Ranger Boats founder and fishing industry legend Forrest L. Wood received one of the highest honors bestowed on members of the angling community when he was inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame Oct. 26.
Wood joins an impressive list of angling pioneers and luminaries in the IGFA Hall of Fame, including Ray Scott, Homer Circle and Ernest Hemingway. Inclusion into the IGFA's Hall of Fame, located in Dania Beach, Fla., is open to anglers, captains, scientists, conservationists, writers and industry leaders who make significant contributions to the sport and requires the approval of the IGFA Board of Trustees.
In its induction of Wood, the IGFA said, "Though Forrest sold Ranger Boats in 1987, two original trademarks remain: his white cowboy hat and his wife of almost 60 years, Nina, the first lady of Ranger. Forrest and Nina are the two halves of the success story that is Ranger Boats, a company that rose to preeminence in the industry, took hold, set firsts and defined standards. And as Forrest helped make bass anglers rock stars, and fishing tournaments major media events, he never lost sight of the importance of the sport and the value of the experience to individuals and to families. For his enduring vision, the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame honors Forrest Wood."
In his relatively brief career as a touring bass fishing professional, Wood competed in 101 B.A.S.S. events, qualifying for two Bassmaster Classics and winning the 1979 New York Invitational on the St. Lawrence River. He finished ninth in the 1979 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Texoma.
Wood's induction into the IGFA Hall of Fame is one of many such honors for the fishing icon. Wood is also the member of numerous halls of fame, including the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, Arkansas Business Hall of Fame, International Boating Hall of Fame and the National Marine Manufacturers Hall of Fame. Wood has also received the B.A.S.S. Lifetime Achievement Award.