Fishing Industry News: Plano, IGFA Strengthen Partnership; 2020 Crappie Expo in Missouri

In the latest fishing industry news, the IGFA and Plano have strengthened their longstanding partnership and the 2020 Crappie Expo is heading to Branson, Missouri.

Fishing Industry News: Plano, IGFA Strengthen Partnership; 2020 Crappie Expo in Missouri

Plano has strengthened its decades-long support of the International Game Fish Association with more emphasis behind the IGFA's Passports To Fishing program

"Plano has always been a great supporter of the IGFA," said Jack Vitek, marketing director for the IGFA, "but Plano has really stepped up the last couple of years by getting behind our Passports To Fishing youth education program."

The program is a hands-on, interactive method for teaching kids to fish. The "fishing clinics in a box" starter kits provided by Plano include curriculum and education station materials to teach basic tackle, knot tying, conservation, environmental stewardship, casting and angling safety. Also included in the kits are 20 rods and reels for young anglers to test their newly acquired skills by going fishing.

These starter kits are equipped with everything needed to conduct a youth fishing clinic, including Passports to Fishing educational curriculum, station materials, rods, reels, tackle and more.

Shimano Teams With Locally to Support Tackle Shops

Shimano has increased its efforts to support local tackle shops through its connection with Through, anglers can buy Shimano rods, reels and lures, G. Loomis rods, PowerPro braid and Jackall lures through their nearest in-stock tackle shop by simply clicking on the ‘Find it Locally’ banner on every product description page.

“ had an amazing reaction to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation," said Jim Lupinski, Shimano North American Fishing, Inc. senior sales manager. "Their service can truly keep the lights on for tackle dealers nationwide and help them reach consumers who are limiting their shopping experiences. Shopping locally will have a positive impact on local commerce, and Shimano is proud to have partnered with a great forward-thinking company to offer this service to anglers.” 

Lupinski said many tackle dealers have been quick to react, offering curbside pick-up and other efforts to abide by social distancing recommendations.

“At a good number of tackle shops, and we keep hearing of more every day, they have services in place so customers don’t even need to get out of their cars,” he said.

Shimano’s sales team is actively working with tackle shops so more will be added to the ‘Find it Locally’ information on the Shimano web site.

Mustang Survival Supports Americas Cup Team

Mustang Survival will supply equipment for extreme offshore activities of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team as it challenges for the 36th Americas Cup.

The America’s Cup, now in its 36th edition, is the oldest trophy in the history of sport and 170 years later still sees the participation of the most technologically advanced boats in the world.

The Mustang Survival gear will integrate the official team uniform with four items designed for activities in extreme offshore conditions. The Mustang foul weather apparel, developed and built at its Burnaby Waterlife Studio, will include the EP 6.5 Ocean Racing Jacket, Smock, Salopette & Drysuit, all of which made from military grade GORE-TEX.

“We are honored to add value to such a respected team in what is a very competitive arena," said Jason Leggett, president of Mustang Survival. "We stand behind our product and are confident the team will be protected in the toughest of conditions."

The city of Cagliari will give way to the first regattas from April 23-26 2020, hosting the opening stage of the America’s World Cup Series. Additional ACWS regattas will take place in Portsmouth, England, from June 4-7 and will end in Auckland, New Zealand, from Dec. 17-20. The Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series is scheduled in Auckland in early 2021 and will determine the team who will face the Defender in the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada. The match for the Auld Mug is set to take place from March 6-21, 2021, in the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand.

Crappie Expo Moves to Branson, Missouri

Crappie Expo 2020 and the Mr. Crappie $100K Invitational Crappie Classic Tournament will be Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at the Branson Convention Center and Table Rock Lake State Park in Branson, Missouri.

The weekend features a large consumer expo, fish fry and 100 of the top crappie-fishing teams in America competing in the tournament.

More than 45,000 fans attended the 2019 event in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

“The Crappie Expo is the largest consumer crappie and panfish event in our great sport,” said founder and "Mr. Crappie," Wally Marshall. “Crappie Expo 2020 will include over 100 crappie-related companies from all over the U.S.A. We’ll have boat and tackle manufacturers showing and selling their products, tackle dealers offering the latest and greatest fishing gear, expert instruction from top fishing pros, daily music concerts, plus the World’s Largest Fish Fry and the sport’s most prestigious tournament. We’ll also have a drawing for a free Ranger boat.”

For more information, contact Marshall at (214) 683-4759 or or visit

AFTCO-B.A.S.S. Accepting Grant Proposals

Grant proposals are now being accepted for the AFTCO B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Grant program.

Grants of up to $5,000 each will be awarded for conservation-related projects from B.A.S.S. Nation states, clubs, high school or college teams.  The program was announced at the recent B.A.S.S. Conservation Summit held during the Bassmaster Classic in Birmingham, Ala. 

To qualify for a grant, projects must directly involve youth to teach the importance of resource stewardship and the leadership role that anglers play as conservationists; have the endorsement of the local fisheries management agency and work to accomplish goals of mutual benefit; and have an evaluation component to determine success. 

Proposals should demonstrate that the projects will focus on protecting or enhancing habitat, addressing aquatic pollution, aquatic invasive species, tournament fish care, access to public waters or conservation education. A project may be part of a larger project, and working with partners is strongly encouraged. 

Grant proposals are being accepted until June 1, 2020. All questions about the program or application process should be directed to B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, Gene Gilliland at

Fly Fishing Film Festival Postpones Shows

All scheduled screenings of the International Fly Fishing Film Festival through May 1 have been postponed, according to Chris Bird, Executive Producer of Bird Marketing Group.

“It is our commitment to reschedule rather than cancel these events and we will be working diligently alongside our network of screening partners.” he said. “Many of these groups either are, or are committed to raising funds for, important charitable organizations within our industry. We feel it is necessary to minimize the impact to these fundraising initiatives as much as possible.”

All ticket holders will be notified of the rescheduled dates as soon as they are available. Those unable to attend will receive refunds.

The 2020 International Fly Fishing Film Festival features 11 films from 6- to 16-minutes in length from around the world’s waters. Showtime is about two hours.

For a complete list of postponed locations and dates, visit

Bassmaster Classic Attracts Record Crowds

The 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk marked the 13th time the iconic event has been held in Alabama and shattered previous state attendance records when all related events were combined, B.A.S.S. officials said.
The total Classic Week attendance of 122,814 was recorded at a variety of activities across Alabama, including the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo in Birmingham, daily takeoffs on Lake Guntersville and the inaugural Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series on Logan Martin Lake in Pell City.

This attendance number is 35 percent higher than the previous state record set in 2014, and the fourth-highest attended Bassmaster Classic in the event’s 50-year history.

Economic impact for the week is expected to top $25 million and will be announced once the calculations are completed by the local hosts.


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