BASS FISHING HALL OF FAME BOARD TO HONOR ARKANSAS TOURNAMENT ORGANIZER LEGEND AT FLW CUP
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – For Immediate Release – 8.5.19– Known for his tireless efforts in directing the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Pro-Am Tournament Circuit for more than 25 years, Ronnie Everett will be honored posthumously with the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame’s Meritorious Service Award.
The prestigious award is established by the Hall’s Board of Directors to give the proper and well-deserved recognition to select individuals and organizations deemed to have made significant contributions to bass fishing. Everett’s family and special guests will be the guests of honor at a special Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Reception on Friday, August 9, at Horner Hall within the Hot Springs Convention Center from 5 to 7PM.
Bass fishing always had a part in Everett’s life. His father owned a boat dealership and started the Mr. Bass of Arkansas tournament trail in 1974 to help sell boats. Ronnie took over in 1990 when his dad retired, and after stopping the circuit after seven years, was convinced by others to start it up again as a pro-am concept. The circuit thrived among top-notch Arkansas bass anglers, becoming known as the tournaments that breed champions. Anglers who have had great success on the FLW and B.A.S.S. circuits, including Mark Davis, George Cochran, Ricky Green, Ron Shuffield, Stephen Browning and Doug Garrett, learned much about tournament bass fishing by competing on Everett’s circuit.
“Without people like Ronnie Everett – who also convinced his wife Lori and his weighmaster Chris Course to always help out – I’m not sure we would see the success on the national level for tournament organizations like B.A.S.S., FLW and Major League Fishing,” said Bass Fishing Hall of Fame President Donald Howell. “Everett provided that exceptional first step for many bass anglers who enjoy the competition, and as we have seen over the years, many of those Arkansas anglers have had successful pro careers that all started with the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Pro-Am tournaments.”
Bass Fishing Hall of Fame inductees including Jimmy Houston, Bobby Murray and Billy Murray, along with BFHOF Board members Steve Bowman, John Mazurkiewicz and Melinda Mize-Hays will be among those in attendance at the reception to honor Everett. The event is open to all affiliated with the bass fishing industry, FLW Cup expo exhibitors, participating anglers and special invited guests.
The premier event for the BFHOF is the annual Hall of Fame Induction dinner at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum in Springfield, Mo., this year being held on October 3, 2019. Information on event and table sponsorships, dinner seats and tickets for a special VIP unveiling reception, along with details about the Hall and its mission of ‘celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport of bass fishing’ is available at www.BassFishingHOF.com, or by contacting BFHOF executive director Barbara Bowman at [email protected].
Ronnie Everett — March 13, 1962- May 17,2015
Ronnie was born in Fayetteville, N.C. to Porter and Bettie Everett while his father was stationed at Fort Bragg. They moved back to Arkansas and finally settled in Little Rock where Porter opened a used car lot. Always lured by the fishing industry (pun intended), he was one of the first to place a bulk order from Johnny Morris and history was made. From then on, the Everetts were hooked on the fishing business and never looked back.
Ronnie spent his summers stocking shelves and learning the ins and outs of tackle, fishing line and what to throw when and where. At 15 he was making trips to Flippin and returning with shiny new Ranger boats two at a time. Fishing became his passion. While he did follow other job paths, the fishing business always reeled him back in.
In December 1982, his dad bought a second store in Russellville, and asked Ronnie and Lori, his wife of 6 months, to relocate and open that location. Without hesitation and without knowing a soul there, they packed up and opened that store in January 1983. It was hard to bring a new business to a small town in those days, but new lifelong friends were made, and the store was a great success. The Everetts started their family there and were sad to leave when Porter got an offer he couldn’t refuse in 1985.
Back in Little Rock, Ronnie continued to work for his father and was a man of great worth ethic. Porter started the Mr. Bass of Arkansas tournament series in 1974 where Ronnie was at his side helping along the way. It became more a family reunion as the years went by and the same faces began coming time after time as well as new ones who wanted to see what the excitement was all about. In 1986 Ronnie and a friend built a tournament trailer from the ground up, containing a 650-gallon holding tank and a weighing station all under roof. It served its purpose well and is still being used in tournaments today.
In 1990 Ronnie took over the tournaments and as his license plate read went ‘full trim’. He sought out sponsors and prizes, and over time the pay outs got bigger and better. However, one year a key sponsor defaulted and Ronnie, being a man of his word, took out a home loan to cover the more than $10,000.00 in winnings for future events. The tournaments grew and ideas came and the last two years under his direction he saw his dream of giving college scholarships come true. One of his goals in life was to give away a million dollars, a goal he was able to meet before his death. He passed away on a Sunday, May 17, 2015, when his last words were asking about how the anglers were doing that day.
Ronnie was a fisher of men — a Deacon at his church, a giver in his community and a searcher of lost souls. His faith was in Jesus Christ and Him alone. He and his wife raised two children who are Christian adults and who echo his motto “Better than I deserve.“