Elias to be inducted into Bass Fishing Hall of Fame

Former Bassmaster Classic champion one of four 2012 Hall of Fame class members.

Former Bassmaster Classic champion Paul Elias is one of four being inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame during a banquet to be held next Friday (Feb. 24) in conjunction with the 2012 Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport.

Joining Elias will be longtime B.A.S.S. photographer Gerald Crawford, award-winning videographer Glenn Lau and bass-boat innovator Holmes Thurmond. The banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Sam’s Town Casino/Resort Ballroom. Dinner begins at 8 p.m. Individual tickets are $50, with corporate tables for 10 available for $1,000. Click here for ticket information.

Included in the festivities will be a silent auction, with prizes including fishing trips with leading bass fishing celebrities, rods, reels, lures and tackle bags from all the major manufacturers, along with hunting trips and gear.

Elias’ 42-year B.A.S.S. career includes five wins (including the 1982 Bassmaster Classic title won on the Alabama River), setting the all-time winning weight record for a five-bass limit with 132 pounds, 8 ounces caught to win the 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series stop on Texas’ Lake Falcon and qualificaiton for 15 Classics. He has finished in the top 10 in eight of those Classics, and posted 41 top-10 finishes in other B.A.S.S. events.

Crawford was hired in the fall of 1980 to photograph the Bassmaster Classic at Thousand Islands, N.Y., and soon became the staff photographer for B.A.S.S. and Bassmaster Magazine. During his career, he photographed more than 200 professional tournaments, including every Classic since 1980.

Lau has spent his career creating stunning programming, including more than 300 commercials and 200 television shows. He is perhaps best know for the ground-breaking documentary “Bigmouth,” which explored the life cycle of largemouth bass. His more-recent “Bigmouth Forever” won the 1996 North America Film & Video Award, and he also has directed and/or produced several segments of “The American Sportsman,” “The Wild, Wild World of Animals” and “Quest for Adventure.” Lau also is one of the founders of the “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” campaign.

Thurmond is credited with a design of boat with inward-sloping sides that wouldn’t get pushed around by the wind. That stable wooden design was nicknamed the Mosquito, which was eventually shortened to “Skeeter.” The boat, believed to be the first bass boat, was brought to market in 1948. Thurmond, who passed away in 1970, later sold the rights to build fiberglass replicas to Skeeter Products Inc.

For more information on the BFHOF induction dinner, call 888.690.2277, or follow the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame on Facebook

Follow the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the dedicated page.