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.

Jeff Zernov

Jeff Zernov

Inducted 2004

Aside from being an intense angler, Jeff Zernov is a tireless fishing innovator and inventor. He holds dozens of fishing-related patents, pending patents and trademarks. At age 18, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin native was obsessed with fishing and moved to Brainerd, Minnesota to work with Al and Ron Lindner at Lindy Tackle – the company that brought anglers the “Lindy Rig” revolution.

In the mid-1970s he helped the Lindners launch In-Fisherman media. At In-Fisherman Zernov was in charge of photography, advertising, production and circulation. In the late 70s Zernov founded Zercom Corporation and developed the first real-time LCD flasher called the Clearwater Classic, along with other marine electronics items.

In the late 90s Zernov invented the Aqua-Vu under water viewing system and went on to found Nature Vision. At Nature Vision he invented dozens of hunting and fishing related products including the Showdown sonar, Quick Sit hunting blind, Buzz Stik, Catch 22 lure and many others. In 2010 Zernov started Dragon Hunter LLC where he designs private label hunting and fishing products for large retailers and distributors.

In crediting the Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota for its youth focus, Zernov recalled his own early “positive fishing experiences” that helped shape his fishing-oriented life. His parents bought a place on Okauchee Lake near Milwaukee, Wisconsin when he was 12. Zernov joined the Okauchee Fishing Club as soon as he was able to drive as well as joining the Milwaukee Spoon Plug Club and Walleye Unlimited where he chummed with guys like Dan Sura, Jim Wrolstad, Spence Petrose and others.

There young Zernov encountered pioneer angling guru Bill Binkelman. He “devoured” fishing literature and the angling broadcasts of Gadabout Gaddis, Curt Goudy and Buck Perry. His move to Minnesota and subsequent 40 years making Minnesota fishing history are traceable to early Lindner angling seminars at the Okauchee Lake Fishing Club and Walleyes Unlimited.