Two veteran competitors, a successful entrepreneur and a prolific writer comprise the 2015 class of inductees for the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
Professional anglers Stacey King and Harold Allen will be joined by Bill Huntley of Bumble Bee Baits and T-H Marine fame and longtime Bassmaster Magazine writer Don Wirth as they latest honorees. The quartet will be inducted on the eve of the Bassmaster Classic (Feb. 19) at a banquet in Greenville, S.C.
“These four gentlemen have all lived their lives with the best interests of the sport of bass fishing always front and center,” said BFHOF president Sammy Lee. “On behalf of the members, past inductees and board of directors of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, I commend Harold, Bill, Stacey and Don for their contributions to the sport. The are all very deserving and we hope all the fans of the sport of will join us in celebrating their induction with them this coming February.”
Following is a brief biographical sketch of each inductee (listed in alphabetical order):
> Harold Allen – One of the original members of the “Hemphill Gang” of professional anglers and guides on Toledo Bend Reservoir, Allen competed in 263 B.A.S.S. tournaments, winning one and finishing in the Top 5 in four out of the 15 Bassmaster Classics for which he qualified. He was the runner-up in the ’81 Classic on the Alabama River by less than a pound to Stanley Mitchell. He finished "in the money" 115 times in B.A.S.S. events, including 61 Top-20 showings and continues to compete in FLW tournaments. One of the pioneers of deep-water structure fishing, he shares his expertise in plastic-worm fishing with thousands of anglers during his guided fishing trips, seminars and video programs.
> Bill Huntley – Huntley and his wife Pat started Bumble Bee Bait Company in 1967, making spinnerbaits and jigs at night on the kitchen table. He had several sales reps helping to sell his lures, even though their primary business was to sell parts and accessories to the marine industry. Realizing there were many items he could use in his boat that simply were not available, he began to manufacture those needed parts and found much success in the marine industry. After selling Bumble Bee Baits in 1983, he remained in the marine industry and became a partner of T-H Marine Supplies, basically a small machine shop with one product to sell — a power trim switch for outboards that mounted on the throttle/gear shift handle. The second product T-H Marine introduced was a foot-operated trolling motor control switch. Today, the company is one of the largest manufacturers of accessories for the boating industry in the U.S. At age 81, he still competes in local bass tournaments and remains active in product development for T-H Marine.
> Stacey King – King has fished for bass since he was big enough to hold a rod and reel and guided on his favorite body of water, Table Rock Lake, for many years. He became excited about tournament fishing about the time Ray Scott started B.A.S.S. and competed in local and regional tournaments until the early 1980s, when he began fishing B.A.S.S events. He qualified for 12 Bassmaster Classics and has also fished the FLW Tour, where he has qualified for four Forrest Wood Cups. He served on the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and the Professional Anglers Association boards of directors and won the BFHOF tournament on Lake Ouachita in 2001 and the PAA tournament on Table Rock in 2011. He's also known for appearing often on fishing shows, specifically “The Bass Pros." As much as catching fish himself, he enjoys working with kids and teaching people of all ages about fishing.
> Don Wirth – One of the most prolific writers on the bass fishing scene, Wirth's articles and photos appear regularly in Bassmaster, B.A.S.S. Times, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, In-Fisherman, North American Fisherman and other outdoor publications. A winner of numerous awards for his writing, photography and video work in his 40-year-plus career, he also consults in the bass boat industry. A resident of Nashville, Tenn., Wirth sold his first article to Bassmaster Magazine in 1970 and has written for virtually every issue of the publication since. Among Bassmaster readers, he’s perhaps best known for his humor series "The Adventures of Harry ’n’ Charlie," but his other columns – "The Weekend Angler," "Bass Fishing Basics" and "A Day on the Lake with a Pro" – have made him a favorite of pros and other bass anglers throughout the world.
In addition to the formal induction ceremonies, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame's annual dinner also includes an auction featuring bucket-list fishing trips, premium rods and reels, hunting gear and special fishing-celebrity memorabilia. Details on the dinner’s location and time will be announced at a later date.
For more information, visit www.BassFishingHOF.com or the BFHOF Facebook, or call (888) 690-2277.