ICAST––running in Orlando this week––is fishing’s annual coming-out party, showcasing the latest, greatest and newest innovations. But on Wednesday, the spotlight shined on someone who is anything but new to the sport. NAFC Member Bill Siementel was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame on Wednesday at ICAST.
“Bill was voted into the Hall in an overwhelming vote,” said Emmett Brown, Director of the Hall of Fame. “He is a tremendous teacher, the most ethical fisherman you could ask for, and it also helps that he catches huge bass.”
In fact, he’s caught more than 500 largemouth bass weighing 10 pounds or more, and has been one of the most innovative fishermen in recent decades. From his home base of California, Bill has accomplished a host of achievements far too numerous to list. Most recently, he’s enjoyed creating his newest project, the highly discussed “BBZ Zone."
NAFC Executive Director Steve Pennaz was among the crowd who gathered at the ceremony on Wednesday, which took place at 5 p.m. at Spro’s booth at ICAST.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have the chance to fish with Bill,” Pennaz said. “He and I have also spent a lot of time talking about new ways and ideas to catch fish. He’s taught me a tremendous amount.”
At the ceremony, Siementel thanked a variety of people, including Al Lindner and Mike Jones, all of whom were instrumental in his success.
In the end, Emmett Brown summed it up best as he awarded Siementel with a Hall of Fame plaque.
“As a member of the Hall of Fame now, you’re in elite company, Bill,” he said. “And you deserve it. Congratulations.”