LITTLE FALLS, Minn. -- Sybil Smith, Paul Thorne and Ray Gildow have been named as 2021 inductees into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in the Individual Legends category, the organization announced Thursday, April 1.
Smith is a noted Minnesota outdoors writer, publisher and founder of Women Anglers of Minnesota; Thorne is a co-founder of the custom Rod & Tackle and The Fly Angler retail stores; and Gildow is a 35-year member of the Nisswa Guide League, TV personality, outdoor writer and radio host.
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The Fishing Hall of Fame also named MN B.A.S.S. Nation to its ranks of Legendary Organizations. B.A.S.S. Nation is a global network of locally organized clubs whose members participate in a variety of activities, including tournaments, conservation initiatives and youth programs.
Based in Little Falls, the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame annually recognizes up to three individuals and two groups or organizations that have made a major impact on Minnesota's sport fishing industry. Individuals must be state residents who have lived in Minnesota for a minimum of 25 years, be at least 50 years old and have made meritorious contributions to the sport of fishing.
Businesses and organizations may also be nominated, provided they are registered in Minnesota and have made similar noteworthy contributions to fishing. Nominations are accepted from the general public, and the list is reduced to the top 10 by current Hall of Fame members, after which finalists are voted on for induction.
In a news release, the Hall of Fame said the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed official enshrinement, and both the 2020 and 2021 inductees will be recognized at a later date when it is safe to do so.
Steve Pennaz, Chip Leer and Tim Lesmeister were named to the Individual Legends category for 2020, and Babe Winkelman Productions and Kluge Manufacturing were inducted in the Legendary Organizations category.