Superpro Kevin VanDam was one of two Bassmaster anglers in the 2011 class of inductees into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wis.
A six-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year and three-time Bassmaster Classic champ, VanDam's accomplishments are legendary, so it is fitting he was tapped to be among the hall's "legendary angler" inductees.
B.A.S.S. can claim another 2011 inductee as one of its own because she was a competitor in the Women's Bassmaster Tour. Yet Sharon Rushton made her mark on sportfishing long before she entered her first WBT event in 2005.
Tapped for the hall's highest honor of "enshrinement," Rushton is perhaps best-known as the founding executive director of the Future Fisherman Foundation (www.futurefisherman.org). She also started the Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs program, now in use nationwide and in foreign countries. Many of the aquatic education programs and teaching curriculums Rushton developed while working for the foundation are being used today.
"I look back to my work with the Future Fisherman Foundation with pride, but everyone should know I never was working alone; there were always many good people working along with me," said Rushton, now retired from the foundation and living in Kimberling City, Mo., where she is working on a book for young readers.
"Many B.A.S.S. Federation Nation members were integral parts of the Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs programs," Rushton said. "They became our local experts in schools, and they conducted programs and helped with fishing events, all the while serving as important, positive role models for students."