US tournament pro Seth Felder has reason to be forever grateful to the OG Rapala Slim bait he fished during the four-day Toyota Bassmaster Fest, which finished yesterday.
On the first day of the event the lure enticed a 9lb 9oz bass for the ‘Mullet Man’ from Minnesota and won him the keys to a brand new Toyota Tundra truck – the prize for catching the biggest fish of the tournament.
“It’s been stressful,” he admitted. “I probably checked BASSTrakk more times than eventual winner Patrick Walters’ mum to see if anyone caught a bigger fish than me.” The Tundra-winning bass fell to green-gizzard shad-coloured Rapala bait tied to a 12lb line and fished in four feet of water.
Felder added: “I just want to thank Toyota for investing in the sport we all love, for sponsoring B.A.S.S. and supporting anglers the way it does.”
ASHINGTON – If red means trouble – and in this case, it does – a map of the Great Lakes published by their binational overseer identifies Lakes Erie and Ontario as the places where the region’s many environmental concerns come together.
On that map, Lake Ontario is mostly a sea of red, with a few spots in the center of the lake shaded orange, signaling that they are only slightly less troubled. Meanwhile, the map of Lake Erie features a deep red blotch stretching from metro Buffalo westward along the Canadian shoreline for about 130 miles. A similar red blotch stretches westward from Erie, Pa., past Cleveland and Toledo and into Michigan.
Neither Lake Ontario nor Lake Erie features the deep blue hue that dominates Lake Superior, signaling that it is comparatively free of environmental stress.
That map illustrates what an International Joint Commission panel found when it looked at the major challenges the lakes face – climate change, invasive species, excessive nutrients, pollution, habitat loss and others – cumulatively rather than as individual issues.
“The stress was greatest in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario because you have the confluence of strong stressors,” said David Allan, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan and the author of the report. “You have the most population, the most wastewater contributions, the most agricultural runoff contributions. You have an abundance of other stressors influencing those lakes as well.”
“In terms of the magnitude of the damage that results from the interaction between two stressors, sometimes the relationship between stressors is additive, so one plus one equals two,” he said. “But sometimes there’s a synergy, so one plus one can exceed two. And, occasionally, one stressor can counteract the other stressor.”
The study did not focus on the flooding that has occurred on the Lake Ontario shoreline in recent years. Instead, it focused on environmental concerns.
Lake Ontario is mostly shaded in red on the map in part because of longstanding data showing that invasive mussels are common there, Allan said. Substantial pollution from farm run-off and shoreline development are issues along Lake Ontario as well.
The eastern portion of Lake Erie is shaded red because of the influence of industrialized cities such as Buffalo. Meantime, the Canadian shoreline west of Buffalo faces issues with agricultural runoff, while western Lake Erie in Ohio has suffered from algal blooms thanks to excess nutrients such as phosphorus.
The Fly Fishing Climate Alliance has been formed in the US by businesses within the industry to tackle the effects of climate change.
A first-of-its-kind initiative for the fly fishing industry has brought brands, shops, lodges and guides together to take action over the climate crisis.
The Fly Fishing Climate Alliance says that climate change is the single biggest threat to fish on the planet and has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2030.
As of today, 16 businesses have joined, including Patagonia Fly Fish, Seigler Reels, Monic Fly Lines, Rep Your Water, Rock Treads, Crazy Creek Products, Tailwater Lodge, School of Trout, Emerald Water Anglers, Lary’s Fly & Supply, Low Tide Charters, True North Trout, Soul Fly Outfitters, Emerger Strategies and Craig Matthews.
“It is our responsibility to do our part to solve this crisis so that we can save the planet, the fish and our businesses,” says the Alliance.
Corinne and Garrison Doctor, co-founders of the apparel brand, Rep Your Water, said: “Our business is dependent upon a healthy environment, and because climate change poses a significant threat to that environment and the fish we love, the least we can do is take responsibility for our actions by working to achieve carbon neutrality. We think our industry has everything to gain and nothing to lose by acting on climate.”
The initiative is the idea of sustainability consulting company Emerger Strategies, which began working on it in 2019 to raise awareness and responsibility for sustainable business practices among the fly fishing community.
Writing on the American Fly Fishing Trade Association website, Emerger Strategies’ Rick Crawford said: “By working towards a common goal of achieving carbon neutrality, we can make a significant impact in solving the climate crisis while leading by example.
“It is through the actions of the members of this alliance that the fly fishing industry can do its part in saving both the planet and the fish their businesses depend upon.”
Angling International – by Anthony
Bass Pro Shops and Cabala’s have won the America’s Best in State Customer Service 2020 Award.
North America’s best known fishing tackle retailers, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, are serial winners when it comes to awards for customer service. So it should come as no surprise that the group has added another one to the list, this time by winning the America’s Best in State Customer Service 2020 Award from Newsweek magazine.
The publication recognized the outdoor retailer as a top customer service provider in 16 out of the 20 states surveyed. More than 20,000 customers who had either made purchases, used services or gathered information about products or services in the last three years were contacted. They were asked whether they would recommend the brands to family and friends
“This award reflects the passion and ongoing commitment of everyone in our company to deliver an unbeatable customer experience by offering friendly expert service, high quality products and exceptional value every day,” said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “We are truly humbled and very grateful to our customers for the opportunity to help them create lifelong memories in the outdoors, particularly in 2020 when it’s more important than ever to get outside safely and responsibly.”
The string of similar accolades earned by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s in recent years includes:
- Bass Pro Shops was ranked number three in the 2019 Retail Reputation Report by Reputation.com, measuring the most reputable brands in the world for overall customer experience.
- In 2018, The National Retail Federation named Bass Pro Shops as the number two ‘Hottest Retailer in America’.
- In 2017, Forbes named Bass Pro Shops as one of ‘America’s Most Reputable Companies’.
- In 2015, Forbes named the company as one of ‘America’s Best Employers’.
- In 2015, the National Retail Foundation named Johnny Morris as one of ‘25 People Shaping the Future of Retail’.
- In 2008, the National Retail Foundation named Johnny Morris as ‘Retail Innovator of the Year’.
Angling International – by Anthony
Walmart, the world largest retailer, has reported an increase in sales of ‘unlikely items’ like fishing rods in the second quarter of its financial year.
Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer and a prized outlet among fishing tackle brands, made special mention of fishing tackle sales as it revealed an impressive profit jump for the latest financial quart.
The chain posted net income of $6.5 billion, up almost 80% from the same period last year. A 97% surge in the company’s US e-commerce sales helped hike total revenues by 5.6% to $137.7 billion.
Shifting consumer behaviors and social distancing protocols have led to a supply crunch for ‘unlikely items’ such as fishing rods, says the company.
“I looked at the fishing store this week and we’re still really light, just basic terminal tackle, hooks, bobbers and stuff like that,” said Doug McMillon, Chief Executive of the retail powerhouse when he delivered Q2 earnings.
Walmart estimates there are 35 million Americans who fish, up from 25 million before the pandemic. Those are conservative figures compared to those quoted by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), but may vary according to measures such as frequency.
The company reported that consumers are making fewer trips to stores, but are spending more. However, it did not provide a full-year profit target because the outlook remained clouded by the unpredictable course of COVID-19 and whether Congress would enact another round of fiscal stimulus.
Angling International – by Anthony