Ellis inducted into Canadian Angler Hall of Fame

by Jason Bain | February 17, 2024
Gord Ellis holds up a token of being named into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame

For Ontario OUT of DOORS (OOD) Senior Editor Gord Ellis, being inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame was like being added to a Canuck Mount Rushmore.

“It’s a humbling thing to see you all here and know that I’m in this hall of fame,” the writer, broadcaster, and guide told more than 60 outdoors industry representatives gathered on Friday, Feb. 22 at an awards ceremony that kicked off the Spring Fishing & Boat Show at Mississauga’s International Centre.

The honour got Ellis thinking about how his career began after befriending the late John Kerr, former OOD editor, after meeting him at an outdoors conference in the early 1980s. They bonded over Nipigon brook trout and Ellis began writing for the magazine.

Gord Ellis speaks during his induction into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame
Gord Ellis speaks after being inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame. (Photos by Jason Bain)

He recalled meeting legendary outdoors columnist John Power at a conference in 1989. “He was like Thor. A legend…I was a kid from Thunder Bay. It felt weird, but I was there.”

Ellis praised the support of his family, including his wife, Cheryl, for their support, and his parents for introducing him to fishing.

“I’ve had a really great career,” he said. “I just love everything about fishing…I’ve been very, very lucky and I really do appreciate it.”

Ellis sets example

Ellis was nominated by long-time Shimano executive and 2012 inductee Phil Morlock. In introducing Ellis, he pointed out that exemplifying the positive aspects of fishing and hunting, particularly to youth and new Canadians, is more important than ever. Exemplifying messages of conservation and family values is a communication challenge.

“In my opinion, Gord is one of the best people at putting that message and that image forward,” Morlock told those gathered.

Ellis, who has won more than 20 Outdoor Writers of Canada (now known as the Professional Outdoor Media Association of Canada) awards, was named to the Wisconsin-based Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2018. He’s also been honoured by the Ministry of Natural Resources for educating youth on outdoors issue.

Others honoured

Two others were also honoured. Andy Pallotta, who created and operates the hall, was surprised to learn he had also been inducted. His family, including his wife, Vita, run numerous tournament fishing events and consumer shows, including the Spring Fishing & Boat Show. The Pallotta’s received news of the birth of a grandchild at about the same time.

Retired Shimano executive Tom Brooke, meanwhile, was awarded the Rick Amsbury Award of Excellence for his contributions to sportfishing and fisheries conservation.

The Spring Fishing & Boat Show continues through Sunday. Click here for more information.

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