2018 National Fresh Water Fishing
Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Emmett A. Brown, Jr.
Upon selling his founding interest in a successful financial recruiting firm in Chicago, Illinois, Emmett and his wife Jean moved to Hayward, Wisconsin in order for Brown to assume the helm as Executive Director of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 2004. Mr. Brown's duties include the overseeing of the Hall's day to day museum operations, the administration of the Hall's fresh water sportfishing world record keeping program and perhaps, most importantly, the administration of the Hall's namesake international Hall of Fame program. Under Brown's watchful eye (and with the unwavering help of the entire Awards Committee), this program has grown exponentially over the last 10 years. It truly has become an international program that is revered by the entire fresh water sportfishing community. Emmett is a lifelong fisherman who enjoys crappies in the spring, summer smallies and battling a muskellunge or two during the late summer and fall.
Jim Grandt has served as president of Grandt Industries, an Illinois-based outdoors equipment manufacturing, engineering and marketing firm, for 35 years. The company is best known for its American-made custom fishing rods and golf clubs. Grandt is also a supporter of countless conservation causes, including Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, Salmon Unlimited, the Illinois Conservation Foundation, and Safari Club International, with an emphasis on programs for promoting youth involvement in conservation and the outdoors. Grandt was honored with admission to the Illinois Conservation Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Illinois Conservation Foundation presented Grandt with their Youth Conservation Award in 2015 as recognition for his leadership in youth activities.
Mike Schoonveld was more than just a little bit interested when salmon were first stocked in Lake Michigan (near his home state of Indiana) in the late 1960’s, so he learned everything he could about salmon fishing and bought a Great Lakes boat. In 1986 he started his freelance outdoor writing career and wrote for Great Lakes Fisherman, Midwest Outdoors, Great Lakes Angler, Outdoor Notebook and many more. Over the years Schoonveld has had credits in over 40 publications and has written thousands of articles that have helped millions of readers discover their own love of fishing. In 1998 Schoonveld became a licensed charter boat captain and started Brother Nature Fishing Adventures, guiding hundreds of anglers on Lake Michigan to some of the finest fishing they have ever experienced. Schoonveld has been active as a board member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers and has been President and Chairman of the Board of that organization.
Jim Thomas had one of the most popular outdoor television shows in the 1960’s called, Jim Thomas Outdoors. Thomas’s show was broadcast on WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio and later on WGN in Chicago, Illinois. His programs, which covered both fishing and hunting, were filmed as feature-length productions and then later edited for television. These productions were unlike the educational style format of today’s television programs. Thomas created shows that were full of thrill-seeking excitement. Jim Thomas Outdoors was the gold standard of outdoor television broadcasting throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s in the upper Midwest.