International Game Fish Association inducts five into hall of fame

2017 IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Inductees (left to right): Dr. Eric Prince, Peter Fithian, Mike Levitt, Rick Clunn, Larry Dahlberg.

Dania Beach, Fla. – The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Fishing Hall of Fame class of 2017 was honored on Oct. 28 in a ceremony at the new IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame in Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Mo.

The 2017 inductees are Rick Clunn, Larry Dahlberg, Peter Fithian, Mike Levitt, and Dr. Eric Prince. They join 116 others in the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and were recognized for their achievements in recreational fishing around the world.

Clunn is a four-time Bassmaster Classic winner (one of only two anglers to achieve the honor) and is a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

Dahlberg has fished for more than 50 years in 80 countries and is the host of The Hunt for Big Fish. He created the “Dahlberg Diver” fly and is responsible for many other fishing innovations. He’s received the Henshall Award from the Federation of Fly Fishers, is a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the 1999 IGFA Conservation Award.

Fithian is best known as the founder of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT), the “Grandfather” of all billfish fishing tournaments. Fithian also founded the Pacific Ocean Research Foundation (PORF) to learn more about Pacific blue marlin, and was instrumental in the foundation of the Japan Game Fish Association (JGFA).

Levitt developed a passion for light tackle angling in the 1960s, which led him to the IGFA. He has held 16 world records, including light tackle records for black and white marlin. A former Chairman of the IGFA, Levitt spearheaded efforts to build the IGFA headquarters in Dania Beach. Levitt led the design and financing of a succession of custom sport fishing boats, which helped to develop the prototype for the large sport fishing boats widely used today.

Prince is considered one of the world’s top fisheries scientists, with a 35-year career as a billfish biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). He’s served conservation through his research and helping to create The Billfish Foundation, which earned him the IGFA Conservation Award in 2016.

To learn more about the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame, its members, or to submit a nomination, visit the IGFA website at http://www.igfa.org.

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