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Entries in ASA (49)

Sunday
Sep172017

Sports Fishing Strengthened by Increases in Participation, Spending

Fishing participation is up nearly 20 percent during the past 10 years, according to the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), citing the recently released 2016 National Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation national survey from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Conducted every five years in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, the survey also shows that anglers increased their overall spending by 2 percent during the past five years.

“Dedicated efforts by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), state fish and wildlife agencies, the recreational fishing industry and independent programs have made increases in recreational fishing possible,” said Glenn Hughes, vice president of Industry Relations for the ASA.

“Thanks also goes to ASA’s Government Affairs team and our partners who helped ensure that legislation and policy decisions were in place to provide access, clean water and fisheries conservation, which anglers need for a successful day on the water.”

Overall, fishing participation increased 8.2 percent for individuals 16 to 65 years of age during the last five years. This is the highest level of participation since 1991. Revenue from equipment purchases to all trip expenditures  increased from $45 billion to $46.1 billion during the same time.

“This report absolutely underscores the need to increase public access to public lands across the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

“Hunting and fishing are a part of the American heritage. As a kid who grew up hunting and fishing on public lands who later took my own kids out on the same land, I know how important it is to expand access for future generations. Many folks east of the Mississippi River rely on friends with large acreages or pay high rates for hunting and fishing clubs. This makes access to wildlife refuges and other public lands more important."

Encouraged by the findings, RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson said, “We’re excited to see the fruits of our efforts to increase fishing and boating participation validated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s latest report –  a true benchmark of the industry.

“The results of this report show that RBFF has had a positive impact on participation since its inception, and we only plan to build upon these numbers.”

 ASA has developed tools and materials for the recreational fishing industry to further assist in the effort. The emphasis is on effectively reaching anglers through recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) practices. Several state agencies and industry partners are already implementing these R3 practices to help achieve 60 million anglers during the next five years.
 
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources

Friday
Jul282017

Jackall Lures Joins With KAF, BASS, to Expand 'Pledge to Pitch It'

Keep America Fishing, Jackall Lures and numerous B.A.S.S. Nation chapters around the country have joined forces to expand the "Pledge to Pitch It" campaign.

A nationwide effort, the Pledge to Pitch It program encourages anglers to properly dispose of, or even recycle, worn out and used soft plastic baits. Since its launch in 2014, the campaign continues to grow in strength and prominence.

“Too often, used soft baits end up as litter at the bottom of our lakes and rivers,” said Liz Ogilvie, chief marketing officer for the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the recreational sportfishing industry trade group and parent organization of Keep America Fishing.

“A bill introduced in Maine’s legislature a few years back would have placed a ban on the sale and use of soft plastic lures. That’s why, through the Keep America Fishing initiative, we created the Pitch It campaign to get anglers involved in the proper disposal of worn out soft baits by pitching them in the trash or recycling them.”

Shimano's Jackall Lures will provide up to $1,000 of soft plastic lures – including its Flick Shake worms for finesse use and the "crawling action" ScissorComb creature baits – to B.A.S.S. Nation state chapters that complete a soft bait collection/recycling program. Earlier this year, each state chapter submitted a short proposal outlining their plan for collecting used soft plastic lures to B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland.

“While most anglers – and especially those involved with B.A.S.S. – do their best to keep lakes and rivers clean, we’re hoping this small incentive from Jackall Lures will help them embrace the Keep America Fishing Pledge to Pitch It program,” said Steve Ferrara, Shimano’s fishing division Vice President.

While the plans differ from state-to-state, they all focus on collecting used soft plastics and keeping them out of the rivers and lakes. Illinois Bass Nation, one of the chapters spearheading the effort since 2014, collects, melts down, and recasts collected baits as trophies. They are shooting to break their 2016 record of 134 pounds of collected lures.

Recreational anglers who haven’t yet signed the Pitch to It Pledge to properly dispose of their worn out soft plastic baits are encouraged to do so by visiting www.PledgeToPitchIt.org.

Friday
Jul142017

Paddle Board Fishing Boat Takes Best of Show at ICAST

The world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, just ended at the Orange County Convention Center  in Orlando, Fla.

One of the most important features for ICAST exhibitors and attendees alike is the New Product Showcase. Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer,  it embodies the sportfishing industry's innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and rewards that ingenuity through the New Product Showcase awards competition.

This year, 1,263 products, accessories and apparel were entered by 280 companies into 26 “Best of Category” awards in the New Product Showcase, all vying for the overall ICAST 2017 “Best of Show” award. This year, the Lure category was divided into hard and soft Freshwater and Saltwater lures.

BOTE's Rover was voted by buyers and media as the best product in both the Boat Accessories category and the overall “Best of Show.” In a year when "alternative" watercraft were hot items, with lots of innovative designs, this paddle board fishing boat as best overall product was no surprise.

“My congratulations go to all of the winners and everyone who participated in the New Product Showcase. The entrepreneurial spirit that exists within our member companies is what adds excitement to the fishing experience,” said Mike Nussman, President and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).

Produced by ASA, the industry’s trade association, ICAST, in its 60th year as the industry’s trade show, is the annual destination for representatives from the global recreational fishing industry to see the latest innovations in tackle, gear, accessories and apparel.

This year is the second year that the National Marine Manufacturers Association hosted a Marine Accessories Pavilion on the show floor. The American Fly Fishing Trade Association  also once again located  its International Fly Tackle Dealer show with ICAST.

2017 ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners

ICAST 2017 Overall Best of Show – Bote
Product:
Rover

Best of Category – Boating Accessories – Yeti Coolers
Product:
LoadOut Bucket

Best of Category – Boats and Watercraft – Bote
Product:
Rover

Best of Category – EyewearCosta
Product:
The Sunrise Mirror Lens

Best of Category – Footwear – Huk Performance Fishing
Product:
Attack

Best of Category – Giftware – The Catch and Release Print Shop
Product:
Fish Prints – Actual Size

Best of Category – Lifestyle Apparel – Frogg Toggs
Product:
Prym1 Series Pilot II Jacket & Bibs

Best of Category – Technical Apparel – Frogg Toggs
Product:
Sierran Transition Wader

Best of Category – Electronics – Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc.
Product:
SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS

Best of Category – Fishing Accessory – YETI Coolers
Product:
Panga Duffel

Best of Category – Fly Fishing Accessory – Simms Fishing Products
Product:
G3 Guide™ Stockingfoot Wader

Best of Category – Fishing Line – Pure Fishing Inc.
Product:
Berkley Fireline Ultra 8

Best of Category – FishSmart – Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle
Product:
2017 Flounder Sample Pack

Best of Category – Kids’ Tackle – 13 Fishing
Product:
Ambition Combo

Best of Category – Tackle Management – Daiwa Corporation
Product:
Tactical Backpack

Best of Category – Terminal Tackle – Trapper Tackle
Product:
Trapper Round Bend Treble

Best of Category – Freshwater Hard Lure – Okuma Fishing Tackle Corp.
Product:
Savage Gear 3D Topwater Bat

Best of Category – Saltwater Hard Lure – Rapala
Product
: X-Rap Magnum 40

Best of Category – Freshwater Soft Lure – Lunkerhunt LP
Product:
Prop Series

Best of Category – Saltwater Soft Lure – LIVETARGET
Product:
LIVETARGET Hollow Body Mullet

Best of Category – Fly Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc.
Product:
Pflueger Supreme QRS Fly Reel

Best of Category – Freshwater Reel – Shimano American Corp.
Product:
Curado K Baitcasting Reels

Best of Category – Saltwater Reel – Shimano American Corp.
Product:
Sustain Reels C4000/5000

Best of Category – Rod & Reel Combo – Lew’s Fishing Tackle
Product:
Mach Crush Speed Spool Combo

Best of Category – Fly Fishing Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.
Product:
IMX-Pro Fly Rod

Best of Category – Freshwater Rod – 13 Fishing
Product:
Fate Black

Best of Category –Saltwater Rod – St. Croix Rods
Product:
Legend Tournament Inshore

Tuesday
Jul112017

Modern Fish Act Introduced in Senate

The recreational fishing and boating community praised the Senate introduction of the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017” (Modern Fish Act), which would improve public access to America’s federal waters, promote conservation of our natural marine resources and spur economic growth.

A companion bill, H.R. 2023, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 6.

“On behalf of America’s 11 million saltwater anglers, we thank Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.),” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy.

“Recreational fishing is a tradition worth safeguarding through proper management policies and a critical component of the U.S. economy, with an annual economic contribution of $63+ billion. With a bipartisan bill introduced in both chambers, we are hopeful the Congress will ensure all Americans have fair and reasonable access to our nation’s marine resources by passing the Modern Fish Act.”

 For years, the recreational fishing community has been hindered by antiquated policies that restrict access to public waters, hurt the U.S. economy and detract from conservation goals. The Modern Fish Act addresses many of the challenges faced by recreational anglers, including allowing alternative management tools for recreational fishing, reexamining fisheries allocations, smartly rebuilding fish stocks and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.

"When passed, this landmark legislation will modernize the federal regulations governing access to the public’s natural resources by boaters and anglers,” said National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich.

“The Modern Fish Act will achieve many goals, the most important of which is getting more Americans outdoors and enjoying our wonderful natural treasures,” added Mike Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association.

“This bipartisan legislation includes key provisions that will adapt federal fisheries management to manage recreational fishing in a way that better achieves conservation and public access goals. Recreational fishing provides many economic, social and conservation benefits to the nation, and with this legislation, the federal fisheries management system will better realize those benefits.”
  
“The Modern Fish Act offers reasonable solutions to a management system designed primarily for commercial fisheries but which has failed to address the needs of millions of saltwater anglers,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “The simple adjustments in this bipartisan bill would continue to ensure conservation of our nation’s saltwater fisheries, while finally establishing greatly needed parity for the recreational fishing community.”
 
“The Modern Fish Act would fix key issues in the law governing marine fisheries that keep recreational anglers from enjoying access to healthy fisheries,” said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance.
 
The coalition supporting the Modern Fish Act includes American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Wednesday
Jan252017

Obama's 11th Hour Edict Labeled Anti-Fishing

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — On the day before President Barack Obama left office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued an edict to ban lead fishing tackle and ammunition from hundreds of thousands of acres of land and water managed by that agency. Executed without stakeholder input, the controversial action has sparked outrage from fishing and hunting communities.
 
National Conservation Director Gene Gilliland said that B.A.S.S. “joins our state fisheries management agency partners and ASA (American Sportfishing Association) in calling on the new administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to put a hold on the order.

“This 11th hour order, just hours before the new administration was to take office, was an obvious attempt to push through an order that is part of the previous administration’s environmental agenda without full consultation among all the stakeholders.”
 
Scott Gudes, ASA’s vice president of government affairs, added, “The sportfishing industry views this unilateral policy to ban lead fishing tackle, which was developed without any input from the industry, other angling organizations and state fish and wildlife agencies, as a complete disregard for the economic and social impact it will have on anglers and the recreational fishing industry.”
 
Signed by FWS Director Dan Ash, Order No. 219 requires “the use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle to the fullest extent practicable for all activities on service lands, waters and facilities by January 2022, except as needed for law enforcement and safety uses, as provided for in policy.”
 
Fortunately, action was taken by the new Trump administration the day after the rule was issued that could hinder its effectiveness. A memorandum issued from the White House to departments and agencies announced a freeze on implementing new regulations, pending review. Still, individual jurisdictions within FWS might choose to enforce the rule.
 
For years, environmentalists have attempted to gain a complete ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle by filing lawsuits. They’ve done so, Gilliland said, “despite the lack of a clear connection in many cases of negative population-level impacts on fish and wildlife.” But their arguments have been rejected by the courts. At the same time, selective bans have been implemented where research suggests a need for them, such as in some northern waters, where loons ingest lead shot.

“In the limited instances, where lead fishing tackle is demonstrated to harm local wildlife populations, the sportfishing industry supports actions to minimize or eliminate these impacts,” Gudes said. “However, unnecessary and sweeping bans such as this Director’s Order will do nothing to benefit wildlife populations and instead will penalize the nation’s 46 million anglers and hurt recreational fishing-dependent jobs.”
 
If not rescinded, it also will damage the partnership between the federal agency and the states, according to Nick Wiley, president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “This action flies squarely in the face of a long and constructive tradition of states working in partnership with the service to effectively manage fish and wildlife resources,” he said.
 
“The Association views this order as a breach of trust and deeply disappointing given that it was a complete surprise and there was no current dialogue or input from state fish and wildlife agencies prior to issuance. It does a disservice to hunters and anglers, the firearms and angling industries, and the many professionals on staff with the USFWS who desire a trusting and transparent relationship with their state partners.”

For further information or to arrange an interview with Gene Gilliland, contact JamieDay Matthews, B.A.S.S. communications coordinator, 205-313-0945, jmatthews@bassmaster.com.

About B.A.S.S. Conservation
For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. Conservation has focused on issues related to fisheries and aquatic resource conservation. We work with government agencies to develop sound management policies that protect and enhance aquatic resources. We partner with others to ensure government policies provide for these resources without compromising sportfishing opportunities. And through the B.A.S.S. Nation, we provide volunteer efforts to enhance fisheries resources and protect our sport. B.A.S.S. is world-renowned for state-of-the-art tournament fish care.

(I wrote this press release for B.A.S.S.)