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Big-bass hunter Murphy tabbed for IFWF Hall

Big-bass hunter Murphy tabbed for IFWF Hall

Bill Murphy, who pioneered the rise of big-bass fishing in Southern California from the late 1960s through the mid 1990s, is one of six people who'll be inducted into the International Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 2024.

For more than 2 1/2 decades, the contributions of "Lunker Bill" to the catch census of the San Diego city and county lakes following the introduction of Florida-strain largemouth were remarkable. As those fish grew, so did Murphy's reputation.

Murphy had been introduced to plastic worm techniques in the early 1960s by the experts of the era. In additon to his success with a technique called "stitching" – a method he developed and which Lunker City Lure company adapted products for in the 1990s – Murphy also excelled with live baits. Later in his career he added lead-core trolling to his repertoire as well.

In 1992 he got the notion to share his experiences and knowledge and he compiled the materials that made up the basis for his book, "In Pursuit of Giant Bass," co-written with Paul Prorok.

San Diego fishery biologist Larry Bottroff, who personally observed, measured, weighed and handled many of Murphy’s catches over 20-plus years, described him as "one of the greatest bass fishermen of our time.”

Roger Stegall, a full-time professional bass fishing guide from Iuka, Miss., is also among the inductees. Stegall has over 30 years of experience guiding on Pickwick Lake and is widely known for his prowess in catching trophy smallmouth.

Other inductees are Massachusetts lure-maker Albert Gagliarducci, Arkansas crappie guru Tim Huffman, Illinois conservationist and lure-collector Jerry Martin and Wisconsin fishing writer Dan Small.

For more about the IFWF, click here.

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