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Captain’s Log: Lure Someone You Know to Get Hooked on Fishing

The Anglers' Legacy program needs ambassadors to help advocate for the sport and its conservation ethics.

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Introducing someone to fishing helps the industry, fisheries management, the guest — and may foster a friendship. (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is running a helpful program it calls the Anglers’ Legacy.

“Anglers’ Legacy is simply about giving back what you’ve been given, and making a promise to introduce somebody new to fishing — a family member, co-worker, neighbor, acquaintance at church or perhaps the mechanic who works on your car,” according to the foundation.

Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)
That mission resonates well with caring and concerned anglers who want to pass on our sport and conservation ethics to friends and to future generations of anglers so they can enjoy a day on the water and perhaps a healthy fish dinner.

To become an ambassador, just take the pledge (click here) to introduce at least one person per year to the sport of fishing. This gives us the chance to give the gift that someone once gave us — a fishing trip.

The program continues to have a positive financial impact on the boating and fishing industry, according to a survey by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation. In a second-year survey of Anglers’ Legacy ambassadors (those who have taken the pledge), more than 5,000 respondents indicated that they purchase about $140 in fishing tackle and equipment, $153 in boating supplies and accessories and more than three fishing licenses.

“The Anglers’ Legacy program is approaching 75,000 ambassadors and is generating significant dollars for the industry and conservation efforts according to our research,” RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson said. “This new survey shows the program may have already generated $19 million for the boating and fishing industries and more than 125,000 new fishing licenses. Based on an average $15 license, this means the program likely generated $1.8 million for states, supporting critical fish and wildlife management efforts.”

Whether you fish fresh water, salt water or both, bringing a newbie along is important to the health of our industry and also important to fund (with fishing license fees and tax money) the programs that keep our fishery habitats healthy and manage our fish populations for sustainability. Our traditional fisheries management practices are producing wonderful success stories, without closing areas to all fishing.

Let’s support fisheries management in the spirit of conservation. This program is a good way to do that.

Introducing someone to fishing is also a way to give a lifelong gift to someone you care about. Most of us got started fishing just this way. Someone took us fishing. Do the same for others.

Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a new nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need.

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