Rainy Lake fishing guide Bill Dougherty, lure maker Mark Fisher and outdoor media specialist Mark Strand were inducted this month into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame along with two private companies.
Dougherty kicked off his career in 1965 when he was a kid guiding guests at his grandparents’ Kettle Falls Hotel. The longtime owner of Rainy Lake Houseboats is a multispecies angling expert whose skills have been featured in outdoors publications and television shows. The Rainy Lake fishing roots of his Williams/Dougherty family clan date back 100 years.
Fisher was recognized by the Hall of Fame as a best-in-class tournament angler and for his groundbreaking work as chief lure designer at Rapala USA. His designs include the Rapala X-Rap, which introduced the term “slashbait” to the angling world.
Strand has written for countless outdoor magazines, including as a regular contributor for many years to In-Fisherman. He’s amassed thousands of freelance magazine credits and developed, produced and hosted two nationally syndicated radio programs and five podcasts. He has authored or co-authored 13 books.
At the enshrinement in Minneapolis on March 23, the nonprofit Hall of Fame also recognized Minn Kota and Gapen Tackle Co. Minn Kota, founded in 1934 in Fargo, N.D., is one of the oldest manufacturers in the world of electric fishing motors. Gapen Tackle, a Minnesota firm for 62 years, got its main start when Don Gapen created the Muddler Fly in 1936. The company claims it to be the world’s largest-selling trout fly.