CANADIAN ANGLER HALL OF FAME

The inductees of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame fall under a number of categories.  Angler - an avid angler be it recreational, competitive or otherwise; Advocate - a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of the industry; Media - the means of communication, radio, television, newspapers and/or magazines, that reach or influence people widely; and Industry Leader - a person who has taken the initiative to help the industry in a positive way.  The Canadian Hall of Fame Alumni nominate and vote for the newest inductee annually.

CAM THOMSON

2020

For me fishing was an inherited condition. I was lucky to be born into an outdoor family in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes with easy access to lakes, rivers and streams.  As a boy I fished a lot, first with my father and grandfather and later with many friends.
It was pretty standard in the mid-70’s to hitchhike around Europe after University but I wanted more of an outdoor adventure. Through 1978 my childhood friend Rick Wood and I planned a canoe trip following the old fur trade voyageur route 4500km from Rocky Mountain House Alberta back to Montreal. We sought support and sponsorships from various outdoor companies. One of these was Woodstream a manufacturer from Niagara Falls ON who had a canoe division. We completed our canoe adventure that fall, and I was looking for a job. The people at Woodstream asked me to come talk to them and I was offered a position with their canoe division. Woodstream also owned the fishing rod brand Fenwick and manufactured rods for the Canadian market at another plant in Niagara Falls. My love of fishing drew me often to the rod factory and I hung around as much as I could trying to help. Soon I found myself Fenwick product manager and later general manager of the plant.
In 1989 Fenwick was purchased my Berkley, which was the first acquisition in the long process which later became Pure Fishing. The decision was made by the new company to move fishing manufacturing to China. I initially went there as well and worked for a year getting Fenwick production set up. However, I was anxious to get back to Canadian lakes and rivers. With fishing manufacturing jobs here disappearing quickly I decided I had better learn to be a salesman. Thankfully I was given an opportunity to try and moved into selling independent retailers and small wholesalers in Southern Ontario in 1990.
I stayed with Pure Fishing through the many changes and acquisitions of other fishing brands. I did take a break from the business to follow another passion and spent two years working for Ducks unlimited Canada but returned to Pure Fishing.  My career progressed at the same time. Moving to calling on Canadian National Accounts, then Canadian Sales Manager. Later my responsibility grew to cover all North America including large chain retailers in the USA and managing the North American Fly-Fishing business. Fortunately, I was always able to keep my home in Canada with my wife Donna where we raised our two son’s Alistair and Callum, who are now my favourite fishing buddies. I was around for the founding and always stayed active with the CSIA/CNSF serving on the executive even when working in the USA out of my love for our Canadian business.
I feel I was very lucky in my career. It seemed I was always in the right place at the right time. I fully enjoyed my 40-year career but am equally enjoying retirement with more time for outdoor activities and passing my passion on to my grandchildren and anyone else who will listen.

WIL WEGMAN

2017

Wil Wegman began writing freelance articles for various publications in the mid 1980’s and has been a prolific and award winning outdoor writer ‘in his spare time’ ever since.  His articles have appeared in such Canadian Outdoor magazines as: Ontario Out of Doors, Outdoor Canada, Real Fishing and Just Fishing as well as US publications like In Fisherman, BASS Times and Bassmaster magazine. He is currently the Hooked on Fishing columnist for Lake Simcoe Living Magazine and former editor of Bassman magazine. For over a decade Wil covered Bassmaster Classics in the US promoting big stakes tournament fishing in various Canadian publications. Although the majority of Wil’s articles provide valuable how-to fishing information, they seldom neglect to promote sound conservation principles and encourage anglers to become responsible for conserving the resource they love for future generations. Wil enjoys nothing more than to visit, explore and figure out new and exciting fishing destinations – and then write about the experience afterwards!
Although Wil makes time to fish over 100 days every year, he has also manages to hold down a full time career (for the last 28 + years) with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources out of the former Maple and now Aurora District offices.  As a “Resource Management Technician” Wil is recognized among his colleagues not only for his dedication and passion for everything fish related, but for engaging more stewards to feel responsible enough to help conserve our fisheries  for future generations.  He coordinated one of the first ever bass-specific research projects on Lake Simcoe utilizing tournament weigh-ins and angler volunteers to help sample and tag bass at events between 2006-2010. The “Lake Simcoe Bass Tagging Study’ has just been released and is available on the Aurora Bassmaster site. For most of his career Wil has taken the lead role coordinating the many annual Urban Fishing Festivals and initiatives his district has become involved with and  he has become a strong advocate for Invasive Species Awareness.

PATRICK CAMPEAU

2014

Patrick Campeau is passionate about fishing and has totally dedicated his career to it. This full-time Professional Angler for the last 28 years is recognized as the resource person in the French speaking market. Patrick endorses many associations and organizations to promote the sport itself and to develop the next generations of anglers. A three-time Quebec champion and author of four books, he shares his passion and knowledge with the readers of 12 specialized magazines and newspapers, with the listeners of his daily segmented broadcasts in 60 radio stations, during his numerous seminars in the sportsmens’ shows, and with different web platforms. Some guys live for fishing, but Patrick Campeau finds himself truly fortunate to fish for a living.

WAYNE IZUMI

2012

Wayne Izumi was born in Toronto and grew up in Blenheim, Ontario. He won his first fishing competition, the Rondeau Bay Rod and Gun Club youth fishing derby, when he was nine years old and has been fishing competitively ever since. Wayne has hundreds of individual and team titles to his credit including back to back wins at the Canadian Open in 1992 and ’93 and winning the first Ontario Place Open in 2004. Wayne and his brother Bob produce Canada’s longest running fishing series, The Real Fishing Show; and developed Fishing Forever, a non-profit organization that has raised over $300,000 for fisheries related projects around Ontario.

TOM BROOKE

2011

In the early 1980’s Tom established a direct presence for Shimano fishing tackle in Canada. It was through this business connection that he was introduced to competitive angling and it didn’t take long for Tom to realize that it was necessary to set a high standard for best fish handling practices. Tom was instrumental in producing the first series of “made in Canada” rules for Pro Bass, and his continued efforts in finding better handling methods first through the introduction of live release boats and new techniques such as Water Weigh-In, habit improvement programs and so on has positioned Shimano as one of the leaders in corporate involvement throughout North America.

BILL OTWAY

2011

Bill Otway has been fighting for the rights of anglers and hunters in his home province of B.C. since the early 1970s, when he was named executive director of the B.C. Wildlife Federation. As the recreational fisheries advisor/ombudsman for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for 15 years starting in 1985, Bill influenced numerous policy decisions affecting B.C.’s fish. In October of 2010 at the age of 75, Bill lost his battle with cancer. The hard work of this tireless outdoorsman will carry on for years to come.

ANGELO VIOLA

2010

Together in 1983 the Viola brothers not only opened Barklays Outdoor Store but also shot their pilot Fish’n Canada episode. The first episode aired in 1984 on Global Television. In 1985 they moved to CBC, making Fish’n Canada the first weekly fishing show to be broadcast on a national network, which then went into syndication with prominent CTV and Global affiliates along with several cable networks in 1992.
From there Reno and Angelo introduced ‘The Outdoor Journal’ Radio Show in 1996. In 2004 the brothers took reality TV to a whole new level, with the first ever reality fishing show, ‘The Last Cull.”
Today Fish’n Canada has a national reach audience of over a million. Angelo is still working hard with Fish’n Canada and The Outdoor Journal Radio while Reno has retired from the fishing industry.

GORD PYZER

2009

Gord Pyzer is the only person ever to be inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Canadian Outdoor Hall of Fame.
Known in fishing circles as “Doctor Pyzer”, Gord has a Master’s degree in Resource Management and worked for thirty-one years as a senior manager with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, including Policy Advisor to the Assistant Deputy Minister for Northern Ontario. 
While serving as the OMNR District Manager in Kenora, Ontario, Gord established the first conservation-oriented, modern muskie management regulations (for Lake of the Woods) in North America.  Using sonic tracking devices and scuba gear, Gord and his team of biologists also initiated one of the most extensive, multi-year tracking studies of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass ever undertaken.
Gord was also the Co-Host of the Real Fishing Radio Show for 32 years of national syndication across Canada and is the current host of Fish Talk With The Doc, on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show, heard live each Saturday morning on the FAN 590 All Sports Super Station in Toronto, and broadcast across the Bell ExpressVue satellite television system.  

B.H. "RED" FISHER

2008

Red Fisher first introduced scuttlebutt Lodge as a radio show in 1963. It was then televised in 1968 and aired through to 1989.

BRIAN MCDONALD

2019

After pursuing a 12 year Professional Hockey Career including stints in the NHL with Chicago Black Hawks and Buffalo Sabres and 5 years in the World Hockey Association time had come for a change in direction.
At the age of 32 Brian turned his efforts to a career in Sales and Marketing focusing primarily on the Outdoor Sporting Industry.  First challenge was with Woodstream Corporation in Niagara Falls as Ontario Sales Representative selling Fishing Tackle Boxes and Victor Trapping Supplies.  After 4 years covering the Ontario Accounts at both the Retail and Wholesale levels, Brian was elevated to VP Sales and Marketing for Woodstream Canada .  At the same time Woodstream purchased  the Fenwick Rod Company and established a manufacturing facility in Niagara Falls to supply this premium product brand to the Canadian Marketplace. During his time at Woodstream Brian participated along with Dave Angus of Abu Garcia, Roger Cannon of Rapala, Tom Brookes of Shimano, Kim Rhodes of Lucky Strike and Rick Ebuzaki of Daiwa in forming the first phase of an industry group with the Canadian Sport Fishing Foundation, today known as the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association… CSIA.
After an enjoyable 12 years with Woostream, Brian decided to start along with Norm Belanger his own Sales Agency – Upper Canada Sports representing quality products in the fishing and hunting industry.
A new Challenge presented itself and Brian became VP of Sales for Berkley Canada including supporting the purchase of the Fenwick Rod Company and transitioning Berkley Canada to Pure Fishing Canada.  After 7 years with Pure Fishing Canada he was afforded the opportunity to take responsibility for all Pure Fishing Sales World Wide excluding the U.S.A, headquartered in Svangsta, Sweden, home of Abu Garcia.  Brian helped in the transition of Johnson Mitchell to the Pure Fishing Umbrella.  Last stop in the wonderful journey , the move to Pure Fishing Headquarters in Spirit Lake, Iowa as Executive VP of Sales U.S.A
In 2005 Brian transitioned to Retirement and now along with his wife Marlene split their time between St. Catharines, Ontario and Hilton Head, South Carolina.

DR. WILFRED CARTER

2016

Dr. Wilfred (Wilf) Carter developed his passion for wild Atlantic salmon through fishing as a boy on the rivers of Gaspé, Quebec. He had an unfaltering commitment to the cause of conserving Atlantic salmon populations for more than five decades, believing that all living creatures and the forests, lakes and rivers that shelter them are part of the fabric that sustains and supports humankind.
Dr. Carter received many tributes for his years of conservation work, including honourary doctorates from the University of New Brunswick and Mount Allison University. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1993. He was also a director of Atlantic Salmon Trust (U.K.), the Association Internationale de Defense du Saumon Atlantique (France), a director and fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a former chairman of the Fisheries Development Board for New Brunswick, a founding member of the Atlantic Salmon Advisory Board and the first chairman of Fisheries and Oceans National Recreational Fisheries Awards Committee.

RICK MORGAN

2013

Rick was introduced to fishing at a very young age and fondly remembers spring trips with family to catch jumbo perch from the Trent Canal at Lake Simcoe.
At 16 Rick started working par-time selling fishing tackle and hunting equipment at the Eaton’s store in downtown Toronto. At 16 Rick also won junior casting competition at the Canadian National Sportmen’s Show. He continued to compete successfully in both Ontario and Buffalo for several years. Rick’s first direct involvement with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) was as that club’s representative to OFAH Zone Meetings.
Subsequently Rick worked at West Bend/Chrysler Outboard Motors, Pioneer Chain Saws, and ultimately ended up working full-time at OFAH in 1976, at the age of 33, as the Executive Director. A year later he was promoted to Executive Vice-President.
Rick has been instrumental in growing the Federation from 13,000 members and 125 clubs to over 83,000 members and 625 clubs by the time he retired in 2001.

PHIL MORLOCK

2012

Phil Morlock is Director, Environmental Affairs for Shimano, he has North American responsibilities for Shimano corporate environmental stewardship programs in both the fishing and bike divisions, and represents the company in advocacy issues with federal, state and provincial governments and natural resource agencies in the U.S. and Canada. He served as Chair for the Environmental Stewardship team of Shimano companies worldwide, 2002 - 2004. Phil enjoys hunting, fishing, playing hockey and target shooting near his home at Algonquin Park, Ontario where he has lived since 1982 with his family where they own and operate a resort lodge.

DARRYL CHORONZEY

2011

Darryl Choronzey is often referred to as the everyday man’s fisherman. Born in Port Colborne and raised in Burlington, Darryl was taught at an early age the importance of respecting and protecting the environment. In his early 20’s Darryl became an outdoor writer for a local newspaper followed by the Globe & Mail as well as the Toronto Sun. Darryl also created, published and edited Ontario Fisherman Magazine. Concerned, controversial but also honest Darryl never wavered in his attempts to protect and improve fishing. Today Darryl hosts the Going Fishing Television Show, an outdoor series that is dedicated to the everyday fisherman.

JOHN KERR

2010

John Kerr’s passion for the outdoors has become a lifestyle, he has dedicated over 30 years of writing about the outdoors and has played many roles at Ontario Out of Doors Magazine including Assistant Editor, Managing Editor and Executive Editor. John is also an outdoor columnist for the Toronto Sun Newspaper and currently holds a position at Ontario Out of Doors Magazine as Editor and Chief.

RENO VIOLA

2010

Together in 1983 the Viola brothers not only opened Barklays Outdoor Store but also shot their pilot Fish’n Canada episode. The first episode aired in 1984 on Global Television. In 1985 they moved to CBC, making Fish’n Canada the first weekly fishing show to be broadcast on a national network, which then went into syndication with prominent CTV and Global affiliates along with several cable networks in 1992.
From there Reno and Angelo introduced ‘The Outdoor Journal’ Radio Show in 1996. In 2004 the brothers took reality TV to a whole new level, with the first ever reality fishing show, ‘The Last Cull.”
Today Fish’n Canada has a national reach audience of over a million. Angelo is still working hard with Fish’n Canada and The Outdoor Journal Radio while Reno has retired from the fishing industry.

JOHN POWER

2008

John Power was an outdoor journalist for the Toronto Star for more than 40 years and was an avid Muskie angler.

DAVE MERCER

2018

Okay, so this is the part where we are supposed to tell you how much Dave Mercer loves the great sport of fishing. How he would run home from school and walk for miles and miles just to get a cast in the local lake, blah, blah, blah. Well, of course he loves fishing or he wouldn’t be hosting a fishing show! Dave doesn’t just love fishing, he is a self-professed, over-the-top, FISHING FREAK!! It is quite apparent that the two things that he was put on this earth to do is fish and entertain. Since the first day he hit the airwaves over 23 years ago, people noticed he was different. Dave simply doesn’t fit into your traditional fishing show host mold.
As the originator of the one-minute fishing interstitial, Dave quickly became an audience favorite. What started as a television tip series has now become one of the world’s most-watched fishing shows. Every week Dave can be seen on Facts of Fishing in over 176 countries around the world.
In 2008 he started a relentless campaign in an effort try to break into the very tough U.S market in a major way. Through a unique online program called Facts of Fishing FYI fully distributed on You Tube, U.S viewers started to notice him and that came with opportunities such as hosting the very first TTBC world championship live on CBS Network TV. Then 8 years ago Dave got the call he had always dreamed of. He was chosen to host the Bassmasters. In the over forty-year history of the Bassmaster Classic, widely recognized as the Superbowl of bass fishing, Dave has the honor of being only the fourth Bassmaster emcee and can be seen in over 100 million homes every weekend on ESPN2.

 
Career Highlights:
  - Hosted 100 Bassmaster Tournaments
  - On the water reporter for Bassmaster LIVE
  - Hosted 10 TTBC World Championships
   - Fishing broadcaster on the following network: ESPN, 

     ESPN2, NBC Sports, TSN, Outdoor Channel, CBS, FS1, City

     TV, Versus Network, CTV, CHCH,
   - Facts of Fishing is the only fishing show to ever win the

     Golden Moose at the Outdoor Sportsman Awards for Best

DR. JOHN CASSELMAN

2015

Dr. John Casselman is an adjunct professor, Department of Biology, Queen’s University, and retired senior scientist with Fisheries Research, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, supervisor of the Lake Ontario Fisheries Research Unit.
John grew up in the 1,000 Islands section of the upper St. Lawrence River and has been formally designated as a “River Rat” – and proud of it. He was a fishing guide before attending the Universities of Guelph and Toronto and receiving his PhD, specializing in fisheries science and ecology. He has numerous fisheries publications (161) and is much referred to in fisheries articles; his studies are both practical and applied. John has learned much from fishers and greatly appreciates and strongly supports their observations, insights, and stewardship.
He enjoys working closely with them to ensure sustainable fisheries for the future. He is heavily involved in science transfer and is official fish adviser to many, including the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.  
He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Muskies Canada Hall of Fame, the GLFC Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award and, in 2008, the prestigious Award of Excellence of the145-year-old American Fisheries Society.

PETE BOWMAN

2012

Pete attributes the beginning of his fishing success back to fishing as a kid. His dad would plan a fishing trip and Pete would always be included. Between those trips and his summer vacations (which always included fishing) with his family to northern Ontario, Pete’s fishing path was created. As a teenager he was consumed with the BassMasters® tournament events and pros. Pete bought his first bass boat in his early twenties and jumped right into tournament fishing. In the mid 80’s he hooked up with The Fish’n Canada Television Show on a part time pro staff basis and is now proud to be a full-time part of the #1 viewed outdoor television program in the country.

BOB PATERSON

2012

Bob Paterson’s career at Mercury Marine spanned 37 years. Notable periods and positions held include: 1965-1970, Assistant Sales Manager & OEM Sales, 1972-1978, Snowmobile Sales & High Performance Manager,1978-1986, Advertising & Promotions Manager (All Products),1986-2002, Director of Marketing Services. Before joining Mercury Marine Bob studied Business Administration at Ryerson University from 1961-1964. Bob retired in 2002. 

JIM MCLAUGHLIN

2011

“Big” Jim, as he is affectionately known has been an integral part of the Canadian sportfishing scene for over 25 years now and shows no signs of slowing down. Having first gained notoriety as a tournament angler, “Big” Jim was vaulted into the sportfishing spotlight with two Canadian Classic titles along with a slew of tournament victory’s. “Big” Jim formed what has become Canada’s largest free fishing publication - Just Fishing. This successful publication is presently entering its 18th year of bringing much needed angling information to Canadian and American anglers alike.

BRUCE PARK

2010

Bruce has been a professional fisherman, owning and running charter boats throughout Southern Ontario. Bruce was the founding President of Muskies Canada and started a movement to catch and release muskies in 1978. By 1981, 85% of muskie caught by Muskies Canada members were live released. Bruce was the first lifetime member of Muskies Canada and the first person inducted into Muskie Canada’s Hall of Fame.

BOB IZUMI

2009

    Bob Izumi is Canada’s most popular fishing personality and one of the foremost spokespersons on the sport. For over 27 years his weekly Real Fishing Show has educated and entertained legions of anglers, both young and old, on the finer points of fishing. Bob’s infectious enthusiasm and approachable demeanour have made him a “TV-buddy” to millions of Canadians and, as anyone who has ever met him will agree, he’s exactly the same down-to earth guy in person.
    Bob’s unmatched credibility in the fishing world is due in part to his incredible success as a tournament angler. In 1979 Bob Izumi became Canada’s first full-time professional fisherman and in over three decades of competitive fishing Bob has won more than 70 major events, far surpassing any other Canadian angler. He has won multiple Angler of the Year and Team of the Year titles and he is the only Canadian angler to win the Triple Crown of fishing; capturing the Canadian Open, the Classic Championship, and Angler of the Year title in a single season.
    Along with his television show and tournament career, Bob is an award winning author, seminar speaker, conservationist, and radio show host. His Real Fishing television show and Real Fishing Radio program are Canada's longest running syndicated series of any kind in the television and radio categories. Bob’s fishing seminars regularly sell out and his Real Fishing magazine and web site attract consistently huge audiences. His expertly polished presentation skills coupled with a deep passion for fishing have kept him in demand for over three decades.
    All accomplishments aside, what separates Bob from his contemporaries are his amiable manner and genuine love of fishing, qualities that put him in a league of his own.



 

RICK AMSBURY

2008

Rick "Huck" Amsburt founded National Fishing Week which is still recognized today.

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