Fishing Industry News: Self Joins St. Croix Leadership; Powerboat Sales Surge

In the latest fishing industry news, Steve Self joins St. Croix Rod as Director of Sales, and powerboat sales in late 2019 helped the average reach numbers not seen in a decade.

Fishing Industry News: Self Joins St. Croix Leadership; Powerboat Sales Surge

In the latest fishing industry news ... 

Industry veteran Steve Self has joined St. Croix Rod as Director of Sales.

Self will report to St. Croix CEO Scott Forristall. His primary responsibilities include leading the St. Croix Sales team, managing operations at the company’s factory store and customer center, and creating, coordinating, and implementing national sales plans.

Self comes to St. Croix Rod with 35 years of experience in the outdoors industry, more than 20 of which include fishing tackle sales leadership. He most recently served as Vice President of Sales for Maurice Sporting Goods and also has worked for both South Bend Sporting Goods and Zebco as National Sales Manager.

“Steve has a strong work ethic and a competitive nature, which have no doubt contributed to his proven record of success in sales and management,” Forristall said. “But he’s also trustworthy, approachable and a team player with high integrity, which I expect to serve him well in this key position.”

Huk Announces Angling Team Members

Huk is expanding its presence in competitive freshwater fishing by adding team members from various professional and amateur tournament trails to supplement its current roster of bass fishing pros.

This year’s lineup of Huk pros include previous team members Ott DeFoe, Greg Hackney, Jacob Powrzonik, Clif Crochet, Brock Mosley, and Brad Knight. Huk is adding Bassmaster Elite anglers Drew Benton, Brandon Lester, Lee Livesay, Tyler Rivet and Shane Lineberger in addition to FLW Pro Circuit anglers Tyler Stewart, Kyle Hall, and Jake Morris.

Bryan Thrift will be competing for Huk on the MLF circuit. Numerous other regional amateurs and high school anglers will be competing under the Huk name this year. A few key regional additions include Jason Bonds, Chris Jones and Joe Uribe Jr, who compete regionally in FLW Series events as well as numerous team and individual events in their home states of Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Huk also is sponsoring numerous additional tournament trails in 2020. Huk currently is the title sponsor of the Huk TTO Team Trail and the Huk Bassmaster Kayak Series. Additional sponsorships include numerous regional high school series, youth trails and regional amateur events such as Sealy’s Big Bass Splash, the Southeast Texas High School Fishing Association tournaments and the Wild West Bass Trail.

Retail Powerboat Unit Sales Finish 2019 Strongly

NMMA's December New Powerboat Registrations Report shows new powerboat retail unit sales closed the fourth quarter of 2019 up 4 percent on a rolling 3-month year-over-year (R3M YOY) basis and closed 2019 down 1 percent on a rolling 12-month year-over-year basis, marking the second highest level of new powerboat sales in 12 years.

“It was encouraging to see new boat sales pick up in the second half of 2019 with demand across a range of boats reaching their highest or near highest year-over-year sales volumes in 10-12 years,” said Vicky Yu, director of business intelligence for NMMA. “A pick-up in the second half of 2019 and healthy demand in most powerboat categories offset softness in the smaller freshwater fishing boat segment. From what we’re hearing from manufacturers, that sales momentum is carrying through the start of winter boat show season.”

Insights from the December report include:

  • Segment growth leaders in 2019 were new personal watercraft (up 5 percent), wake sport boats (up 5 percent), cruisers (up 4 percent), and jet boats (up 1 percent) YOY.
  • Sales of new freshwater fishing boats were down 7 percent R12M YOY, primarily reflecting moderation in sales of smaller freshwater fishing boats (<21’) following 10-year highs in 2018.
  • New yacht sales ended 2019 down 6 percent.

Obit: Redbone Founder Capt. Gary Ellis

Famed Florida Keys guide Capt. Gary Ellis, founder of the Redbone Tournament Series, died Feb. 26. He was 79.

Although he guided anglers for both conventional and fly fishing in the Florida Keys, it was his work with the Redbone Tournament Series that will be his true legacy. When his daughter Nicole was born with cystic fibrosis in 1985, Ellis and his wife Susan began a campaign to find a cure for the childhood disease. During the next 30-plus years they have raised more than $30 million for research that has expanded the life expectancy for victims by several decades. Today Nicole is healthy and happily married.

The vehicle for the fundraising has been the original Redbone Tournament in Islamorada that targets redfish and bonefish with catch-and-release angling. That tournament also spawned the Redbone At Large series that has spread along the coasts and even into the interior waters of the nation.

The beginnings of the Redbone were at the Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar in Islamorada, when Ellis convinced some clients and friends to put on the first charity event in 1988. Among those initial anglers was baseball legend Ted Williams, sports announcer Curt Gowdy and singer, actor and comedian Phil Harris. Over the years other regulars at the tournament were baseball hall of famer Wade Boggs, professional tennis champion Chris Evert, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and the late saxophonist for the E Street band Clarence “Big Man” Clemons.

Abu Garcia Adds 8 to Pro Angling Team

Abu Garcia has added eight anglers competing on the B.A.S.S. or FLW tours to its pro  angling team for 2020.

The following pros will be competing in their respective tours using Abu Garcia rods and/or reels, as well as testing and evaluating new products and making appearances on behalf of Abu Garcia at consumer events and tradeshows.

Bassmaster Elite Series
Clent Davis — Montevallo, Alabama
Destin DeMarion — Grove City, Pennsylvania
Kelley Jaye — Dadeville, Alabama
Luke Palmer — Coalgate, Oklahoma
Jake Whitaker — Fairview, North Carolina
Jason Williamson — Wagener, South Carolina

FLW Pro Circuit
Blake Smith — Lakeland, Florida
Joseph Webster — Winfield, Alabama

“Abu Garcia’s leadership position in bass fishing mandates that the brand be represented by the sport’s leading anglers,” said Jon Schlosser, Abu Garcia Vice President of Marketing. “The addition of these eight pros help to strengthen our already stout lineup of professional anglers fishing B.A.S.S., FLW and MLF events. It’s a great group of competitors who are ideal ambassadors for the brand. We expect great things in 2020 from our lineup of Abu Garcia pros.”

Astral Names New Rep for Mid-Atlantic

Tad Fox of DIY Outdoor joins the Astral sales team, representing the company in the Mid-Atlantic region covering New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington, DC.

Fox has represented footwear brands such as Hoka, Asolo and Forsake. Fox worked with Astral in the Mid-Atlantic previously, and now the brand joins his current portfolio which consists of Farm to Feet, Korkers, Asolo boots, Toad & Co, Polar Max, and Sealskinz.

“We’re excited to work with Tad again moving forward,” says Bryan Owen, Sales Manager for Astral. “His experience and passion for the outdoors will surely be a huge benefit to Astral and our customers in the Mid-Atlantic.”


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