Thursday, March 6, 2014
Jason A. Schall of Charleston, S.C. becomes the first winner from the United States to receive the IGFA International Sportsmanship Award.
The International Game Fish Association Chester H. Wolfe Outstanding Sportsmanship Award is an annual award given to one angler from around the world who exemplifies fair play, graciousness, respect, and ethical behavior while fishing in a tournament. The recipient is considered for the award based on their love of fishing, respect towards tournament officials and rules, as well as their basic competitive nature and fellowship.
Mr. Schall, an avid fisherman and conservationist, was recognized for sharing his love and passion for the water with children, friends and those who are new to the sport. During the Ministries2Men Angler's Cup held in Charleston last June, Schall decided to make a young boy from his church, Conrad Seaman, his partner, forgoing a “professional” team in order to honor the child's wish to go fishing. While fishing for bait prior to the event, Schall accidentally skewered his foot with a heavy spear on the boat. The injury was severe, requiring anesthesia and surgery. However, instead of resting after his release from the hospital, Schall took a two-hour nap and awoke in time to honor his promise to the little boy. Not only did they compete that day, but they won first place in the catfish category.
In addition to mentoring both children and adults in the sport he loves, Schall is an avid conservationist. During another tournament, Schall and his team forfeited fishing the event in order to rescue hundreds of game fish they discovered were dying of oxygen deprivation. He serves on multiple tournament boards and encourages catch-and-release.
Mr. Schall was honored with his award during the 75th anniversary banquet at the IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach, Fla. More than 350 guests from all over the world were in attendance for the presentation.
The International Game Fish Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making and record keeping.