DANIA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2005) — Five men, Stuart "Stu" C. Apte, John L. Morris, George Parker, Donald J. Tyson and Edward vom Hofe, were enshrined Dec. 11, into the International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame. Sponsored by Rolex and held at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Fla., the star-studded induction dinner and ceremony had been rescheduled six weeks later after Hurricane Wilma interrupted the event in late October.
The 2005 inductees, their contributions and induction speeches included:
Stu Apte, of Tavernier, Fla. an all-around angler considered a pioneer in fly fishing for tarpon. Apte said that being inducted was the second most important thing to happen to him; the first being when his wife Jeannine said "yes"! In the 1960s Apte developed a huge following as a Florida Keys guide. He’s also a writer, photographer and holder of more than 40 IGFA world records.
John L. Morris who is best known as the founder of Bass Pro Shops, one of the world’s leading suppliers of fishing tackle and of Tracker Boats. In his induction speech he spoke warmly about the many days spent fishing with his father. Morris credited fishing for being one of the best ways to bring a family together. Morris is a five-time qualifier for the Bassmaster Classic, an ardent conservationist and an IGFA Trustee Emeritus. He resides in Springfield, Mo.
George Parker is one of the first captains to charter regularly out of Kona, Hawaii. He caught Hawaii’s first blue marlin over 1,000 lb in 1954, then went head-to-head with scientists until the grander was properly identified as a Pacific blue marlin. Parker had the crowd laughing one moment as he told stories of taking Jimmy & Gloria Stewart, Jimmy Hoffa and Sylvester Stallone out fishing, and was on the verge of crying the next, as he conveyed enormous gratitude at being inducted and having his family there by his side. He resides in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Donald J. Tyson, who was unable to attend the induction, is a passionate billfisherman dedicated to tagging and releasing the world’s great fish for future generations. As an IGFA Trustee, he has played a major role in making the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum a reality. He has a home in Springdale, Ark.
Edward vom Hofe, who was inducted posthumously, produced fly and salmon reels in the mid and late 1800s, then began responding to the demands of saltwater anglers as well. Vom Hofe reels were known for their craftsmanship and dependability, the reel of choice for well-heeled, blue water fishermen. He died in 1920 at the age of 74.
The honorees are selected each year for the important contributions they have made to the sport of fishing through angling achievements, literature, the arts, science, education, invention, communication, or administration of fishery resources. The five men now bring to 60 Hall of Fame members enshrined including Ernest Hemingway, Zane Grey, Curt Gowdy, Michael and Helen Lerner, Philip Wylie, Ted Williams, Ray Scott, Roland Martin, Billy Pate and Lee Wulff.
Founded in 1939, the IGFA is a not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making and record keeping. IGFA members are located in over 125 countries and territories worldwide. The IGFA welcomes visitors to its 60,000-sq.ft .interactive Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum headquartered in Dania Beach, Fla. The IGFA web site can be found at www.igfa.org.
Pete Johnson, Johnson Communications, Inc.