Honorary Members

The NFLCC goals are to foster an awareness of lure and tackle collecting and to preserve these items and fishing history.  At the urging of member Rich Treml in 1984, an Honorary Member Program was established to honor and give special, ongoing recognition to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the pre-1960 fishing tackle era.  This time frame has now been expanded to include those who made lures 25 years ago or more. 

Rich Treml became the program’s first Chairman, a position that is appointed by the club’s president.  Rich was succeeded by Frank Barone, who passed the torch to our current Chairman, Dan Basore. 

Honorary Members have their name engraved on a permanent plaque that is exhibited at each year’s National Show.  They also receive a one-year paid membership and a certificate of honorary membership.   An article about their accomplishments and contributions is published in the Gazette, and their names are listed on the club’s website.

In this way, we seek to assure these individuals that their good works are appreciated, now and far into the future.

Nomination Process

Candidates can be nominated by submitting a brief biography on an individual’s achievements to the Honorary Membership Selection Committee Chairman.  Members are urged to submit qualified nominees to Dan Basore with their qualifications, a short biography, address and telephone number.  After qualifying, such nominee selections are submitted to the NFLCC Board of Directors.  With their approval, those determined to be appropriate are announced to the membership at the annual meeting.

In the below list, clicking the names that appear in red will open a PDF that highlights their contributions.  

Our Current Honorary Members
Honorary MemberCompany/ OccupationMajor Contributions
John GrekGrek Bait Co. Lure maker, Mauler musky lure
Past Honorary Members, in alphabetical order
Honorary MemberCompany/ OccupationMajor Contributions
George "Boots" AndersonHandmade balsa baits-no Company nameTennessee Shad lure, later became Doll Top Secret
Jim AndrewsStan Gibbs Lures-Partner -
Glen AndrewsAndrews Bait Company-lure manufacturer and fishing guide.Early tournament pioneer, fishing guide and lure manufacturer
Lennart “Len” BorgstromRecord Reels and LuresAbu Garcia line of rods and reels, including the Ambassadeur Reel
Berkley BedellBerkley-company founderTrilene fishing line, extensive fishing tackle research lab at Spirit Lake, IA headquarters
Tom BedellPure Fishing (later evolution of Berkley)PowerBait, Gulp
Charles D. CampbellLure & boat designer/tackle dealer/fishing champion/conservationistTackle executive/National Bass Hall of Fame member
John Carino (see also-Charlie Jackson)Charlie O-Living LuresCharlie O lure
R. Glynn CarverMister TwisterMister Twister soft plastic baits
Carl ChristiansenCarl Christiansen Lure CompanyHand carved fish decoys and fishing lures
Homer CircleHeddon, Sports Afield MagazineTackle executive and outdoor writer
Herschel "Sonny" ClayClay’s Bait CompanyWooden saltwater/ freshwater plugs
Allan ColeAC Plugs-Lure manufacturerAC Plugs, helped start the swimbait craze.
Carl "Cotton" Cordell Jr.Cordell Lure CompanyBig O (plastic production model), Cordell Spot
W.J. "Bill" CullertonW.J. Jamison CompanyJamison whistling bobber, bottle lures and sub-contracting work for major tackle manufacturers
Ned H. DanforthTropical Bait Company“Packman” baits like the Stormy Petrel and Bugeyed Babbler
Howard "Pop" DeanHandmade musky plugs-no Company nameSucker and Masterbait
Gordon Allen DillsCreek Chub Bait CompanyTackle Executive, grandson of Henry Dills, one of the three founders of Creek Chub
Bill EdgarLucky Strike Bait CompanyTackle Executive-President of Lucky Strike Bait Company
Edward EppingerEppinger Tackle ManufacturingDaredevle spoon, 2nd generation owner
Karen EppingerEppinger Tackle ManufacturingDaredevle spoon, 3rd generation owner
Mike EstepHandmade balsa baits-no Company nameBig E lure
Billy EzellHandmade balsa luresBig Willie Round, et.al. Willie lures
Charlie FoxAuthor, lure makerOutdoor writer and author of "Advanced Bait Casting" in 1950
Wilson FrazierHandmade luresBASSO lures
Jim FrazierLure inventor, and past NFLCC president 1982-1985Whiz Bang feathered jig
Dan Gapen Sr.Gapen Bait Company, lure manufacturer, educatorMuddler Minnow Gapen Bait Walker
Stan GibbsStan Gibbs Lures-owner, lure manufacturerCast-A-Lures trade name
Jewell GilliamGilliam Lure CompanyFlying Tempter Lure, Gilliam's famous fly rod lures
L.C. "Daddy Luke" GregoryDaddy Luke LuresDaddy Luke Plug
Sam A. GriffinCustom Lures by SamHandmade wooden top water plugs
Harry HeinzerlingCreek Chub Bait CompanyTackle Executive, son of Carl Heinzerling, one of the three founders of Creek Chub
Herbert "Otto" HenzePenn Fishing Tackle-
John, Alan and Mark HildebrandtHildebrandt Lure Company-Third (John and Alan) and Fourth (Mark) generation ownersHildebrandt Spinner, Snagless Salley lure
Charles "Charlie" Jackson (see also John Carino)Charlie O-Living LuresCharlie O lure
Bill JarboeRebel LuresDesigner: designed lures sold under Arbogast, Bomber, Booyah, Creek Chub, Heddon, Lindy, Rebel, Smithwick and Yum
Phil JensenLuhr Jensen & Sons, Inc.Diversified tackle company that has taken ownership of a number of historic companies including Eddie Pope, Glen L. Evans, Les Davis, Kwikfish, and Tony Accetta
Houston A. JonesCarpenter and developer of lure making lathesDeveloped a modern, advanced lathe system to produce multiple, finished lure bodies in seconds
William R. JonesWilliam R. Jones CompanyTril-O-Bite and Tril-O-Frog lures
Fred Kerr Jr.Shakespeare-Divisional VPTackle executive, former, NFLCC President
Stanley KoenigHeddon Company Chairman of the Board and CEO1977-1984
Aloysius "Al" KostielnyKostielny Bait CompanyThe Chris Floater, The Kay Bee
Dick KotisFred Arbogast Bait CompanyTackle executive, industry leader, author and radio show host
Allan & Robert Krizenesky Mr. Muskie Bait Co. Musk-a-Luck, Baby Musk-a-Luck, & Black Beauty lures
Floyd H. LayfieldLayfield LuresSmall, hand-carved wooden baits, popular in East Texas that were a forerunner to today's modern crankbaits.
Jester L. LayfieldLayfield LuresSmall, hand-carved wooden baits,  popular in East Texas that were a forerunner to today’s modern crankbaits
Homer LeBlancMusky Fishing Legend, known as “Mr. Muskie”Swim Whizz musky plug, inventor of “prop wash” trolling method
Vern "Frenchy" LeMayLe LuresThumper, Sneaky Joe, Chair Leg lures
Al LinderLindy Little Joe-lure manufacturer, tournament fisherman, magazine publisher, educator and television personalityMuskie mauler, Lingy Rig (lures) In-Fisherman magazine and television show Angling Edge television show
Ron LinderLindy Little Joe-lure manufacturer, tournament fisherman, magazine publisher, educator and television personalityMuskie mauler, Lingy Rig (lures) In-Fisherman magazine and television show Angling Edge television show
Trygve "Trig" LundHeddonTackle executive, researcher and lure preservationist
August "Augie" MachtigThe Gopher Bait CompanyGopher topwater lure, The Flock Mouse and Musky Duckling
Jack MastersJack's Lures, E Z Action ProductsFly-rod Froggy (Jack's Lures) maker of Paw Paw's- Fly-rod Wotta Frog Popper, and Swim Jig (E Z Action)
Stanley F. MyersSpringfield Novelty Manufacturing CompanyThe "Reel" Lure
Leo C. PachnerP and K IncorporatedMinnow Saver Hook, Whirl-A-Way
Ewell ParkerEwelure, Boogie Woogie lureFishing Television Show Producer/Director/Originator, Lure Designer and Manufacturer
Douglas ParkerLure DesignerRabble Rouser Lures
Elwood "Buck" PerryBuck's Baits, Inc.Spoonplug, "Father" of structure fishing
Walter PiusP and V Fishing Lures-lure manufacturerRedwing Blackbird lures
Lynn PulverLure ManufacturerPulver Riser lure
Jarmo RapalaLure ManufacturerRapala Company/Lures
Bud RenbargerIndependent lure inventorDouble-Whammie, Kick-N-Kackle, Sub-Whammie
James RheinschmidtMud Puppy LuresMud Puppy Lure
Solly RobisheauxLure MakerJackrabbit Lure
Jim RogersRogers Lure CompanyBig Jim, Deep Jim, Craw-Pap, early tournament competitor and champion
Babe Rogers (wife of Jim)Rogers Lure CompanyBig Jim, Deep Jim, Craw-Pap, early tournament competitor and champion
Arthur Carl SchoultheisAC Shiner Lure Co.AC Shiner lure
Leroy K. SchultessCreek Chub Bait CompanyTackle Executive, son of George Schultess, one of the three founders of Creek Chub
Helen ShawFly tyer; Art Kade FlycraftersFly tyer, author
Rick and Carol ShepherdOld Wooden Bait Co.Canadian company
Lee SissonBagley lures, Lee Sisson lures. Lure DesignerBagley and Lee Sisson wooden crankbaits
Charles "Ike" SixCharles M. Six Tackle CompanyToppy Popper, Crappie King Jig and Little Suzy. Also developed wood turning machine for wood bodies of C.A. Clark Lure Company
Russ "Smitty" SmithSmitty Baits-lure manufacturer and fishings guide"Smitty Bait" - Musky lure
Tony SmithThe Macatawa Bait CompanyHandmade wooden lures and decoys. Founded the The Macatawa Bait Company in 1979.
Cliff SowardLure designerYUM fish attractant
Elman "Bud" StewartBud Stewart Tackle CompanyFamed Michigan lure maker of “folk art” baits like Stewart’s Crippled Wiggler and Crippled Mouse
Frank M. Stewart IIILongtime NFLCC member, author and avid fishermanAuthor and lure preservationist
Oscar L. StrausborgerEdon Bait CompanyLure carver and inventor, most famous bait known as 711
Bill Stuart Jr.Bagley Bait Company, Florida Museum of FishingBagley Bait Company owner:1987-1993, Museum Director/Curator
Charlie SuthpinSuthpins's Tackle Store, Indianapolis, INTournament caster, Suthpin Darter lure
Bill SzaboLure inventor/manufacturerCree- Duk lure
Frank VonderheideP and V Lures-lure manufacturerRedwing Blackbird lures
Gilbert "Gib" WaiteMermade Bait CompanyScatback lure
Ike WalkerBomber Bait CompanyBomber, Bomberette, Waterdog lures
Lanny WestDaisy/Heddon ,PradcoTackle executive
Raymond WiinikkaR&K Tackle CompanyThe Hollowhead lure
Walter WiitalaBear Creek Bait CompanyThe Tweedler, Sucker Minnow and Coho-King lures, ice decoys
Robert WitheyMillsite Tackle Co., co-owner 1946-1967"Spin Disk" chain fish stringer, Deep Creep lure
Gene WilsonWright & McGill CompanyTackle executive, Eagle Claw fish hooks
Ed ZumskiIndependent Lure ManufacturerWhip-Tail Sucker musky bait