Two individuals and one organization make up the 2016 class of inductees into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Slated for induction at a banquet June 4 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens are Randi Wayland, Ray Sasser and the Texas State Bass Tournament.
Wayland will be honored for a lifetime of activities promoting fishing, water safety and involving young people in the outdoors. A resident of San Antonio, Wayland has been an adjunct professor with the San Antonio Community College for more than 40 years. A past president of the Texas Association of Bass Clubs, she has also served as a board member of Texas Black Bass Unlimited. She is an instructor in Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman program and is an area chief of the department’s boater education program.
Sasser has been an outdoor writer for more than 40 years and is currently the outdoor editor for the Dallas Morning News. Largemouth bass fishing is his favorite outdoor activity, but he has written about everything from invasive species to the environment, penning hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and a dozen books. He has been honored with several awards for his work. Sasser is a native of East Texas and is known for championing the interests of the average outdoor person. One of his greatest memories is being present at the inception of the ShareLunker program when Mark Stevenson caught Ethel, ShareLunker number 1, from Lake Fork in 1986.
The Texas State Bass Tournament is the world’s oldest competitive bass fishing tournament open to anyone. The first tournament was held in 1956 on Lake Whitney, where a Texas Historical Marker records the event. The Texas State Bass Tournament emphasizes family involvement in fishing and awards no monetary prizes to winners. Competitors may enter as family teams, and senior and high school divisions have been added in recent years. Tournaments are completely staffed by volunteers, and all sponsorship money is used to defray tournament costs. Throughout its 60-year history, the tournament has maintained its focus on conservation and sportsmanlike competition among friends and family.
The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame honors inductees with videos that may be viewed in the Hall of Fame area at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Information on visiting can be found at www.tpwd.texas.gov/tffc.