasing fish When the promoter refused to let Dean s four man team compete in the rodeo the men fished their own tournament as one man teams Doc won and his Sailfish and Tarpon Club claimed the first plaque on the Big Belt trophy an ornate leather fighting belt Doc had designed as a rodeo prize It was March 1946 and this was the first event of the International Light Tackle Tournament Association and the first international billfish tournament fished under IGFA rules Long before people realized that billfish stocks could be overfished Doc s conservation ethic was an integral part of ILTTA s philosophy ILTTA tournaments became the first all release billfish events and the organization s high standards were the basis for many prestigious tournaments that followed such as the Masters and the HIBT In November 1946 Doc s Sailfish and Tarpon Club hosted the first invitational tournament the following year it was held in Panama and in 1948 the Miami Rod and Reel Club served

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  • IGFA | Jack Erskine
    apprenticeship as a motor mechanic and at the age of 22 when he began working at Arthur Chapman s Sport Store he was introduced to the world of fishing tackle In 1970 Jack moved his family to Cairns where he joined forces with George Bransford the legendary captain who had landed the area s first 1 000 pound black marlin in September 1966 and together they established Bransford s Tackle Shop When Jack and two partners took over Bransford s in the early 1980s it became Jack Erskine s Tackle Shop and it was here Jack remained until 1993 In the 1970s the Cairns black marlin fishery was in its infancy Most of the available fishing tackle was so inferior it was torn apart by the huge fish leaving the charter fleet ill prepared to meet demands from local and international anglers anxious to test their skills against these giants Erskine saw and experienced the failures firsthand and resolved to make changes to the equipment being used As a skilled fisherman and a trained mechanic with an analytical mind he was the ideal person for the job Jack began with fishing rods and quickly developed an expertise for designing and handcrafting custom pieces But his specialty was modifying reels drag systems in particular working over existing models and dramatically improving their reliability and performance Jack transformed his ideas into prototypes then tested the prototypes on the water The Great Barrier Reef s heavy tackle fishery afforded countless challenges and each trip provided the opportunity to see if his innovations and alterations in reels rods harnesses chairs and terminal tackle were up to the battle Jack Erskine s work ethic and reliability are legendary During the season when the charter boats often fished up to 100 days straight he arrived at the docks at five a m to make sure the skippers crew and anglers had everything they needed In the evening he stopped back to collect equipment needing repair or replacement and the following morning he returned working tackle in hand Erskine s products were superior and soon his reputation was as well Renowned big game anglers from around the world entrusted him exclusively with their tackle Before long manufacturers began seeking Jack s advice and skills and through the years almost every major company has benefited from his expertise His association with Penn dates back to 1974 and he s worked with Abu Garcia Shimano Fin Nor Hardy Sufix Jarvis Walker and Zebco In 1994 Erskine came to the United States at the request of Johnny Morris to assist with Offshore Angler Bass Pro Shop s new saltwater division Four years later he was back in Cairns and back in his own business and for the past decade through Jack Erskine Precision Reel Engineering he s continued his tradition of providing high quality workmanship with a personal touch An exceptionally skilled angler and one of Australia s finest light tackle specialists Jack s caught dozens of billfish on fly

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