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  • IGFA | Milton C. Shedd
    game fishing and creating a legacy that embraced the seas By the age of four Milt had begun his love affair with the ocean which grew into a passion for sport fishing Considered one of California s top anglers he was known for his inquisitive mind and natural instincts In the early 1950s aboard the Five Bells he helped pioneer billfishing in Cabo San Lucas When Milt discovered mackerel in a striped marlin s stomach he decided it made perfect sense to fish for billfish using the fish they fed on This was radical thinking every West Coast angler knew you trolled for marlin with rigged flying fish Shedd was the first to cast to marlin using live bait and the results confirmed his theory he showed up at the dock with five marlin half a day s catch for the entire Long Beach fleet Milt Shedd had legendary eyes when the water was calm he could spot a finning billfish three miles away in the binoculars Just a few anglers have caught a marlin and swordfish in California waters in the same day and Milt was one of them He fished with long rods that gave him that extra distance rods that by 1960 were known as Miltie Sticks In 1964 Shedd and three friend s came up with an idea for an underwater restaurant Before long however that was replaced by a new idea a marine park Milt had the vision and the integrity and it was he who sold this new concept to investors San Diego s SeaWorld opened in 1964 and drew more than 400 000 visitors that year A public offering and more parks followed Milt served as Board Chairman until 1985 firmly establishing SeaWorld as an entertainment and environmental mecca Shedd was also responsible for funding the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute Its groundbreaking work with marine mammals and sport fishes has made it one of the country s premier research centers In 1973 when Milt Shedd bought the 16 year old AFTCO Manufacturing Company the product line consisted of four items But after a lifetime on the water Milt had lots of ideas One of the best was the Unibutt Florida s Frank Johnson Jim Easton s aluminum company and AFTCO worked together on what is now the industry standard aluminum rod butt With its innovation uncompromising quality and strong conservation ethic AFTCO has been an industry leader for almost 50 years one of the most recognized and highly regarded tackle manufacturers in the world Milt relished scientific adventures He didn t just donate money he was hands on In the early 1960s he organized one of the first tagging programs on the West Coast which resulted in the tag and release of several thousand tuna and marlin In 1977 he and Dr Frank Carey of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution spent two months in Baja California aboard Shedd s 67 Sea World During this expedition Shedd became the first to implant sonic tags

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Shedd.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Stephen Sloan
    of Lehman Brothers Realty Company for a decade before starting his own real estate firm From his first outing in Central Park armed with bent pin string tree limb and worm he was crazy for fishing At the age of eight he was battling largemouth in Connecticut and at 16 he won a Field Stream Honor Badge his first of 15 for a four pound brook trout His interest in salt water began after college and in the 1960s when Joe Brooks showed him a double haul fly cast one windy day in the Florida Keys it was the beginning of Steve s love affair with light tackle Sloan relished the challenge of fishing for records and after purchasing a 36 Rybovich from Ted Naftzger in 1970 his pursuit began in earnest Aboard the Nan Sea he experimented with the tackle and techniques necessary for taking heavy fish on light lines And with the IGFA record book at his side he proved it could be done setting 44 world records and a number of firsts including a bluefin on fly in 1966 and a white marlin on 6 lb line in 1974 Steve s fishing was methodical and intense and the memories of the ones that got away remained more vivid than the fish that gave me my records Sloan worked tirelessly on behalf of marine fisheries In the 1980s he chaired the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and for 10 years served as U S delegate to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas ICCAT He was director of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation founder and chairman of the Fisheries Defense Fund special advisor to the Recreational Fishing Alliance and far from slowing down completed a Certificate in Conservation Biology atColumbia University at the age of 70 Skilled with the written word Steve shared his thoughts and concerns in articles short stories and three books Fly Fishing is Spoken Here 2001 Ocean Bankruptcy World Fisheries on the Brink of Disaster 2003 and Thanatopfish An Ocean Odyssey 2004 For 10 years he produced and hosted the syndicated radio show The Fishing Zone where the countless problems facing our resources were discussed with authors scientists and administrators A dedicated New Yorker Steve s Citizens Committee for Urban Fishing began stocking Central Park waters for inner city kids and senior citizens in the 1970s Twenty years later it became Take a Kid Fishing sponsoring free trips for thousands of children and earning for Sloan a commendation from The City of New York One of his most creative achievements was the Pan Am Water Shuttle a high speed ferry between Wall Street and LaGuardia Airport When founded in 1987 it was praised as the first commercial transit use of city waterways since Cornelius Vanderbilt and it prospered until Pan Am s demise in 1991 Steve Sloan was a recognized authority on angling art and history He played a major role in the renowned Masters Angling Tournament serving as board member tournament

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Sloan.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | J.L.B. Smith
    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 J L B Smith Click here for more IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame videos 1897 1968 1999 Inductee J L B Smith achieved international fame when he identified the first coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae in 1938 Until this time the coelacanth had been known only in the earth s fossil record where it first appears during the Devonian period some 400 million years ago and it was believed to have become extinct some 70 million years ago The significance of the living coelacanth is two fold First some scientists believe it is closely related to the Rhipidistia a group of extinct fishes from which the common ancestor of all higher vertebrates amphibians reptiles birds and mammals may have evolved secondly the living coelacanth has proven invaluable in checking the accuracy of scientific methods for developing reconstructions of extinct plants and animals For example before the discovery of the living coelacanth scientists had used fossil records to make reconstructions of the skull of a Devonian coelacanth Studies of the living creature have proven that the reconstructions are quite accurate This confirmation of the science of reconstruction is immensely valuable Smith was born at Graaff Reinet Cape Province South Africa His father was an avid angler and J L B became fascinated with fish and fishing early in his boyhood He trained as a chemist receiving

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Smith.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Mark Sosin
    outdoor communications He is an award winning writer photographer and television producer and is an authority on both freshwater and saltwater angling Sosin was a charter member of the Salt Water Fly Rodders of America which was formed in the early 1960s Commonly known as The Salty Fly Rodders this group defined and shaped the theories and the ethics of saltwater fly fishing and played a vital role in its modern evolution Starting out with the goal of simply educating people and getting them interested in fly fishing in salt water the SWFROA founders are credited with planting the seeds that continue to this day to spark international interest and growth in the sport The first magazine devoted entirely to saltwater fly fishing Double Haul was published by the organization And by 1965 Mark Sosin had written the original rules governing saltwater fly rod catches These guidelines soon adopted by the Rod Reel Club of Miami Beach ultimately became the standards of the sport of saltwater fly fishing In 1978 Sosin who was in charge of record keeping for The Salty Fly Rodders supervised the transfer of the fly rod records to IGFA Frank Woolner helped Mark Sosin get started in fishing journalism By 1964 Sosin had submitted his first piece to Salt Water Sportsman magazine Woolner then editor of the magazine poured on the criticism and each article Sosin subsequently submitted was better than the one before But Mark Sosin is a fisherman not just a fishing writer Blessed with a father who could get just as excited over a bluegill as a 100 pound tarpon this New Jersey native began a love affair with fishing when he was just a boy and he s never lost his enthusiasm for the sport Sosin is not content with armchair research He has a passion for on the scene reporting and has spent countless hours fishing the waters of all 50 states and some 45 countries Interaction with anglers of the world inspires him To Sosin this ongoing process the exchange of thoughts ideas theories techniques and methods with others adds a rewarding dimension to his beloved sport Mark Sosin has been involved in broadcasting since 1967 when he began a five year stint covering the outdoors for CBS Radio in New York For the past 20 years he has produced and hosted the popular television show Mark Sosin s Saltwater Journal Saltwater Journal was the first fishing show of its kind when it began television executives feared that the only people interested in a show about saltwater fishing were those living in coastal cities But Sosin a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania s Wharton School came armed with business acumen as well as journalistic talent and fishing knowledge Two decades and many awards later Saltwater Journal is the longest running marine fishing show on TV and Sosin is considered a television pioneer Each show targets a major species combines solid information with exciting fishing action and emphasizes conservation with

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  • IGFA | James Wilson Strader
    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 James Wilson Strader Click here for more IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame videos 1925 2000 2001 Inductee Jim Strader was a dedicated angler conservationist teacher and industry leader probably best known as a pioneer in the design and manufacture of sound emitting lures A native of Kentucky the young Strader became fascinated by his discovery that the noise generated by stones clicked together underwater attracted fish and in 1949 he began experimenting with a noise producing lure In 1957 Strader moved to Florida where he continued studying the effects of underwater sounds on fish while working as a backcountry guide offshore charter boat captain and commercial fisherman Strader s research led to the development of the Diamond Rattler one of the first plugs to use a sound chamber for added fish attraction and to the Strader Tackle Company in Havana Florida in 1972 The Diamond Rattler revolutionized the tackle industry in that almost every modern topwater plug crankbait or plastic worm accessory now incorporates a sound chamber in their design In fact in 1975 Sports Afield magazine ranked the Diamond Rattler the number one topwater plug for bass in the U S Strader Tackle Company went on to manufacture the Diamond Rattlesub Rattleworm heads the School Teacher and the Rattletrap as well as Trophy Bass rods In all Jim Strader held six U S patents and seven Federal trademarks on lures components finish processes and a two handled rod

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  • IGFA | Dade W. Thornton
    Answers SCALES AND CERTIFICATION Slam and 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 Dade W Thornton Click here for more IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame videos 1923 1998 2001 Inductee Dade Whitney Thornton was a noted naturalist conservationist fishing journalist tournament coordinator IGFA Representative and one of big game fishing s best known ambassadors Born in New York City Thornton was a resident of Miami Florida for 50 years Always active in the community he was deeply involved in The Boy Scouts of America throughout his life was a founder of both the Miami Museum of Science and Natural History and Everglades National Park and served as President and Chairman of the Board for the Florida Audubon Society for 15 years A portrait photographer by profession Thornton put together his first photo album for a Bimini tuna tournament in 1957 That was the beginning of the almost 40 years he devoted to organizing writing about photographing and documenting big game fishing tournaments in the world s finest fishing destinations Dade Thornton was multi talented and flamboyant an accomplished musician and cook who could be found at various times wrestling alligators organizing wheelbarrow races catching poisonous snakes or chanting to the fish gods when the fishing action was slow During his career he wrote more than 1 000 articles for

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Thornton.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Donald J. Tyson
    Tyson s entire fishing career has been a crusade for conservation Almost 70 years have passed since his father drove a truckload of Arkansas chickens to Chicago because he heard they were bringing a better price in northern markets From his 235 profit he wired home 220 to pay debts and buy more chickens This was the first long haul trip from Arkansas to the more lucrative Chicago poultry markets and John Tyson was the pioneer The Tyson Feed and Hatchery began in 1947 and five years later Don Tyson joined his father in the business In 1966 he became president and the following year he took over control of the company after losing his parents in anaccident By 1994 Tyson Foods had become the 110 th largest manufacturing company on the Fortune 500 list and today the company is the top provider of protein products on the planet Don Tyson started big game fishing to see places his father only dreamed of My dad worked all his life and had never taken off any time before he was killed I made myself a deal that I would start taking off one week per month when I was 40 years old and I pretty much did it He caught his first billfish in Bimini in the mid 1960s a 400 lb blue marlin But Tyson soon realized that these beautiful creatures were meant to swim in oceans not hang on docks and he began releasing his catches His skippers and deckhands who had been selling each billfish for 50 were horrified by this turn of events Tyson solved the problem by giving them 100 a fish to let them go Since that first fishing trip to the Bahamas Don Tyson s been everywhere and his vessels are as recognizable as he is Horizons his 103 ft supply boat carries 33 000 gallons of fuel and 90 days worth of supplies making trips to remote locales from Bali to Ghana possible And in the fall of 2005 his famous 65 ft Tyson s Pride is scheduled to be replaced by a new 72 ft Merritt Tyson is serious and passionate about his fishing and is considered a superb angler Though estimates on the number of marlin he has personally caught and released range from 400 to 700 you won t hear these figures from him He doesn t keep track and he doesn t fish for records he simply wants to get the fish in quickly tag and release because the fun is just catching them and turning them loose for someone else to enjoy Don Tyson has given generously of his time and finances to many organizations His devotion to conservation and growingconcern about the future of the world s fisheries led to the creation of The Billfish Foundation in 1985 Tyson Mel Immergut and Win Rockefeller decided something needed to be done to ensure that billfish stocks would survive for future generations Immediately they began working on two goals

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Tyson.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Joan Vernon
    Joan fished for perch She was introduced to snook redfish and trout on a trip to Fort Myers Florida and at the age of 13 her family sailed down the Mississippi River to the Florida Keys By the end of the trip Joan had developed a love for the sea and an enthusiasm and aptitude for fishing and she spent the next few summers in Florida and the Bahamas learning all she could from world class guides When Joan moved to Key Biscayne Florida in 1970 she began fishing with increasingly lighter tackle making her mark almost immediately She competed in the Woman s World Invitational Tarpon Tournament for 17 years winning once and placing high in the standings several other times In 1979 1980 and 1982 Joan was the Women s Master Angler in the Metropolitan South Florida Fishing Tournament The MET and in 1981 won The MET s Fly Championship the only woman to attain this honor By 1987 she was charter fishing having earned her Coast Guard Captains License She has fished in more than a dozen countries and from 1998 to 2005 released 1 000 billfish on light tackle alone and then stopped counting In the early 1980s Joan became involved in conservation as a Board member for PRO FISH a group that lobbied for snook and redfish protection in South Florida Years before it became popular she was fly fishing for sailfish in Flamingo Costa Rica where the sight of billfish swept up in purse seine nets and killed in tournaments disturbed her In an effort to convince Central America s leaders that healthy fisheries were vital to their economies she proposed a new billfish tournament concept a non pursed series held in the fertile waters of Panama Costa Rica and Guatemala In 1996 Joan founded Sporting Traditions the company that produces The Presidential Challenge of Central America As a result of Joan s foresight determination energy and passion the PCCA has made impressive conservation inroads and gave rise to the 1998 Sport Fishing Economic Conference of Central America the first event to unite politicians conservationists anglers and resort owners for the sole purpose of ensuring the continued abundance of billfish populations At the same time Joan was playing an active role in the groundbreaking research being conducted on circle hooks and their use as a conservation tool to further reduce billfish mortality and in 1999 The Presidential Challenge became the world s first all circle hook release tournament A few years later Costa Rica declared circle hooks mandatory for billfish Guatemala soon followed and in 2008 the U S did the same in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters In 2002 Joan convinced the Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament an event she co founded in 1982 to raise funds for marine conservation and education to switch to an all circle hook format It was the first U S fishing tournament to do so That same year Joan co founded Adopt A Billfish to generate

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