Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame 2018 Induction Ceremony

Champions Tour Sponsor Minn Kota and Champions Tour Angler Mark Fisher Highlight 2018 Class

Before the hustle and bustle of the 2018 Northwest Sport Show began on Friday, March 23rd, where anglers kept their eyes peeled for that hot deal on a fishing rod or were looking to outfit their new boat with a new trolling motor or depth finder, the Minnesota fishing industry took the time to honor and induct the 2018 class into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.

The event emcee was Bryan ‘Beef’ Sathre, who did a great job of keeping the event on schedule and introducing the next speakers.  The 2018 class consisted of three individuals, Bill Dougherty, Mark Strand and Mark Fisher and two companies, Gapen Tackle Company and Minn Kota.

Before the induction ceremony began, member of the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame, Larry Bollig, delivered a moving tribute to Hall of Fame member and bass fishing icon, Ted Capra who passed away last August.

As a Classic Bass Champions Tour sponsor, we couldn’t be more honored to partner with such an innovative and iconic brand, not just in the Minnesota fishing scene, but all across the United States and World…Minn Kota, a brand who got its name from being founded on the Minnesota and North Dakota border, which eventually moved to Mankato in 1979.

Judy Douglas received the award for Minn Kota, but was quick to direct the praise not to her, but instead to the entire Minn Kota team, “it takes a great team, it’s not just any one person, or any specific department, we are a team and are one big family, so this award is for everyone at Minn Kota.”

There were around 12 members of the Minn Kota team in attendance that represented all facets of the company, from marketing to production, to finance, but also in attendance was Ron Hansen, Director of Research and Development/Engineering.  “Ron’s 34 years of work at Minn Kota has aided in us being able to develop quality, cutting edge products for the fishing and boating industry,” said Douglas.  “His innovative mind set and passion for fishing is unmatched.”

If you are in need of a tidbit to share at your next bass club meeting, here is one for you, Minn Kota has sold over 10 million trolling motors!

Without a doubt, Mark Fisher of Rapala is likely one of the most well-known anglers in Minnesota, with his contagious humor and laugh.  Mark has been a friend and supporter of Classic Bass for many, many years and we couldn’t be more proud and honored to call him a fishing partner and friend.

For over twenty years, Mark has designed and provided the design of iconic and fish catching lures that Rapala continues to provide anglers with.  It all began for Mark in 1994, when following a successful tournament weekend; he was working in his sign shop and in came Ron Schara, followed by a call from Tom Mackin at Rapala.

“To me this was like a dream and I thought to myself, does this mean I’ve made it?” chuckled Fisher.  “When Tom uttered the words to me, do you want to work for Rapala?  I was speechless and would not change a thing since then.”

Mark provided this insight to those anglers, regardless of age or skillset if they want to pursue the dream of working in the fishing industry, “Exposure is the best preparation for opportunity!  Whatever your strong suit is, whether it’s painting lures, writing stories, giving seminars or engineering boats, put those skills to use.  While you’re at it, work hard and put yourself in position to capitalize on every opportunity that comes your way.”

Some great words of wisdom from an individual who closed his acceptance speech with this, “I haven’t worked a day in over 18 years!”Look back at this Classic Bass article from 2016 detailing Fisher’s career! https://classicbass.com/blog/living-dream/