Famed musky guides Mike Lazarus, Dick Lapp and Ray Kennedy have been inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, Director Emmett Brown has announced.
The HOF awards committee met in Hayward, Wisconsin, in August and made selections for the 2015 class of inductees.
Lazarus, who lives in Dollard Des Ormeaux, Quebec, has been guiding since 1988, was elected to the Muskies Canada Hall of Fame in 2012 and was a participating builder of the Montreal Chapter. He is undoubtedly the most prolific musky guide of all time, with staggering numbers:
• He is responsible for the capture of over 9,000 total muskies in those 26 years.
• More than 2,200 of the muskies measured 50 inches or longer, with more than 300 over 55 inches in length and two over 60 inches in length.
• In 1994, Lazarus guided Dr. Wally Bednar to a 58.85-pound musky (weighed on a certified biologist’s scale) which was released, and a 58 1⁄2-inch long musky with a 28 1⁄2-inch girth and estimated at 60 pounds caught and released by Ed Barbosa. In December of 2012, he again guided Ed Barbosa to another monster at 58-plus pounds which was weighed on a certified scale and released! In December 2013, he guided Dr. Mark “Big Fish” Carlson to a 55-pounder that at 56 inches was an IGFA length release world record.
He also has a tremendous relationship with local fisheries personnel and has spent countless hours working with the MNR on fisheries research programs.
“While truly a diverse angler, Mike’s knowledge and array of precision trolling tactics over such a vast amount of water are legendary within the musky community. It is likely that no other musky fisherman in history has had knowledge over such a vast amount of musky waters, having an intimate knowledge of the entire Great Lakes system from Sault Ste. Marie on to the farthest East range of Quebec. Musky anglers from across North America seek out details of his tactics in order to apply them on their local waters,” the HOF said in its release.
While never one to self-promote, in recent years Lazarus has worked with several local and national media outlets including Musky Hunter magazine and “The Musky Hunter” TV show to share his insight on musky fishing tactics.
Dick Lapp has lived in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin, his entire life and has been guiding clients on Lac Vieux Desert and other lakes in northern Wisconsin and Michigan for over 75 years. He has successfully guided hundreds of clients over several generations in those years, creating a legacy for the sport of fishing and conservation that will be carried forward for generations to come.
“Through his fishing and guiding expertise, knowledge of natural resources, attention to the client’s needs and professionalism, Dick has been known as one of the most credible guides in the region,” said the HOF statement. “During his 75-plus years of guiding, Dick has influenced multiple generations. Dick has in- stilled in them not only the skills of fishing, but the importance of caring for the land, water and other interdependent natural resources. Dick fully supports catch and release, not only for muskies, but for breeding-size fish of all species.”
The late Ray Kennedy guided in the Minocqua, Wisconsin, area for 55 years until his death in 2001. His largest musky was a 54-inch, 50-pound fish caught on August 6, 1956, from Lake Tomahawk.
“As for guiding, Ray was the best of the best in Minocqua, he taught many of his clients his fishing style and made them better fishermen,” said the HOF statement. “Kennedy was a third-generation fishing guide who knew the Minocqua Chain of Lakes as though he had walked the bottom. Fishing in Wisconsin, he boated eight muskies that exceeded 40 pounds. He was a legend in the Minocqua area.
“His passing marked the first time in over 100 years that a Kennedy was not guiding on the Chain. His grandfather, Ed Kennedy, began guiding in 1902, and his father, Jim Kennedy, was also a famous Minocqua guide.”