19th Annual IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame

The19th Annual IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. The Class of 2017 will include individuals from recreational angling, the marine science community and tournament anglers: Rick Clunn, Larry Dahlberg, Peter Fithian, Mike Levitt and Dr. Eric Prince.   

Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Saturday, October 28, 2017

6 - 10 pm

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

"The New Home of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame"

500 W. Sunshine Street  •  Springfield, Missouri  

Scheduled for its grand opening on September 21st, Wonders of Wildlife is the new home of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame. Envisioned by noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris as the largest, most immersive fish and wildlife attraction in the world, Wonders of Wildlife features a 1.5 million-gallon aquarium adventure and wildlife museum featuring 700 species of fish, mammals, reptiles and birds. Located next to Bass Pro Shops national headquarters, the 320,000-square foot experience celebrates people who hunt, fish and act as stewards of the land and water. 

Tickets & Table Sponsorships

Tickets are available for $225 each and table sponsorships begin at $3,000. Tickets and tables may be reserved online by clicking here or via phone by contacting IGFA Development Director, Eric Combast, at 954-924-4325.

Lodging & Transportation

A block of rooms have been reserved at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, located at 231 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, MO (located approximately 15 minutes from the Wonders of Wildlife.) The special rate is $119/night. Click here to reserve your room online. If you wish to book over the phone, please call the DoubleTree directly at 417-831-3131 and ask to reserve a room under the group code “GFA.”

The closest airport to Springfield is the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), which is located approximately 15 minutes from both the hotel and the Wonders of Wildlife.  


2017 IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Inductees

Rick Clunn

Rick Clunn is a 4-time Bassmaster Classic winner (one of only two anglers to acheive the honor) and one of the all-time bass tournament money winners. He has received numerous “Angler of the Year” awards and is a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. Clunn is a longtime TV fishing show host and was voted the “Greatest Bass Angler” of all time in ESPN’s Greatest Angler Debate in 2005. 


Larry Dahlberg

Larry Dahlberg has fished for more than 50 years in 80 countries and is the host of The Hunt for Big Fish. He created the unique “Dahlberg Diver” fly and is responsible for many other fishing innovations including the blank-thru off-set bait casting handle design, rod balancer and the popular jig and fly tying material Flashabou. He was awarded the Henshall Award by the Federation of Fly Fishers in 1990, inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 1996 and was the recipient of the 1999 IGFA Conservation Award.  


Peter Fithian

Inspired by the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Peter Fithian founded the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) in 1959 to draw people from all over the world to experience the big fish of Kona. He is still running the event over 57 years later and the HIBT has been used as a model for many of today’s most successful and long-standing tournaments worldwide. The HIBT was the birthplace of the original Great Marlin Race, which was established in 2009 during the tournament’s 50th anniversary, and many amazing IGMR tracks have since resulted from the annual event. Fithian founded the Pacific Ocean Research Foundation (PORF) in 1975 to learn more about Pacific blue marlin and was instrumental in the foundation of the Japan Game Fish Association (JGFA.) He served as an IGFA Trustee and has since been recognized as a Trustee Emeritus.


Mike Levitt

Mike Levitt began light tackle angling in the 1960s and holds 16 world records; his 12 and 16 lb. line class records for black marlin and 4, 8, and 12 lb. line class records for white marlin still stand. A former Chairman of the IGFA, Levitt spearheaded efforts to build the IGFA Headquarters in Dania Beach, FL, USA and his firm, The Michaels Organization, led the financing and development of the project. By leading the design and financing a succession of custom sport fishing boats, Levitt also helped to develop the prototype for the large sport fishing boats so widely used today. 


Dr. Eric Prince

Dr. Eric Prince has had an illustrious 35 year career as a billfish biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and has been the author of over 85 peer-reviewed publications, with nearly half of those focusing on billfish. He has been a driving force in the Adopt a Billfish satellite tagging program and a leading researcher and proponent of the use of circle hooks. Prince was the original scientist who helped create The Billfish Foundation and he was the recipient of the IGFA Conservation Award in 2016.  

About the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame

The IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame recognizes extraordinary achievements in recreational fishing around the world by anglers, captains, scientists, conservationists, writers, or fishing industry leaders. The first class, honoring 29 of the sport's luminaries, was inducted in 1998. Since then, 81 additional fishing greats have been welcomed to the Hall at the annual induction ceremony in October of each year. To learn more about the 110 current members of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame, please visit the IGFA Hall of Fame  webpage for biographies of previous IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame honorees.

About the IGFA

Founded in 1939, the IGFA is a non-profit organization and is best known for conservation efforts of fisheries, educational programs, rule-making and for maintaining worldwide game fish records in freshwater, saltwater, fly fishing and junior angler categories. IGFA members are located in over 125 countries.

More Information

For more information on the 2017 IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony or this year's inductees, please contact Julia Shafer at 954-924-4222 or [email protected].

Click here for the 2017 IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Press Release. 

Click here for the 2017 IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame New Location Announcement Press Release.