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  • IGFA | Edward vom Hofe
    perhaps the most influential member of the vom Hofe family Austrian born Frederick vom Hofe began manufacturing large brass multiplier reels in Brooklyn New York in 1857 Three years later elder son Julius joined the business Even before his father s retirement in 1882 Julius had F vom Hofe Son focusing on a lower priced sector of the market and on increased production Younger son Edward started his own company in Manhattan in 1867 at the age of 21 A hands on manufacturer as well as designer Edward began producing a small number of high quality reels under his own name Striped bass fishing was flourishing along the U S East Coast and Edward began producing striper reels solid nickel silver offset handle multipliers Nickel silver was resistant to corrosion and took a high polish but the all metal reels were heavy Edward was one of the first to produce lighter weight models with resilient hard rubber sideplates Though he specialized in saltwater reels he also manufactured some of the finest salmon and trout reels of the day Edward vom Hofe s product s combined artistic beauty and functionality and quickly set the standard for excellence He was a perfectionist his designs were flawless and workmanship unparalleled and those features attracted affluent anglers who could demand and afford the very best In time Edward was operating a large retail and mail order business out of which he sold his own as well as other brands of tackle including his brother s In the 1880s the fishing world was taken by storm when the first tarpon were caught on rod and reel But the tarpon reel of the period had insufficient line capacity and a primitive drag a piece of leather attached to the reel s pillar that acted like a brake when pressed upon the line Edward had his own experience with these reels an excellent saltwater fisherman he is credited with being the second angler to land a tarpon weighing more than 200 lb on rod and reel a 210 lb specimen caught April 30 1898 at Captiva Pass Florida But the limitations of these reels quickly became apparent and problematic when the first rod and reel bluefin tuna was landed in 1898 by The Tuna Club s Charles Holder Interest in taking these fast deep water fish exploded and anglers found themselves with bruised or broken knuckles from the then state of the art knucklebusters An improved drag system and an effective method for stopping large running fish were imperative Throughout his life Edward wa s committed to the science and technology of tackle design between 1879 and 1902 he held four patents Always striving to improve and refine his products he began working on a new drag system One of his designs required a spanner wrench to adjust the tension of the drag internally and was a precursor to the star drag That star drag design conceived by William Boschen and George Farnsworth soon appeared in Julius

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-vom-Hofe.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Izaak Walton
    Rules Catch Certificates Fishing Tips and Tactics IGFA Member Discounts IGFA Rules Questions and 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 Izaak Walton Click here for more IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame videos 1593 1683 1998 Inductee Izaak Walton is known as the Father of Modern Sport Fishing His book The Compleat Angler has been published in at least 300 editions since its first appearance in London in 1653 Walton was a bait fisherman His great friend and protégé Charles Cotton added sections on fly fishing to The Compleat Angler with Walton s permission in 1676 The book has since remained unchanged The book is a collage of fishing facts tales and evocations

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Walton.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Karl Wickstrom
    crusader mentality and zeal served him well when he decided to challenge the status quo to improve the lot of fishermen in the state of Florida Wickstrom spent his early years surrounded by people determined to make a difference His father was a columnist for a local Illinois newspaper and later bought a weekly paper in Zephyrhills Florida While Karl studied journalism at the University of Florida he spent summers learning the newspaper business and refining his writing It was in Tallahassee in 1967 that Wickstrom got the fishing bug He also sensed an opportunity and when the Florida Senate session ended he moved back to Miami and started publishing magazines Aloft the in flight magazine for National Airlines was the first product of Wickstrom Publishers Soon Karl noticed another unfilled niche statewide saltwater fishing In 1969 the first issue of Florida and Tropic Sportsman was published and mailed free to 112 000 registered boaters From the beginning Karl enjoyed every aspect the writing designing photography including more than 20 covers even ad sales Quickly the magazine s name was shortened to Florida Sportsman and just as quickly it became a success partly because of the state s fast growing population partly because Karl insisted on good writing and had people like Vic Dunaway onboard at the outset and partly because he brought his newspaper journalistic ethics to the magazine Florida Sportsman was more than just entertainment Stories were about fishing hunting and conservation and his editorials became powerful vehicles for targeting commercial fishing interests and those exerting improper influence on marine laws and regulations By the 1980s Florida s fisheries were in dire shape due to commercial dominance and excessive netting Wickstrom went directly to the people in the pages of Florida Sportsman and his articles editorials and concerns about the situation struck a chord with his readers Karl Wickstrom may be best known for his initiation of Florida s constitutional net ban amendment of 1995 In his Openers column in early 1991 he first suggested a ban on destructive gill nets in coastal waters and included a coupon readers could return if they agreed He was overwhelmed and heartened by the response and support and the Save Our Sealife campaign was born Though thousands of individual volunteers and groups devoted countless hours to the initiative Wickstrom is recognized as the person who did most to achieve the ban The campaign needed 429 428 validated signatures to get the amendment on the ballot it collected 520 000 In November 1994 an overwhelming 72 percent of Florida voters close to three million said yes to the constitutional amendment and on July 1 1995 the gill and entanglement net ban took effect The net ban not only revitalized inshore fishing for millions of residents and tourists but it also showed many frustrated with government s inability to act on abuses that they could fight city hall and win Over the past 13 years there have been lawsuits and attempts to create

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Wickstrom.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Theodore S. Williams
    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 Theodore S Williams Click here for more IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame videos 1918 2002 1999 Inductee Ted Williams one of the greatest hitters if not the greatest in the history of baseball also ranks among the best of saltwater and freshwater anglers Williams fell in love with fishing at about the same time he fell in love with baseball and his pursuit of both sports followed similar paths Williams grew up in San Diego joined the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and remained with the team throughout his career except for nearly five years as a fighter pilot during World War II and the Korean War Even with five seasons taken out of his career Williams accumulated six American League batting titles won two triple crowns two MVP awards four home run crowns and four RBI titles In addition to naming him Player of the Decade 1950s The Sporting News cited Williams as Player of the Year five times The Kid made the All Star team sixteen consecutive seasons When he retired from the Sox in 1960 homering in his last at bat Williams was third on the list of all time home run hitters with 521 Teddy Baseball was simply one of the best to ever play the game Six years after retirement he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with a record 282 votes It was during his war years while Williams was stationed in Florida that he fell in love with angling in the warm waters of the Atlantic He returned to Florida early each spring and

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Williams.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | John Wilson
    age of six and at 13 began attending meetings of the Enfield Town Angling Society Club outings throughout southern England introduced him to new waters and the knowledge gained from these trips and from adult members helped him capture the Club s top junior angler award of the 1955 56 season This was the beginning of John Wilson s lifelong passion for angling and for pursuing trophy fish for even then he realized that catching bigger roach tench pike and zander was not only more challenging but also much more interesting Wilson left school at fifteen and though his occupation kept changing he always found the time and a place to fish He first apprenticed as a ladies hairdresser trained as a printer then returned to hairdressing for two years on the P O cruise ship SS Oronsay In his early twenties he joined the merchant navy and later settled for three years in Barbados where he ran a chain of hairdressing salons In 1971 Wilson returned to England invested in a Norwich tackle shop and set about making a name for himself catching specimen fish convinced the publicity surrounding such trophy catches would bring in customers His angling achievements also led to writing opportunities for the local paper and Angler s Mail the beginning of a 40 year journalism career for British and international publications At this same time Wilson penned his first book Where to Fish in Norfolk and Suffolk which has remained in print for 35 years John is one of the sport s most prolific writers responsible for 36 titles including two autobiographies Fifty Years a Fisherman and Sixty Years a Fisherman as well as one of Britain s leading angling photographers In 1986 John began filming his Go Fishing television program Here John shared his extensive knowledge about species tackle including his love of centrepin reels and techniques and the show ran 18 years the country s longest running angling series ever As traveling globally in search of exotic species became more commonplace John s articles books and television programs began focusing not only on the how to but on the exciting and entertaining where to and before long he was escorting groups of anglers to fascinating destinations around the world Wilson has fished for sturgeon in British Columbia Nile perch near Uganda s Murchison Falls bronze whaler sharks on Namibia s Skeleton Coast tarpon in the Florida Keys bonefish and barracuda on the Bahamas flats and peacock bass in Brazil s Rio Negro 60 countries in all And he has many impressive catches to his credit including a 92 pound mahseer from India a 220 pound bigeye tuna from Madeira a 95 pound vundu catfish from Zimbabwe and his largest ever freshwater catch a 300 pound giant white sturgeon from Canada s Fraser River Go Fishing was followed by Fishing Safari 2003 Dream Fishing 2006 and Fishing World 2009 For more than two decades Wilson brought the sport of angling into the homes and

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Wilson.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Forrest Wood
    founder Forrest Wood had become the Father of the Modern Bass Boat Born in the tiny town of Flippin Arkansas Wood worked as a rancher and farmer until the early 1950s when he and his new wife Nina moved to Kansas City where he assembled fighter planes for the Korean war When the couple returned to Flippin in 1955 Forrest began supplementing his income by guiding anglers on Bull Shoals Lake and the White River Quickly realizing that fishermen were happy to pay for quality he provided excellent service the best equipment and home cooked food prepared by Nina Word spread and his business flourished To ensure his fishing guides had work year round Wood did some contracting and ran a boat repair service Soon he and his crew were building boats in his backyard adding improvements such as raised swivel seats for extra legroom and fiberglass hull protection When Forrest fished one of these boats in his first bass tournament which he won it generated a great deal of interest and he returned home with notes scribbled on paper napkins prepared to build bass boats to his customers specs An accomplished angler Forrest competed in his first B A S S event a few months later and fished the circuit including the 1972 and 1979 Bassmaster Classics for many years He found B A S S participants had definite ideas about boat design that they were extremely eager to share and astutely recognizing the value of this unique research and development team he capitalized on it Wood left that tournament with six orders and Ranger was born To Forrest the word Ranger as in Texas Rangers implied strength safety and reliability the very qualities he wanted in his boats As his early models evolved into fishing machines with tackle box holders rod containers and aerated holding tanks to keep fish alive bass anglers took notice And as B A S S and its tournament concept grew so did Ranger For the second Classic Forrest and Ray Scott designed something revolutionary a boat with all equipment pre rigged and factory installed That bass boat became the industry standard Ranger became the official Classic boat for almost 30 years and the personal and creative partnership between the two men led to groundbreaking milestones in their respective businesses and in the sport But the growth of Ranger Boats was not without setbacks On May 4 1971 the uninsured factory was destroyed by fire Somehow Wood salvaged 60 orders from his desk in the burning building and the next day the family set up shop with a telephone nailed to a tree As Forrest and his staff cleared the rubble customers called in orders many offering to pay in advance to help finance the rebuilding Remarkably Ranger was back in business within 40 days and the 60 salvaged orders were met on time Wood was adamant about building the best boat an angler could ever hope for and to that end he made

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Wood.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Frank Woolner
    the unequivocal master of surf fishing Born in Worcester Massachusetts Frank left high school in his junior year worked as a cook and automobile spray painter and was New England amateur bicycle racing champion 13 for four years retiring undefeated to join the World War II effort From 1942 to 1944 Woolner was chief writer for the 3rd Armored Spearhead Division He also was a tank commander on the front lines and a veteran of the Normandy Invasion on June 6 1944 After the war Sgt Woolner remained in Germany to co write with Major Murray H Fowler the Division s narrative history the military classic Spearhead in the West Frank hadn t done any surf fishing prior to 1942 but while overseas he received letters describing the budding activity on Cape Cod beaches When he had his chance in 1946 both the sport and the tackle were still in their early stages of development rods were blank Calcutta sticks with wound on guides which didn t work for long and the Cuttyhunk linen line soaked up water and showered anglers with every cast But there were beach buggies and Frank was immediately recognizable in his first of many Model A Fords purchased for 25 and painted dazzle grey green yellow and purple camouflage When Frank became the Worcester Telegram Gazette s Rod and Gun Editor he used his daily column to introduce his home town to the sport and to the striped bass His readers became striper savvy and striper obsessed in a big way driving their 40 mph buggies 80 miles to the Cape Cod Canal then another 60 to Provincetown where they navigated the beaches from midnight to dawn and tide to tide By the 1950s the sport was booming The Worcester Striper Club was formed and Frank helped organize the Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association in 1949 Their code of ethics covered everything from keeping beaches clean to maintaining good relations with town authorities and in their numbered buggies Frank in his lucky 13 members had almost unlimited beach access until the mid 1960s In 1950 Hal Lyman owner and publisher of Salt Water Sportsman was called back into the Navy and Frank took over the magazine s reins Under his tutelage what had begun in 1939 as the four page weekly Voice of the Coastal Sport Fisherman became the instrument that defined marine angling and marine conservation as Frank explored new frontiers and kept ahead of the rapidly evolving world of techniques tackle conservation and management By the late 1960s the magazine s editorials and slogans Limit your catch don t catch your limit began to reflect the thinking of the day and fewer photos of excessive catches were featured Frank who had appeared in similar shots years before now had a favorite phrase to describe them Dead fish dumb fisherman As one of the biggest names in saltwater angling Woolner s influence not only shaped Salt Water Sportsman but also fostered the careers of the

    Original URL path: https://www.igfa.org/Museum/HOF-Woolner.aspx (2016-02-11)
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  • IGFA | Peter B. Wright
    and real estate developer But he is best known for his ability to catch big fish for he is the man who has caught more marlin over 1 000 pounds than anyone in history In a career spanning five decades Wright has captured 77 granders and released countless others Included in that elite group are a 1 442 pound black marlin from 1973 that remains the largest ever weighed in Australia and the IGFA women s 80 pound black marlin record of 1 323 pounds still standing after 30 years Wright set a Bahamas bluefin tuna record of 972 pounds and in 1995 guided Stewart Campbell to 73 bluefin that were tagged and released off Cape Hatteras the most in a single day Born in Paterson NJ Peter grew up in Fort Lauderdale and while still in grade school began working on charter boats out of Hillsboro Inlet At the age of 11 he gaffed his first blue marlin by the next year he was fishing with noted Captain Johnny Whitmer Throughout high school and college he spent summers and weekends on the Miss Jeanne fishing Bimini and Cat Cay tournaments with great success In 1965 Peter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in biology and second place in springboard in the SEC championship Two years into his graduate work at the University of Miami s Institute of Marine Science he joined Dr Gilbert Voss Antarctic Research Program and spent two months collecting squid and octopus specimens While awaiting his return trip stateside Peter traveled the South Pacific Sixteen months later he was still there In Sydney Australia he found modeling work and then hitchhiked 1 000 miles to Cairns home of former Fort Lauderdale skipper George Bransford Bransford needed a mate for his new boat and Peter hoping to get a glimpse of a thousand pound marlin signed on spending the first few months assisting with the boat s construction Sea Baby II s first big fish in 1968 and Peter s first big black marlin ever weighed 879 pounds and that year he wired and gaffed two granders Since 1968 Wright has fished every season in Cairns He started out crewing earning a reputation as one of the most skillful wiremen in the world In 1970 he had the chance to captain and from the start he had a huge advantage over local skippers They had not fished for giant bluefin in the Bahamas during the sport s heyday Wright had and it taught him invaluable heavy tackle and boat handling skills He ran the first boat in Cairns to have a tuna tower transom door two speed Fin Nor reels and curved butt rods His tackle and techniques weren t new Peter simply borrowed them from the only other fishery that had needed them Sea Baby II Kingfish Hooker Restless Makaira and Duyfken are just some of the famous boats identified with Peter B Wright In 1975 he went to Kona and together with Jeff Fay

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