TPWD News Release — April 26, 2006
ATHENS, Texas — Two men have been selected as the 2006 inductees into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, and their background and achievements make them perfect complements to each other.
Albert S. (“Buddy”) Bradley of Dallas devoted much of his life to the study of largemouth bass and how to fish for them, helping to popularize bass fishing by giving how-to-fish presentations across the nation.
Richard M. (“Dick”) Hart of Dallas has spent much of the last several years raising funds to help preserve the tradition of fishing so ably developed and promoted by Bradley and others. His crowning achievement was a successful effort to secure private funding for a $2 million structure to be built at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Included in those funds was a $650,000 matching gift from Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. Construction is due to start this year.
Hart and Bradley will be inducted into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Athens at a banquet on June 3.
Bradley began studying the behavior of largemouth bass as a teenager in the 1940s, conducting experiments that showed that bass could distinguish between colors and revealing that fish use their hearing to find moving objects in dark or murky water. His studies on the strike reflex of bass taught anglers that varying the speed of their retrieve could tempt a fish to bite. He earned money for college by working as a licensed guide on Possum Kingdom Reservoir. Later he worked with B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott in the early years of that organization, giving seminars on bass fishing with Roland Martin, John Powell, Ray Murski and others. Bradley served as an advisor to the Shakespeare and Bomber Bait companies for many years. He was an early proponent of catch-and-release fishing and still gives fishing presentations as time allows.
Dick Hart coupled a successful business career with a long record of volunteer service in the Dallas area. He is the retired chairman of the trust committee for Bank One and currently serves on the board of directors of Exxon Asset Management Company, Exxon Project Management Company, Dallas Advisory Board of Oncor Electric, Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts of America Foundation, Baylor Oral Health Foundation and the Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. He has served on numerous civic boards in the Dallas area.
Following a visit to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Hart became involved with efforts to increase the ability of TFFC to educate youngsters about fishing, conservation and the environment. Hart took on the job of raising funds for a new educational facility that was far beyond the capability of state government to build. Three years later the Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center had $2 million in the bank and the plans for a new facility that will be used to teach future generations about fishing and wildlife conservation.
Hart’s interest in fishing is very personal. He is the holder of two IGFA fly fishing world records and has fished in 20 states and six foreign countries. As a child Hart was introduced to fishing by a neighbor, and he has made a life-long practice of passing on that kindness. One of the youths he mentored was Alton Jones of Waco, who has since gone on to be a professional bass angler, nine-time BassMaster Classic qualifier and MegaBucks champion. Hart has also long maintained a relationship with youth through involvement with the Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts of America. He was awarded the Silver Beaver Award in recognition of the highest level of service to the Boy Scouts.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is proud to add the names of these two distinguished anglers, mentors and educators to the list of those honored in the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Prior inductees include Floyd Mabry, Jackie Hewlett, R.D. Hull, Bob Kemp, Nick Crème, Charlie Inman, Sugar Ferris, Leonard Ranne, Earl Golding, Kathy Magers, the Sabine River Authority, Skeeter Boats, Michael (“Shorty”) Powers and Ray Murski.