Five decades ago, Biloxi residents Kenny Barhanovich and Jay Trochesset became friends during their stint as Charter Boat Captains.
The duo will be inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame at 6 p.m. Saturday in Dania Beach, Fla. They will receive the Tommy Gifford Award, named for one of the greatest saltwater charter captains of all time.
Golden Nugget Director of Community Development Bobby Carter nominated Barhanovich and Trochesset last summer. They were picked over 200 nominations from 50 states.
"Kenny and Jay are the first captains from the northern Gulf of Mexico to get inducted," Carter said.
Barhanovich is captain of the Miss Hospitality charter boat. Trochesset is captain of the Silver Dollar III charter boat. They share mutual admiration on and off the boat.
"It's pretty cool to get inducted with Kenny," Trochesset said. "In my wildest dreams, I never thought I'd get picked to go into a Hall of Fame. We're competitors everyday, but in the grand scheme of things, we try to work together."
Barhanovich is impressed with Trochesset's work ethic.
"Jay's a good guy and a good captain," Barhanovich said. "He works hard and is a competitor. We've both been through the good, bad and ugly of fishing on the Coast. We've been through Hurricanes and the BP Oil Spill. I've known Jay my whole life. We've both worked together."
Trochesset entered fishing as a youth and doesn't regret it.
"My father was in the business and I worked with him at an early age," Trochesset said. " My son Dustin has his own boat. My grandson wants to get into the business. I want to keep fishing in the family. Fishing is my first love. Fishing has been good to me." Barhanovich entered the business with his father in 1960. "I've donated my whole life to fishing," Barhanovich said. For six consecutive years, the IGFA has honored extraordinary Captains and Crew members for their significant contributions to sportfishing.