Support Frank Johnson, Sr.'s
Nomination to the IGFA
Hall of Fame
POMPANO BEACH, FL - JANUARY 15th, 2015
- I wanted to reach out
one more time to all our supporters and anyone that Frank Johnson,
Sr. has impacted throughout the fishing industry again for their
support in writing a brief comment, email, story, or letter of
their own that may help in our quest to have him nominated to the
IGFA Hall of Fame.
The following is a letter that I have
composed in an effort to have my father Frank Johnson Senior
inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame
with their next cycle of nominations. I would like to invite you
and everyone else in the fishing industry to compose a letter of
your own addressed to Rob Kramer the president of the IGFA to
assist me in this end. Please feel free to include a story of your
own. I’m sure there are many colorful ones that I have not heard.
Anyone who knows my father is keenly aware of his far-reaching,
long-term contributions and participation in the fishing industry
and will agree that he is a worthy candidate.
Your participation is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Frank W Johnson III
To: Rob Kramer President International
Game Fish Association
From: Frank W Johnson III General Manager
VP Mold Craft Fishing Products
I’m writing a letter of recommendation
to you and the staff of The International Game Fish Association on
behalf of a large section of the sport fishing industry that
firmly believe that Frank Johnson
be inducted into The International Game Fish Association Hall Of
Fame. I will try to be as brief as possible but with his long list
of accomplishments and contributions, it will be very difficult.
As you well know, my father’s
influence on sport fishing is both long term (40+ years), and
far-reaching. I will begin with a brief biography and then
describe some of his more notable accomplishments and
contributions to our great sport.Frank W Johnson Junior
was born In Middletown, New York on 7 October 1938. A simple entry
in my Great Uncle Gabriel’s farm journal denotes this. Uncle Gabe
simply writes in his farm journal, “ Frank Junior was born today.”
very humble beginning for a man whose influence on sport fishing
in the past 40 years is impressive.Learning to fish in
the lakes and streams of upstate New York as a child was where dad
got his beginnings. His stepfather had a modest cabin on a trout
stream in the Catskill Mountains.
His first Job was as a clerk at a
gun store where he became a consummate tinkerer and negotiator,
buying and selling guns and ammunition. After graduation from high
school in 1956, he moved To Portland, Connecticut and took on an
apprenticeship with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Hartford,
Connecticut. There he learned many aspects of manufacturing and
product development. He developed many special machining processes
incorporating what was at the time very new technology,
Electrochemical Machining Electro Discharge Machining or EDM and
sat in on board meetings with the Board of Directors of Pratt &
Whitney and United Aircraft with such notables as Igor Sikorsky.
Included in the packet of articles are some photos of some of
these machining process.
During this time he would frequently fish In the Connecticut River
and Long Island Sound. My earliest memories of fishing with my
father were out of a number of small boats that we had, a 12 foot
aluminum boat, 18 Ft. Square Ended Canoe with a used 3 HP Evinrude
and a 15 foot Starcraft Explorer that we frequently used to
venture Into Long Island Sound. One of the tales he tells is of a
trip from Old Saybrook to Block Island with a Rand McNally Road
Map in an Old Town sailing dink with sail and a British Seagull
for power.On our many vacations to Cape Cod we would
catch literally hundreds of pounds of Striped Bass, stopping only
when we either ran out of bait or were at risk of sinking the
boat. The first fishing rod that I remember using was A Zebco 202
and solid 5 foot fiberglass rod that I broke the tip off of too
many times to remember. Maybe this was his very first fishing
tackle innovation. He epoxied a 2 ft. section of bamboo to the
pistol grip for me so that I could tuck the butt under my arm and
wind. Most of our vacations were financed by selling the stripers
to local markets. The truth be told, having been raised in a
family that ate fish every Friday, dad never really cared to eat
After 12 ½
years at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, he moved my mother Karen and I
to Boca Raton, Florida on Fourth of July weekend 1969. Packing as
much as would fit in a Ford Mustang and a Volkswagen Beetle, he
fabricated a towbar at Pratt & Whitney to tow the Beetle and we
departed for Florida.
had been recruited by one Of Pratt & Whitney’s subcontractors in
Oakland Park, Florida, Joe Surace with Chem Form. Shortly after
our arrival in South Florida he went to Pompano Beach Marine
Center and purchased his first fiberglass boat, a 19 ft. Aqua
Sport with a 115 Johnson equipped with a Lowrance flasher depth
finder. This was the first depth sounder that was able to mark
many of the techniques from striper fishing to fishing In the
Straits of Florida. He caught his first Sailfish on Penn Squider
with a plastic spool which promptly blew up soon after he landed
the fish. This may at least in my mind be the epiphany that led
him to develop so many products for the fishing industry.
In the spring of 1973 he became a
partner in the original Moldcraft with John Consolo who was a
subcontractor for Chem Form as well as a tool and die mold making
and prototype machinery company. He became involved in the marine
industry nearly immediately. An injection molding company by the
name of Master Tool in Miami was one of their well-established
customers. They had a series of multiple use design molding
equipment for which the original Moldcraft made molds for all
sorts of products: the track components for Bimini tops, plastic
cleats, rod holders, and a myriad of other marine related
hardware. In the early days of his involvement with Moldcraft just
about anything that was injection molded in Broward, Dade, or Palm
Beach County, he had his hands in. Next door to the original
Moldcraft at the 4848 Ne. 10th
Ter., Oakland Park location was a company called Phil Bart
Inventions for whom he built tooling for a number of products,
Including the Leader Keeper which was a bellows type expanding
valise on to which you wound your leaders and then compressed them
in a clamshell, the Snapper Outrigger clip, an innovative
outrigger clip that was screw adjustable with two setting
positions and an audible report upon release and the Teaser Lure
in two sizes which had Polaroid film inside that changed colors
with the angle of the light. Other tooling that he built Included
the original molds for the Blacks outrigger clip and hook keeper
for Play Action and the molds for many of their rod gimbals.
Moldcraft he began to produce a line of aluminum rod butts the
most notable of which was his patented designThe Uni Butt. This
patent was later sold to Aftco as was his patent for the Roller
Troller outrigger clip.Other marine related items
produced by Moldcraft in that era included the John Emory fly
reel, Push Poll Points and Feet, tooling for Fin Nor’s plastic
roller guides, Ray Bud’s pie plate access panels, and lift and lay
hatches as well as the extrusion dies for their spray rail
extensions.Sometime shortly before April 1976 the then
owner of Boone Bait approached Frank to build a new machine to
injection mold plastisol material. This tabletop version was the
first true injection molding machine for plastisol material, trout
touts, rubber worms, curly tails etc. etc. etc. Before this
equipment was developed plastisol was hand poured or pressure
potted into hand held molds. This revolutionary machine
incorporated an oil heat transfer tank and coil system, and at the
time space aged pneumatic control systems for timing pumping an
opening and closing. On the way home from Orlando he and his then
partner Fred Dorman came up with the idea for a much larger
version of this piece of equipment and sold the idea to his
neighbor at Phil Bart Inventions. The original mold for what we
now call the squid machine had a variety of more than a dozen
different products to demonstrate the versatility of this
revolutionary machine. It is relatively unique in that rather than
a conventional molding machine where an electric motor drives a
hydraulic pump to provide the motivating forces, the squid machine
utilizes pneumatics. Although highly refined and modified, this
piece of equipment is still in operation today. This
accomplishment alone should be noteworthy as it revolutionized the
production of all soft baits.
Due to some
mitigating circumstances PBI had to dissolve its assets and
Moldcraft reacquired the squid machine. With a handful of 5 gallon
buckets of plastisol, Frank began production with the sample mold.
He brought these samples around to the various tackle stores in
the area to demonstrate what the equipment was capable of.Scott
Boyd of Bill Boyd’s Bait and tackle, an already established
customer for the rod butts and other products, took Dad under his
wing and suggested that he make a series of Artificial Squid.
the Squirt Squid was born. Originally In four sizes 6, 9, 12 And
16 inch and in five colors. Both as hooked baits and Daisychain’s
the Squirt Squid was a moderate success.In April 1977
with Scott Boyd and Charlie Foreman, he went to Cozumel, Mexico.
In a fortuitous turn of fate their charter fell through and they
were invited to fish with Peter B. Wright who was, even at that
time, a boat captain of some acclaim. Peter had devised ingenious
fishing lures fabricated from inner tubes that were split glued
and rolled to make a softheaded fishing lure. Up until that time
trolling lures were made from either casting resin, wood or metal.
They married the concepts of what they called the Kaka Kaka and
the artificial squid and the Softhead was born.
Originally in one size and two
styles and only in solid colors, now the legendary line of
Softhead fishing lures has diversified into literally millions of
possible combinations in 6 sizes and more than a dozen styles.
lures are responsible for more than 200 International Game Fish
Association World Records as either teasers or hooked baits. Jerry
Dunaway’s Hooker team had 40 that were all current at one point.
Softhead Lures have also caught more Granders than any other lure,
probably all other lures combined. Additionally there have been
more tournament dollars won on Softheads than any other lure in
the history of fishing.There are so many other products
that my father has been involved in with manufacturing and
developing that I cannot name them all.
contributions to the industry of sportfishing include and are not
limited to: Participation in the development of Broward County’s
artificial reef program, consulting with development of the
Billfish Foundation’s tags, numerous innovations in kite fishing.
At a Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo meeting he suggested a building
fund for the International Game Gish Association which at the time
was a still located on Atlantic Boulevard in a small office on the
second floor. He in fact was the first one to contribute $10,000
to that fund. He encouraged many others to make likewise
contributions. Without that initial spark it may have been much
time that the international Game
Fish Association would be in its present grand location or if
ever. He has been a staunch supporter and contributor to the
International Game Fish Association for over 40 years.
The 70s, 80s, 90s and Early 2000’s he was extremely active in
education, advocacy and conservation. He was also extremely active
in the tournament fishing circuit on the east coast of Florida
with most notable wins and placing’s in the Pompano Beach Fishing
Rodeo, Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament, Fort Lauderdale
Swordfish Tournaments, Mako Masters, National Sailfish
Championships, dozens of writers’ tournaments, special events and
tournaments all over the world. He has also contributed to many,
many newspaper, magazine and book articles. I’ve provided some of
them for your review.
Frank Johnson is
an inventor who truly revolutionized the sport fishing industry.
With all of this having been said
I respectfully submit that my father Frank W Johnson Jr. should be
considered for induction to the International Game Fish
Association’s Hall of Fame at the earliest possible date.
Respectfully and Sincerely,
General Manager and Vice PresidentMold
Craft Fishing Products
2015 Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot - Review
Guy Harvey's Bimini Big Game Club Outpost
Announces First Annual Billfish Invitational For May 18, 2011
MIAMI, FL-FEBRUARY 17, 2011 - Guy Harvey and his partners in Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts LTD today officially announced plans to host the Billfish Invitational at the Bimini Big Game Club, on May 18, 2011. Net proceeds from the all release event will be administered by the Big Game Club for the direct benefit of conservation and education programs to be implemented in Bimini at the direction of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and the IGFA.
Host to numerous major sport fishing tournaments for more than half a century, The Billfish Invitational marks the Big Game Club's return to world-class bluewater tournament angling, after a decade long hiatus.
"With The Billfish Invitational, we're not only restoring the Club's legacy of great tournaments, good times and camaraderie, but also establishing a new tradition of using tournament proceeds to directly benefit our friends in Bimini who make this a special place", commented Mark Ellert, president of Guy Harvey Outpost, LTD.
"The founders of Guy Harvey Outpost, LTD consider ourselves stewards of history and tradition of both Bimini and the legendary Big Game Club," said Dr. Harvey, who with partners Bill Shedd, Charles Forman and Mark Ellert supervised the reopening of the Big Game Club after a multi-million dollar renovation.
The tournament will feature three days of fishing, and target all billfish species. In addition to individual prizes, the tournament format will include the award of two perpetual trophies, to be displayed in the Club's new trophy room lounge. One trophy is named for two giants among a long line of legendary Bimini personalities--Ernest Hemingway and Michael Lerner--and the second trophy honors Personal Achievement in the Advancement of Big Game Sport Fishing with the establishment of The Frank Johnson Trophy.
The Hemingway-Lerner Trophy will be presented to the tournament's top Billfish Team, recognizing friendship, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence, while Frank Johnson himself will be the inaugural recipient of the Frank Johnson Trophy.
"Sport fishing is both a team and individual sport, one that owes much of its modern day popularity to the passion, perseverance and friendship of men like Ernest Hemingway and Michael Lerner, which gave birth to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), and the advancements brought to the sport by men like Frank Johnson," Bill Shedd added.
Bimini's location along the legendary Gulfstream (a "river" of warm water) location is at the apex of a superhighway for migrating fish and acts as a kind of sushi conveyor belt carrying abundant food to the local fish. Deepwater game fish include marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo and swordfish, while big grouper, barracuda and schools of snapper can be found on the reefs. Bimini's flats are home the fishermen's favorite prey, bonefish and permit. With more than 50-record-setting catches in the waters around the island, Bimini has earned its title of Sport Fishing Capital of the World.
Eligible species for the Billfish Tournament include Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Spearfish and Swordfish.
Administered by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and the IGFA, tournament proceeds will be reinvested in Bimini and surrounding waters. For registration and further details, contact Captain Ned Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954-524-2225 (office) or 954-205-9595 (cell).
About the 2011 Billfish Invitational
Tournament Dates & Location
The tournament will take place May 18-22 2011. Fishing days will be May 19, 20, and 21. The tournament will be based at the Bimini Big Game Club, a Guy Harvey Outpost, and all participating boats must be registered at the Club for the duration of the tournament.
Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Spearfish and Swordfish.
Fun Fish Division
Dolphin, Wahoo, Tuna (Yellowfin & Blackfin).
Licenses & Permit
All participating anglers must possess the necessary licenses and permits. All boats must abide by all local and international laws. NOTE: Clearance fees for a participant's boat's cruising/fishing permit (good for four) will be reimbursed dby the Club upon checkout.
An entry fee of $5000 covers tournament entry, meals, parties and gifts for up to 6 team members.
May 18 - Captains' Meeting/Welcome Dinner
This meeting will be from 6pm to 7pm. At least one representative from each team must be present. All anglers and crew are encouraged to attend. The rules may be amended verbally or in writing at the time of the meeting. Anglers are responsible for being well informed of all rules.
May 19 - Benefit Auction & Dinner
There will be an auction to benefit Conservation and Education programs specifically for Bimini. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, in cooperation with the International Game Fish Association, will administer these funds.
May 20 - Dinner Roast and Presentation of The Frank Johnson Trophy
A new chapter in the history of the Big Game Club will be written this evening with the establishment of the Frank Johnson Trophy, cast in bronze by celebrated artist Ed Pang. To be awarded annually by Guy Harvey Outpost, LTD., this trophy will be presented to that individual whose personal achievements have contributed to the advancement of international big game sport fishing. The award is named in honor of Frank Johnson, who will be the first recipient of this annual award. Frank is a pioneer in the creation of artificial lure design and manufacturing, whose Moldcraft Lures are used daily around the world by anglers of all skill levels. To many he is friend, and to all who are passionate in their pursuit of big game sport fishing industry, he is a legend. His close friends and colleagues will be assembled to recognize and reminisce about Frank's personal and professional accomplishments that give rise to this award. The stories of this evening will be certain to make Hemingway proud. This trophy and will remain on display at the club for generations of visiting anglers and guests to enjoy.
May 21 - Awards Dinner and Presentation of the Hemingway-Lerner Trophy
The inaugural Billfish Invitational tournament will conclude with an awards presentation dinner. Culminating an evening of celebration, the tournament committee will award the Hemingway-Lerner Trophy to the Top Billfish Team. Established to celebrate big game sport-fishing friendship, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence, this magnificent sculpture of a rising blue marlin, cast in shimmering stainless steel by world-renowned sculptor Kent Ullberg, will be awarded to the Top Billfish Team, in recognition of such accomplishments. This trophy and will remain on display at the club for generations of visiting anglers and guest to enjoy.
Prizes will be awarded for:
First, Second, and Third Place Billfish Team
First, Second, and Third Place Billfish Angler
First Blue Marlin
Last Blue Marlin
Top Lady Angler
First, Second, and Third Place Fun Fish Division Team
Most Unusual Catch/Release (If you can't eat it, don't kill it; bring us a picture)
In the interest of conservation, Guy Harvey Outpost and the Tournament Committee ask that all inedible and undersized fish be released as quickly as possible. Should a participant have a mutilated fish or a non-target species that is otherwise unable to survive, the Bimini Shark Lab will be pleased to accept donations. Please use the trash barrels at the fish cleaning stations for your old bait, fish heads and carcasses.
Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, in cooperation with the International Game Fish Association, is proud to announce that the net proceeds the Billfish Invitational will be invested in Bimini and surrounding waters. Among the programs to be supported are: satellite telemetry tagging to study migratory patterns of local billfish populations, marine science curriculum and field study programs within the local Bimini schools, with curriculum to be developed jointly by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, IGFA and Nova Southeastern University/Guy Harvey Research Institute, and creation of an artificial reef system offshore of North Bimini.
About Bimini Big Game Club, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and Marina
Founded as a dinner club in 1936 in Alice Town, the island's cultural hub, by Nassau entrepreneur and bon-vivant, Neville Stuart, the Big Game Club has over the last 74 years hosted world-class fishermen, major tournaments, international celebrities and tens of thousands guests looking to bask in the unique "Islands in the Stream" mantra made famous by author Ernest Hemingway who lived and fished in Bimini in the mid 1930s.
Today, the Big Game Club's Outpost concept is designed to take the resort beyond that of a "fishing lodge" (though admittedly a majority of visitors will be there for the world class fishing) to create an eco-destination attracting both fishing and diving enthusiasts while focusing on adventure travel, sustainable tourism and marine conservation.
Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts has teamed with top-of-class sportsmen to deliver top-of-class fishing and diving experiences, known to the group as Outpost Pursuits.
Renowned dive authority Neal Watson oversees the Club's new dive operation, Dive Bin, showcased by its 60 ft. double deck, glass bottom dive boat, the largest in the Bahamas out-islands.
Bonefish Bimini, headed by artist, conservationist and fly fishing personality, Vaughn Cochran, works with the island's elite bonefishing guides and is quickly restoring awareness of Bimini's legendary "Big Bones".
Sportfishing charters operations have been established at the Club, with the recent arrival of record setting Captain Billy Black, a fixture on the Bahamas offshore fishing circuit.
The Big Game Club, which is located on the main navigation channel in Bimini Bay, currently features a 51-room resort and a 75-slip marina capable of accommodating boats up to 145 feet in length. A full service fuel dock will be operational by Spring 2012.
Guestrooms and suites have been fully renovated, as with the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, and completion of the Hemingway Lounge and Gulfstream conference center. The Club also offers the Guy Harvey Outfitter Shop, for the best in sportswear, gifts and accessories. Upcoming plans include completion of an exercise center, and development of a field research installation to showcase the work of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and the Nova Southeast University Oceanographic Center.
Location: Alice Town (North Bimini's Southern Tip)
Marina Facilities: 75 Slips
Regular Rooms: 35
Penthouse Suites: 4
Cottage Rooms: 12
Restaurants: Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, Hemingway Lounge
Meeting Space: Gulfstream Conference Center
Other Activities: Outpost Outfitter Shop, Deepsea Fishing, Flats Fishing, Diving, Snorkeling, Shopping, Sightseeing, Sunset Cruises, Picnics