Guido Hibdon dies

Guido Hibdon, in the center, with wife Stella at left, and son Dion on the right.

Classic week began with the bass fishing world mourning the death of Guido Hibdon, who won the world championship title in 1988. Hibdon, 72, of Sunrise Beach, Mo., died March 10.

Cause of death was unknown as of this writing, although Hibdon was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. Hibdon is survived by his wife Stella, son Dion and grandsons Payden, Lawson and Conner and more family members.

Guido and Dion made history as the only father and son to ever win a Bassmaster Classic. Dion won the title in 1997.

“We lost a great man and a mentor for many of us,” said Shaw Grigsby, who credited Hibdon with teaching him firsthand the art of shallow finesse fishing, a tactic the Florida pro is well respected for among his peers and the sport.

Grigsby recalled a tournament early in his career on the St. Johns River when he drew Hibdon as a partner. The young Grigsby intended to prove his Florida-born shallow finesse skills to the veteran, and of course, it backfired.

“He patiently let me pick apart a shoreline area, and the whole time I wasn’t getting a bite,” recalled Grigsby. “After I got frustrated he offered to help, didn’t say a word about my shortcomings, and spent the remainder of the day schooling me in the right way of it all.”

Hibdon went on to help Grigsby hone his skills and developed a lasting personal friendship.

“He was deeply rooted in family integrity and treated all of us like his own sons,” added Grigsby.

Those deep family roots carried over to the tournament trail. From the 1980s on the Hibdon family traveled together, with Guido, Stella and Dion in tow. As a Classic contender Dion witnessed his father win the title on the James River in Virginia.

A third generation guide on Lake of the Ozarks, Hibdon, his father and brothers were practically modern-day mountain men. They guided hunters and fishermen, trapping in between to make ends meet. Hibdon started guiding crappie customers at the age of 13. The next year he quit school to be on the lake full time as a guide.

In 1980, Hibdon won the first B.A.S.S. tournament he entered on Lake of the Ozarks. He won five B.A.S.S. titles during his career and also 1990 and 1991 Bassmaster Angler of the Year. In 2002 he was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 14, at Kidwell-Garber Funeral Home of Versailles, Missouri. A visitation will follow the service in the funeral home.

Everyone is welcome to attend a celebration of life at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday at the Stover Community Center in Stover, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a fund to establish a scholarship to promote fishing for kids, in care of the family. If you have a favorite photo or a favorite story of Guido, please send to: Stella Hibdon, P.O. Box 56, Stover, MO 65078.