In recognition of their extraordinary contributions to recreational angling around the world, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) named five angling greats to the 2023 class of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame. This year inductees include IGFA World Record consummate and tournament champion Roberta G. Arostegui; fly-fishing adventurer and trailblazer Kay Brodney; conventional and fly-fishing master angler, captain and writer Dean Butler; distinguished Avalon Tuna Club member and conservation advocate Gerald A. Garrett; and marine resources champion and fishing apparel pioneer Bill Shedd. Elected unanimously by the IGFA Board of Trustees, the 2023 class will join 141 legendary anglers, scientists, conservationists, writers and fishing industry leaders whose contributions to sport fishing are forever preserved and celebrated in the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame. “From championing conservation efforts to breaking glass ceilings in angling itself, each of these individuals have simultaneously worked to make our sport more prestigious and ensure it can be enjoyed for generations to come,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. “They have earned their place within the Fishing Hall of Fame, and we couldnt be more honored to induct them.” The 2023 IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. The 2023 class will take their honored places alongside fishing luminaries, including Isaak Walton, Michael Lerner, Francesca LaMonte, Zane Grey, Mary Orvis Marbury, Ernest Hemingway, Ted Williams, George H.W. Bush, Bill Dance, Mark Sosin, Lee and Joan Wulff, Flip Pallot, Alfred C. Glassell Jr., Kip Farrington and Curt Gowdy, among others. InTheBite also covered the five 2017 inductees.
Roberta G. Arostegui
Roberta G. Arostegui began pursuing IGFA World Records in 1999 and has since amassed a total of 223 World Records on 56 different species of fish in 10 different countries. She is ranked fourth for most IGFA World Records overall and second for most IGFA World Records for women, many of which come from light tackle and fly rod. In addition to her impressive list of World Records, Roberta has also completed IGFA Salmon, Bass and Trout Royal Slams as well as Salmon and Trout Grand Slams and a Bass Super Grand Slam. Arostegui is the three-time recipient of the McManus Overall Fly-Fishing Award, the two-time recipient of the Rybovich Overall Release Award and the recipient of the Sherwood Overall Weight Fish Award and Ann D. Crowninshield Overall Angling Award. Roberta was also very active in the prestigious Metropolitan South Florida Fishing Tournament, where she won the Women Master Angler Award three times. She has been a member of the International Women Fishing Association (IWFA) since 2005, where she has served as Parliamentarian and Conservation Director. She was also a board member of the IWFA Scholarship Trust. Roberta is also the wife of IGFA Trustee Emeritus and IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Inductee, Marty Arostegui.
Widely recognized as one of the most spirited and adventurous fly-fishing pioneers of the 20th century, Kay Brodney became captivated by the sport of fly fishing in her late twenties after happening upon a casting tournament in 1948. Quickly becoming a competent fly caster herself, in 1950, she placed third in the Western Championship only to be later disqualified for being a woman. Undeterred, she continued to compete and went on to win the National Association of Accuracy Casting competition in 1956. Brodney received a master degree in library science from Rutgers University and went on to work as a librarian at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where she eventually served as the head of the Life Sciences Subject Catalog Section. Known for her extended off-grid angling vacations in the remote corners of South America, Brodney was the focus of a 1981 Sports Illustrated article, where she was accompanied by writer Clive Gammon. The multi-page feature cemented her reputation as a knowledgeable yet fearless fly-fishing trailblazer. She is thought to be one of the first to catch a dorado on a fly, and in 1962 landed a 137.6-pound tarpon on 12-pound tippet in the Florida Keys with baseball great Ted Williams as a witness. She also served on the American Museum of Fly-Fishing Board of Trustees from 1974 until 1983.
Dean Butler recognition as an angler, captain and writer extends far beyond his home waters of Australia. Having fished the world over from Papua New Guinea to the Florida Keys, Butler has been involved in more than 30 IGFA fly fishing World Records both as an angler and a guide. As captain, he guided IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame Member Tom Evans to several IGFA billfish records on fly, including the largest striped marlin ever caught on fly, a 240-pound fish caught on 10-kg (20-lb) tippet. He also guided IGFA Fishing Hall of Famer Enrico Capozzi to his incredible 735-pound black marlin on 3-kg (6-lb) line. He has refined and developed several successful techniques for pursuing pelagic species on fly tackle and, in 1995, became the first person to catch a dogtooth tuna on IGFA-compliant fly tackle. An accomplished writer, Butler has published numerous features in prominent fishing magazines including Marlin, Sport Fishing, BlueWater and Fly Fishing in Saltwater. Butler was also a pioneer of Australia Fraser Island and its shallow water black marlin fishery as well as one of the early pioneers of Papua New Guinea black bass fishery. A master of both conventional and fly-fishing tackle for inshore and offshore species, IGFA Fishing Hall of Famer Lefty Kreh was quoted as referring to Dean Butler as the best all-around fisherman in the world.
Gerald A. Garrett
Gerald A. Jerry Garrett has been actively involved in sport fishing since 1946. In 1959, he distinguished himself by becoming a member of the venerable Avalon Tuna Club, where he was the first Tuna Club member to earn the Silver Frame medal for catching a marlin on 6-kg (12-lb) Dacron line. He is also credited as the first Tuna Club member to catch a marlin on 4-kg (8-lb) Dacron, inaugurating the Ruby Frame Medal. Often named the Avalon Tuna Club Angler of the Year, he has earned 10 out of 12 possible buttons, making him the most decorated angler in the club history. Fishing has taken Garrett to Australia, Peru, Mexico, Hawaii and New Zealand, where he caught an 813-pound swordfish that earned him the IGFA 37-kg (80-lb) line class record. An IGFA member for more than 50 years, he was appointed as an IGFA Representative in 2012. His extensive conservation efforts include working with IGFA Fishing Hall of Famer John Chibnall and former IGFA President Rob Kramer to prohibit the sale of marlin in New Zealand, for which he testified before the New Zealand Ministry that the value of marlin in the sportfishing industry supersedes that of commercial sale. He also previously served as the Director of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation Pacific Region.
Bill Shedd name is synonymous with fisheries conservation in the United States and is part of a continued legacy passed down by his father and IGFA Fishing Hall of Famer Milt Shedd. He is the Chairman and CEO of the American Fishing Tackle Co (AFTCO) and oversees AFTCO fishing tackle and clothing divisions. For more than 30 years, he has volunteered 500 hours a year on marine resource and recreational fishing industry issues. Shedd currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Coastal Conservation Association of California and the Hubbs/SeaWorld Research Institute. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Sportfish Policy, the California Artificial Reef Enhancement program and the California white seabass hatchery program. He previously served seven years on the Board of Directors of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and 30 years as Chairman of the ASA Government Affairs Committee. Bill joined the IGFA Board of Trustees in 2002 and served as the Chairman of the IGFA Conservation Committee until 2022. Shedd co-founded the United Anglers of Southern California (UASC), where he led that group efforts to develop the white seabass facilities to support the hatchery, and also played a key role in the UASC effort to eliminate set gill nets in California. He has been the recipient of many top conservation honors, including the American Sportfishing Association, the Center for Sportfishing Policy and the IGFA, among others.
About the International Game Fish Association (IGFA)
Founded in 1939, The International Game Fish Association is a nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rulemaking, record keeping and recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the field of angling.