SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – As part of its mission to celebrate those who have made major contributions to the sport, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Board of Directors has announced the induction class of 2021, which includes three deserving individuals – Gene Gilliland, Jason Lucas and Trip Weldon. The trio will be honored on Thursday, Sept. 30 at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium at a special reception within the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame venue, followed by the Hall’s annual dinner and induction activities.
“On behalf of our entire Board, we’re thrilled that we’ll be able to honor Gene Gilliland and Trip Weldon in person, along with Jason Lucas posthumously, when the bass fishing world comes together to celebrate in Springfield this fall,” said BFHOF Board President John Mazurkiewicz. “Each of them has made lasting contributions to the sport and we’re excited to see them take their rightful place in the Hall of Fame.”
The three members of the 2021 class distinguished themselves in various facets of the sport — spanning conservation, media and tournament operations.
Gilliland is known for his extensive work in fisheries management and bass conservation efforts and continues that involvement as conservation director for B.A.S.S. He is a tireless advocate for bass fishing on numerous national boards and councils.
Lucas, the former fishing editor for Sports Afield, is considered one of the modern era’s "fathers of bass fishing." His book Lucas on Bass Fishing, published in 1947, was one of the first bass fishing how-to books and helped ignite the popularity of the sport. He later wrote about bass fishing for Sports Illustrated, providing the sport with meaningful exposure in the mainstream sports world. Lucas passed away in 1975.
While he enjoyed competing in bass tournaments, including top-five finishes in Red Man All-American events, Weldon set the standard for tournament directors during his nearly 20 years presiding over B.A.S.S events. Known among professional bass anglers for his fairness and strict adherence to the rule book, he became one of the most respected tournament directors in the history of the sport. Weldon retired from B.A.S.S. in 2020.
In overseeing the induction process for the BFHOF Board, nominations committee chairman Todd Hammill said, “We appreciate the involvement of our past inductees and supporters of the Hall in nominating worthy individuals for this honor, and especially our 30-member selection panel for their transparent efforts in identifying the qualified nominees who deserve a place in the Hall.”
The annual Bass Fishing Hall of Fame induction banquet continues to be a must-attend event. While the spotlight will shine on Gilliland, Lucas and Weldon, the Hall’s 2020 class, which included Steve Bowman, Bryan Kerchal, James Heddon, Ron Lindner and Jay Yelas, will also be recognized. Last year’s induction celebration was canceled due to the worldwide pandemic.
“We do thank all who supported our online auction last year that helped the Board function through the pandemic and with projects such as our conservation grants,” said BFHOF Board Vice President Tim Carini. “We look forward to Sept. 30 in Springfield when the bass fishing world comes together to help us celebrate, promote and preserve our sport.”
Tickets to the induction dinner and information about the Hall of Fame and its mission are available at www.Bassfishinghof.com.