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New Hall of Fame Inductees

All are leaders in the sport, some are pioneers in research, and others are champions of game fish advocacy and innovators in fishing technology. Across their specialties, each of the 2012 nominees for the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame share a common thread: their dedication to recreational angling.

On October 23, 2012, five men will join the Hall and be honored alongside the 90 current members. Their contributions to game fishing have done much to advance the sport through techniques, technology, conservation and cooperation. This year’s honorees are:

Al Anderson

Al Anderson received a Master of Science degree from Adelphi University and taught on the secondary and college levels for 20 years.  In 1967 he started charter fishing on the Prowler out of Snug Harbor in Rhode Island, and that same year he started tagging for the late IGFA Hall of Famer Frank J. Mather III, who started the bluefin tuna tagging program at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in the United Sates.  Anderson has tagged more than 50,000 game fish in his career, and is credited by the IGFA with tagging more fish for science than anyone worldwide. He has tagged and released 1,000 bluefin tuna in a season multiple times, and he reportedly has more bluefin recaptures than anyone else. Anderson has authored three books and multiple articles and has been an IGFA Representative since 1989.


Mike Leech

Mike Leech served the IGFA for 23 years, 10 of which were as the organization’s President (1992-2002). He created the Junior Angler World Record Program in addition to the Offshore, Inshore and Junior Angler World Championship Tournaments. Leech raised millions of dollars over 17 years with the annual IGFA Auction in Palm Beach and started the IGFA Captains, Observers and Weigh Station programs. Additionally, he has written a conservation column for Marlin magazine since 1996 and has served on various governmental advisory panels and continues to serve national conservation organizations. Mike Leech was also instrumental in the construction of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum.


Darrell Lowrance

In 1957, Darrell Lowrance established the Lowrance sonar electronics company; in 1959, the company introduced the first “little green box” portable sonar unit. It was the first portable fish-finding instrument for anglers and it revolutionized the way people fished.  More than a million were produced between 1959 and 1984.  Lowrance is a leading advocate of the United States tackle industry.  He played the key role in the old American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association (AFTMA - ASA) developing a greater focus on fishery management and resource issues.  To ensure that this happened, Lowrance lead the effort to move the headquarters of the AFTMA from Chicago to Washington D.C.


Monty Padilla

Monty Padilla is one of Mexico's most influential sportfishing officials and has been an IGFA Representative since 1973 (38 years). He has been a personal advisor on recreational fisheries to the Secretary of Fishing since 1990, and is the first President of the Mexican Sportfishing Federation. Padilla also works as Chairman of several tournaments. He is the founder and former commodore of the Acapulco Yacht Club (Mexico's oldest yacht club) and in 2008 received the Rybovich Lifetime Achievement Award. Monty Padilla has also participated in satellite tagging research trips in numerous countries.


Bill Poole

Capt. Bill Poole’s career as a sportfishing boat skipper spanned six decades.  Over the course of his career, Poole built the world’s largest long-range boats; owned three sportfishing landings, two marinas and two fuel docks; helped found the Sportfishing Association of California (SAC); and a chapter of Safari Club International. He skippered anglers to world-record tuna and was among the first to explore Mexico’s fish-rich waters.  Considered the “father of long-range fishing” in California, he created fishing opportunities for many thousands of anglers over the years.  Poole passed away in 2009.


Please visit our IGFA Hall of Fame page for biographies of previous IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame honorees. To reserve your seats for the 2012 IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame induction ceremony, please contact John Holley via 954-924-4240 or jholley@igfa.org.