Those We Honor

You’ll find more than just fishing celebrities in this list. One can make a significant impact
on the lives of many without ever being well known. It is important to honor all of
those who had a great influence on the great sport of fishing, whether famous or not.
Corporate advances tend to be much more visible to us. For it’s their products that
shape the evolution of the sport of fishing.

Gil Hamm

Gil Hamm

Inducted 2000

Gil Hamm, a 62-year-old building contractor from St Paul, Minnesota, founded Muskies, Inc. in December 1966. Gil and thirteen others made up the original membership. The first Board of Directors meeting was held in February 1967 at Gil’s office in St. Paul. Articles of incorporation had been filed and subsequently the I.R.S. granted Muskies, Inc. a non-profit exemption.

One of the Board members, Darrell Trumbauer, owned a bait shop and a commercial minnow hatchery in Battle Lake, Minnesota. This facility would become a Muskies, Inc. rearing pond for muskies and a stocking program that over the years exceeded a $1,000,000 in value to the Minnesota DNR. The efforts of Muskies, Inc. to raise muskies in these ponds continued until 1980 when the ponds were drained due to increasing costs of operation and water quality. Over the years as many as six chapters of Muskies, Inc. have established rearing ponds. Their members have spent considerable efforts to raise muskies for stocking around the states.

In 1978 Muskies, Inc. went on a campaign to establish chapters around the area. Fourteen new chapters emerged from the effort. The Board of Directors took Muskies, Inc. to a new level and became an International Organization.

On November 8th, 1984, Gil Hamm passed away after a series of heart attacks.
Today Muskies, Inc. boasts 48 Chapters in 14 States and a membership exceeding 7,500.

This is what Gil had to say about himself and the organization:

“We didn’t build a knife-and-fork club. We built a working club that does something good for the muskies. So many members have given so much of their time and energy that it would be impossible to mention them all. I’ve got a strong hunch we’re anticipating new, massive private interest in the preservation and extension of our outdoor heritage. We didn’t make this: the Creator left it to us in trust. Growing like we have has increased our effectiveness. They’re taking muskies and Muskies, Inc. all over the country. I think Muskies, Inc. will be around as long as a daredevil lure catches fish. But if I had never started this damn club, I would have done a lot more muskie fishing.”