Industry figures to be inducted into NMMA Hall of Fame
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Two well-known figures in the recreational fishing industry have been inducted into the National Hall of Fame, the organisation’s most prestigious honour.
Earl Bentz, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Caymas Boats, and Scott Deal, Founder and CEO of the Maverick Boat Group, will be presented with their awards during the International Boat Builders’ Exhibition (IBEX) Industry Breakfast tomorrow, (October 1).
Bentz, regarded as pioneer in the freshwater fishing industry, was a keen competitor on the boat racing circuit in his early years, but in 1975, with the bass-boat boom in full swing, he joined Hydra-Sports where he became Vice President/General Manager.
He went on to found Stratos Boats (1983), which became a leader in the fibreglass fishing boat industry, Javelin Boats (1987), Triton Boats (1996) and Caymas Boats (2018).
Bentz, who has served on the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and is already a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, has been credited with developing many of the design and system standards on today’s bass boats. “Earl perfected bass boats and in turn grew the sport of bass fishing,” said Joe Miller, former owner of William F. Miller Associates.
Scott Deal, owner and CEO of the Maverick Boat Company, joined the marine industry in 1984 and, 30 years later, his group manufactures the Hewes, Pathfinder, Maverick and Cobia brands.
An avid angler, Deal has won numerous tournaments. Inspired by his fishing experiences, he created the technical poling skiff flat boat category. He also launched the bay boat revolution with his Pathfinder brand in 1998.
A leading advocate for the nation’s fisheries, Deal is active on a number of conservation boards and was the first recipient of the Coastal Conservation Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been a member of the NMMA’s Board of Directors since 2007.
“Scott has played an integral role in the ascent of recreational fishing and boating and his advocacy efforts for boating and the future of recreational fishing will have a lasting impact for generations,” said Jeff Angers, President of the Center for Sportfishing Policy.