Fishing Industry News: Simms Expands Prostaff; B.A.S.S. Seeks Prep Nominations

In the latest fishing industry news, Simms has expanded its angling prostaff and B.A.S.S. is seeking nominations for its high school All-America team.

Fishing Industry News: Simms Expands Prostaff; B.A.S.S. Seeks Prep Nominations

In the latest fishing industry news ...

Simms Fishing Products has expanded its prostaff with the signings of three professional anglers: John Cox, Brent Ehrler and Brandon Palaniuk.

Palaniuk will compete on the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2020. Ehrler competes on the MLF Bass Pro Tour. Cox competes on the Elite Series and FLW Pro Circuit.

“Welcoming Brandon and Brent back into the Simms family was one of the easiest decisions of my career,” said Patterson Leeth, Simms Community Manager. “We are beyond stoked to see them back representing the Simms brandmark.”

Palaniuk rejoins fellow Simms Elite Series pros Seth Feider and Jeff Gustafson, both of whom will be competing in the Bassmaster Classic in March at Lake Guntersville. Elite Series rookie Bob Downey also will represent Simms at the Classic, which will be based in Birmingham.

“Over the years, I’ve learned that you simply can’t put a price on quality gear when protecting yourself from what Mother Nature throws your way," Palaniuk said. "As anglers we are exposed to some of the harshest elements and there’s no room for sacrifice. Growing up in Idaho I’ve been a fan of Simms since I was a kid because of their great people and products.”

Ehrler finished third in 2019 BPT points. Cox claimed the first FLW Pro Circuit tournament title in mid-January on Sam Rayburn with a wire-to-wire run.

“I just spent a few days at Simms’ headquarters in Bozeman and after my visit, I’ve come to realize that a brand is only as good as the people behind it," Ehrler said. "I’ve always known Simms products are the best, but I just have to reiterate, the people at Simms truly make it shine.”

Cox is the only angler competing in the Elite Series and the FLW Pro Circuit this season.

“When you fish as many tournaments as I do, one thing is for sure, you’re going to face a lot of bad weather,” he said. “I can’t afford to not use the most reliable equipment there is and when it comes to rain gear, there’s no doubt in my mind, it’s Simms.”

B.A.S.S. Seeking Nominations for Prep All-America Team

B.A.S.S. is seeking nominations for its Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The team recognizes the 12 most outstanding high school anglers in the nation. The program is designed to reward young athletes for their performance in tournaments, leadership in their communities and involvement in conservation efforts.

Applications for the team, which is now in its sixth year, will be accepted through Feb. 21.   

To be considered, a student must be nominated by a parent, coach, teacher or other school official. Students currently enrolled in grades 10-12 with a current grade point average of 2.5 or higher are eligible.

Judges will select up to two student anglers in each state. These All-State Fishing Team members will become semifinalists in the selection of the 12-member team. Criteria include success in high school fishing tournaments and involvement in conservation efforts and other community service activities.

The anglers chosen will compete in a one-day Bassmaster High School All-American Bass Tournament to be held in conjunction with the 2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department event — one of nine regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments this year. Elite Series anglers will serve as “coaches” for the student anglers in the one-day fishing event near Emory, Texas. The high school standouts and Elite Series coaches will be honored before the weigh-in crowd. 

Notices have been sent to youth fishing directors of the B.A.S.S. Nation and other organizations, as well as leaders of state high school fishing programs. Adults can nominate students by filling out an online form at Nominations must be submitted before midnight on Feb. 21. Please send all questions to

Carpenter Promoted at AFW Fishing Brands

Shawn Carpenter has been promoted to Major Account Manager for AFW Fishing Brands.

Carpenter will be responsible for developing sales strategies to identify opportunities, strengthen relationships and consistently exceed customer expectations.   “Shawn is an experienced, proven sales leader. His more than 18 years experience in the industry, working in retail and wholesale positions, makes him uniquely qualified for this role,” said Michael Shields, VP Sales & Marketing. “Anyone that knows Shawn knows his deep passion for the fishing industry and for life. We’re excited to have him on our team helping us grow our business.”

Reid New Brunswick VP-Enterprise Technologies

Dr. John F. Reid has been appointed vice president - enterprise technologies for Brunswick Corporation.

Reid will be based in the company’s Mettawa, Illinois, headquarters and will report to Brunswick CEO David M. Foulkes. The move is effective Feb. 3.

Reid brings more than 30 years of highly accomplished technology leadership experience, most recently serving as Director, Enterprise Product Innovation and Technology and Technical Fellow at Deere & Company. In his 19 years at Deere, Reid was instrumental in the development and implementation of the enterprise innovation strategy and processes, driving enterprise capability building through product technology roadmaps that included, among other critical initiatives, the company’s strategy for automation and autonomous machine systems. Prior to his tenure at Deere & Company, Reid was a professor at the University of Illinois for 14 years and he was recognized for his automation research contributions.

“As a long-time boater, I’m excited about the opportunity to help advance Brunswick’s product and technology leadership,” Reid said. "The company is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the rapidly evolving technology trends. I look forward to working with Dave, the leadership team and business units to further accelerate Brunswick’s momentum and drive continued value creation and success through our industry-leading innovation.”

Reid earned engineering degrees from Virginia Tech (BS/MS) and his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. An active inventor, Reid has more than 30 patents, primarily in the area of sensing, automation and control, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Rapala Continues Partnership with  ACA, Collegiate Bass Fishing Series

The Association of Collegiate Anglers and Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series have continued their partnership with Rapala as the 2019-20 season progresses.

Rapala, VMC, and Sufix, are affiliated with the elite college trail and the weekly podcast.

"It is inspiring to see the high school and college-level anglers flourish around the country, and Rapala is proud to continue to find ways to support this growth," said Matt Jensen, Director of Marketing for Rapala USA. "Our new partnership with ACA Collegiate Bass Fishing Series is designed to help strengthen our communication and support to all their anglers throughout the season."

Rapala currently provides a discount program tailored to collegiate anglers. Teams competing in ACA ran events will be eligible for key discounts off products from brands associated with Rapala, VMC, and Suffix. The ACA has worked with Rapala this season already promoting numerous discount opportunities, including a limited-edition holiday discount code. For eligibility and discount information, email


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