Davy Hite has done it all.
From winning the Forrest Wood Cup to taking both a Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, he is among the elite in professional bass fishing.
But he just received perhaps the biggest honor of his career.
Hite has been announced as part of the 2019 Class of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
Founded in 2001 and now housed at the Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, MO., this prestigious institution has created a world-class system of recognizing those who have contributed to bass fishing.
“It is an incredible honor to be inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. The 2019 class has some amazing inductees and to be recognized by my peers from an industry I love so much is humbling,” Hite said.
Hite will go in with other top-level anglers including Mark Davis and David Fritts but this institution does not just recognize tournament anglers. It also honors those who have contributed to the industry in other ways.
For example this year’s inductees include noted artist/illustrator, the late Chris Armstrong, and the founder of Zoom Bait Company, the late Ed Chambers.
Past inductees have included everyone from the legendary four-time Bassmaster Classic champion Rick Clunn to groundbreaking videographer Glen Lau who created the way ahead of its time underwater bass feature “Bigmouth”.
While Clunn is my all-time fishing hero, my love of bass has as much to do with watching “Bigmouth” which I rented from a local video club in 1984 and seeing Chris Armstrong’s incredible illustrations in Bassmaster.
Hall of Famers like Bill Dance and Roland Martin inspired their fans and television viewers to hit the water while Armstrong and Lau gave them an idea of what things were like beneath the surface.
I got certified to scuba dive at age 25 and the bulk of my diving was actually in freshwater and much of it due to wanting to see the underwater realm like Lau.
One day I dove with an underwater video camera in an extremely clear pond near my home and captured up close footage of a 10 plus pound bass.
When I surfaced, it hit me that I drove my BMX bicycle right pass this very property to rent “Bigmouth” from the video club 30 years earlier. I would have never experienced that without renting that VHS (over and over again).
As an outdoors journalist, I have followed closely the inductees to this institution and have always had a smile on my face thinking of how the skilled, passionate and conservation-minded inductees have not only impacted bass fishing but the aquatic resources of North America.
The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame has class and it is not just because it is a place to honors the world’s best bass fishermen. It is because it truly recognizes those who have made the largemouth bass the most important sport fish on the planet and inspired millions to care about abundant bass, clean water and great fishing opportunities.
The 17th Annual Banquet and Induction Ceremonies will be Thursday, September 19, 2019, at the White River Conference Center in Springfield, Missouri next to Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium – Home to the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
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Chester Moore, Jr.