By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
Tommy Biffle has always been a man of few words, and he's happy that the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame hasn't asked him to go against his nature during his portion of the 2022 induction ceremony on Thursday at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium.
"They said the speech had to be about 3 minutes," Biffle related. "I said I could probably handle that."
Biffle, still an active Bass Pro Tour competitor, is one of six members of this year's HOF class. The others are Major League Fishing executive Kathy Fennel, past B.A.S.S. tournament director Dewey Kendrick, the late pro angler Aaron Martens, veteran journalist Steve Quinn and late angler/lure-maker Lonnie Stanley.
Biffle, long regarded as one of the gurus of the flipping technique, has racked up earnings of more than $3 million in a career that's spanned 3 1/2 decades. He's notched eight wins and is also renowned for a lot of near-misses in the biggest events – he placed second in two Bassmaster Classics and three FLW Cups.
"This is a great honor and it's really kind of a lifetime accomplishment," Biffle said of his selection by the Hall's 30-member voting panel. "I haven't been to one of these (induction ceremonies) yet and I don't really know what to expect, but I think it'll be fun.
"It'll really be good when I can look back on it after it's over with."
It's been more than nine years since his last victory, which came in a Bassmaster Elite Series event on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin in 2013. He's had just one Top-10 finish in the four seasons of the BPT's existence – a 4th-place showing at Sam Rayburn Reservoir last year.
He had a solid first half of this year's campaign, but endured a rough summer with three straight finishes in the 70s (among an 80-angler field) to close out the schedule. He ended up 73rd in the final Angler of the Year (AOY) standings.
He'll turn 65 just before the 2023 season gets under way, but he has no notions about quitting just because he's nearing the traditional corporate retirement age.
"I always ask people that if I retired, what would I do? I'd go fishing," he said. "I'll retire when I'm sick of these guys beating me and I'm about sick of that right now, but I plan to do something about that. Hopefully I've got a lot of years still to go."
He's doesn't plan to write out his speech for Thursday night on paper or jot down notes on 3x5-inch index cards. He'll just freelance it, making sure to give due credit to wife Sharron and long-term sponsors such as Ranger, Mercury and Quantum.
"I had a couple guys who wanted to write the speech and do all this, but that'd be like doing a commercial where they want you to say something this way and it's not words you'd normally use," he said. "I figure I'm probably better off just to wing it."