“Big Jim” McLaughlin is the latest recipient of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame (BFHOF)’s Meritorious Service Award.
The Seeley’s Bay resident is the first Canadian and fourth person to receive the prestigious award. It was established in 2018 to recognize an individual or organization for their significant contribution to bass fishing.
McLaughlin’s resume includes numerous tournament wins, podium emcee gigs, show presentations, and his own print publication. That only scratches the surface of his contributions to angling, however. He said introducing children to the sport is what makes him happy.
“Tournament wins and industry stuff mean the world to me but being recognized for giving back to the sport of fishing — for running casting ponds for kids, gifting a child their first rod and reel, or offering tips to a teenager for an upcoming tournament — those are what make this award truly special,” McLaughlin said.
“Big Jim’s efforts with tournament bass fishing and introducing others to the sport have not gone unnoticed,” BHHOF Board President John Mazurkiewicz said. “This special award from the (board) attests to the fact that anglers, and those in the bass fishing industry, know what Big Jim has meant to the steady growth and popularity of bass fishing in Canada.