GARRISON, N.D. - It was a milestone moment in the professional life of Johnnie Candle. It happened Thursday night in Garrison when Candle became the newest member of the North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame.
We know Candle for his two-plus decades of Pro’s Pointers, but he has been a guide for nearly 30 years. He’s a fishing educator with Walleye University and conducts classes at Lake Region State College.
Candle couldn’t believe it when he got the word about the Hall of Fame.
"No not at all and it's pretty remarkable,” said Candle. “It's a huge statement to me, not just to be respected for the fishing abilities, but to be accepted by the North Dakota fishing community as one of their own in a pretty short amount of time. I've only lived in North Dakota for about 23 years now so I must have done something right or maybe I got the accent down quick enough that they let me in."
Candle’s biggest on-the-water accomplishment was winning the 2010 MWC World Walleye Championship. His grandfather passed away when he was practicing for that event, and Johnnie says the memories helped him then, and he knows his grandpa would be proud once again.
"Oh I think so,” said Candle. “My grandfather and I fished a lot when I was a young kid. We share a namesake. We shared a passion for fishing and it would mean a lot for me if he could be here right now."
Keith Witt, President of the North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame, said, "Johnnie, The North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame Board of Directors is proud to induct you in to the North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame, congratulations!"
Joining Candle in the Class of 2018 is Duaine Ash of Devils Lake and the Jamestown Fishing Club.