On Wednesday, Sept. 19, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame announced its latest trio of inductees: Mike Folkestad, Darrell Lowrance and Jack Wingate. They will be formally inducted during the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 22-24, at the Hall's Induction Banquet scheduled for Friday, Sept. 22, in Tulsa, Okla.
Folkestad, 71, is a western tournament legend who won the 1992 Bassmaster Florida Invitational on the Harris Chain of Lakes with a record low weight of 14 pounds, 10 ounces. He qualified for the Bassmaster Classic that year, finishing 39th. He is a three-time winner of the WON BASS U.S. Open (1985, 2001 and 2002 — the only other angler to accomplish that feat is Aaron Martens). He is also a two-time winner of the WON BASS Daiwa Cup (2003 and 2008).
Lowrance, 74, along with his father, Carl, and brother, Arlen, helped to bring bass fishing into the electronics age. As a World War II flight instructor, Carl learned about sonar (developed by the U.S. Navy to track enemy submarines). The Lowrances reduced both the size of the bulky military units and their pulse length to make them practical for fishing applications. In 1956, they introduced the Fish Lo-K-Tor ("little green box"), and in 1958, they formed Lowrance Electronics. Darrell Lowrance retired in 2007 following the company’s acquisition by Navico.
Wingate, who died in 2012, supplied the names of many bass anglers who fished Ray Scott’s first tournament in 1967. As the long-time owner of Wingate’s Lunker Lodge on Lake Seminole, he promoted tournament and recreational bass fishing in its formative years. For more than three decades he operated a summer camp for young boys, where he taught them the basics of fishing and outdoor appreciation.