Fishing Industry News: Lew's, Lucas Oil Collaboration; Survey - Sportfishing Growth in 2018

In the latest fishing industry news, Lew's and Lucas Oil have developed a new reel bearing lubricant that will debut at the upcoming ICAST trade show in July.

Fishing Industry News: Lew's, Lucas Oil Collaboration; Survey - Sportfishing Growth in 2018

Here is some of the latest fishing industry news:

Lew’s and Lucas Oil will introduce HyperSpeed Speed Lube, a new lubricant for fishing reels, at the ICAST trade show in Orlando.

As a high-speed reel bearing lubricant, each 1-ounce bottle of HyperSpeed has synthetic base oils formulated specifically for today’s high-performance baitcast reels. Utilizing the lubrication and oil sourcing expertise with Lucas Oil, this reel oil allows maximum performance of baitcast spool main shaft bearings through a low coefficient of friction with superior flow and lubricity.

HyperSpeed is long-lasting and oxidation resistant, and will not form residual lacquers or gums. It is designed to maintain bearing life in baitcast reels and increase performance. Each bottle has a needle applicator for precise application and has an MSRP of $8.99 per bottle.

Survey: Sportfishing Grows About 12 Percent in 2018

Consumer spending in the sportfishing tackle market grew 12 percent in 2018, nearing $6 billion, according to a new market size report now available from Southwick Associates.

The growth was primarily led by an increase in spending on rods, reels, and combos that posted significant gains in both retail dollars and units sold. Overall units across the sportfishing equipment market grew at 2 percent in 2018.

“Although fishing participation was relatively flat in 2018, consumers spent more on fishing equipment than in 2017,” said Nancy Bacon, Vice President of Southwick Associates. “While all levels of the trade may not be seeing this large of an increase due to inventory issues associated with retail mergers and other factors, consumers are still spending on fishing equipment with more avenues available to purchase product than ever before.”

The new “2018 Retail Market Size Report – Sportfishing Equipment” is available from Southwick Associates for $3,000. The report covers retail dollar and unit sales estimates of specific equipment directly associated with sportfishing including products in rods, reels, lures and baits, fishing line, terminal tackle, fishing electronics, fishing apparel, and more. Spending estimates are also broken out by types of fishing, and more. Other items such as travel-related spending, real estate, and indirect equipment are not included.

Louisiana DWF Finds Massive Snapper Violation

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Philippines man for alleged recreational fishing violations on June 20 in St. John Parish.

Agents cited Alberto Abad Defeo Jr., 47, for possessing over the limit and undersized red snapper, and fishing without non-resident basic and saltwater fishing licenses.

Agents received a tip from Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists that an ocean going cargo ship was docked at the Port of South Louisiana in Reserve with possible illegal fish on board. Agents were able to board and inspect the cargo ship. They found 143 red snapper in the ship’s freezer, refrigerators and galley. Ninety fish were undersized.

Defeo Jr., the captain, told agents the fish were caught while the ship was anchored about six miles out of southwest pass in the Gulf of Mexico. Defeo Jr. agreed to take all of the citations. Possessing undersized and over the limit of red snapper, and fishing without non-resident basic and saltwater fishing licenses each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Defeo Jr. also may face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken fish.

Combast Leaving IGFA After 14 Years

Eric Combast, Director of Development for The International Game Fish Association, has announced his resignation after 14 years.

“We are grateful for the many years of service Eric has provided to the IGFA,” said IGFA President Nehl Horton. “Eric has been an extremely valuable member of the IGFA leadership team and his fundraising skills have strengthened our conservation and education programs.”

Combast joined the IGFA in 2006. One of his first tasks was to create the IGFA Donor Society, an ongoing source of funding for the IGFA’s various mission-driven projects. Today, the IGFA Donor Society has more than 100 members and has raised millions of dollars for the organization.

Combast was also the driving force behind the IGFA International Auction, the premier fishing gala of the year and the IGFA’s largest fundraising event. During his tenure at the IGFA, Combast has also overseen membership, public relations, planned giving, special events and major giving.

“As and avid angler and dedicated fundraiser, my position at the IGFA has been the job of a lifetime,” said Combast. “I am truly grateful to all of the great people I have met and to our generous donors.”

Combast is moving with his family to Raleigh, N.C. He will remain on staff until Sept. 30, 2019, to ensure a smooth transition.

Costa, Sweetwater Partner To Reduce Plastic

Costa Sunglasses is collaborating with SweetWater, an Atlanta-based brewery, with its "Kick Plastic Pilsner" to help bring awareness to the issue of plastic pollution in our waterways.

The Kick Plastic Program is an initiative Costa launched in 2015. A percentage of profits from the sale of Kick Plastic Pilsner will be donated to various clean water partners, including Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Coastal Conservation Association, Trout Unlimited and Waterkeeper Alliance. In addition, the collaboration is part of SweetWater’s annual Save Our Water campaign, which has donated more than $1 million to organizations who protect natural resources and habitats.

“Protecting the health of our oceans has always been a top priority at Costa and we take great pride in partnering with like-minded organizations who share our passion,” said T.J. McMeniman, vice president of marketing at Costa. “Our collaboration with SweetWater is helping to raise awareness to the growing issue of plastic pollution while also removing plastic from our waterways through cleanup efforts.”

Additionally, consumers can win free Costa sunglasses by posting an Instagram photo of the trash they remove on their own and tagging it #SaveOurWater19. For details and rules, visit

“SweetWater has always been passionate about the outdoors and fishing, and no one helps us see it better than Costa,” said Freddy Bensch, SweetWater founder. “The mission of their Kick Plastic campaign is to make sure our watery world stays viable for natural habitats to thrive, and for future generations to enjoy. We love having a partner who wants to see our streams, oceans and rivers cleaner and clearer.”

Kick Plastic Pilsner is a refreshing Czech-style pilsner that pops with herbal notes and tropical fruit aroma, balanced by malty, oceanic characters on the palate. View the can art by fisherman and visual artist, Eric Estrada here. Kick Plastic Pilsner is available June through mid-September in bottles, 12-ounce cans and on draft. Learn more at

IGFA Collaborates With Pelagic Gear

 The International Game Fish Association is partnering with Pelagic Gear with the release of a limited-edition line of high-performance angling apparel in celebration of the IGFA’s 80th anniversary.

A portion of all proceeds generated from the sale of the apparel line will be donated to support the IGFA’s work in the field of game fish conservation.

“As we celebrate our historic 80th anniversary, we are excited to enter a new partnership with Pelagic and to offer anglers a great line of quality, high performance IGFA-branded Pelagic gear,” said IGFA President Nehl Horton. “Strong partnerships with industry leaders like Pelagic are essential to the IGFA’s ability to fulfill our mission of game fish conservation and the promotion of ethical angling practices. We are very excited about the new gear and we greatly appreciate Pelagic’s continued support.”

The limited edition “IGFA Conservation Collaboration” line of clothing features the IGFA’s original logo, which was designed by renowned marine artist Lynn Bogue Hunt in the late 1930s. The collection includes the following items: IGFA Aquatek Performance ShirtIGFA Mako XT Hybrid Fishing ShortIGFA Snapback Fishing HatIGFA Fishing T-ShirtIGFA Eclipse Fishing Guide Shirt and IGFA Offshore Fishing Hat.

All items within the “Conservation Collaboration” can be purchased directly through the Pelagic website, and discounts on apparel items are offered to current IGFA Members.

HydroHoist, ShoreMaster Announce Merger

ShoreMaster and HydroHoist Marine Group have merged to become the largest dock and boat lift company in North America.

The merger will help the company offer better coverage of a broad spectrum of boat types, sizes and marine environments in the industry across all major product categories in the dock, boat lift and accessories market. The combined business will have a 700-plus strong worldwide dealer network. The resulting larger footprint will provide new and unique dealer opportunities without overlapping existing market share.

“I see unlimited potential from the combined forces of these two market leaders,” said Don Hurley, President of ShoreMaster. “ShoreMaster and HydroHoist produce the highest quality products in their respective marketplaces. It makes sense to combine our unique product lines and networks to offer a one-stop-shop for marine products. Our merger achieves that goal while retaining the enthusiasm and motivation that drives each company individually.”

The combined company will boast a more agile development process and two world-class management teams under one leadership. Over the past few decades, ShoreMaster and HydroHoist have delivered highly innovative and successful marine solutions on the market, meeting the needs of marinas, residential dock owners and boaters.

“The union of our companies focuses on internal synergies, external benefits to customers and the blending of two marquee brands,” said Mick Webber, President of HydroHoist. “We are in the enviable position of having complementary, not competitive operations. I am thrilled by the opportunities this merger creates.”


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