Fishing Industry News: St. Croix Customer Appreciation Day Scheduled

In the latest fishing industry news, the annual and popular St. Croix "customer appreciation day" will be June 15 at the rod company's headquarters in Wisconsin.

Fishing Industry News: St. Croix Customer Appreciation Day Scheduled

Plano is offering two new items to anglers for 2019: the A-series 2.0 Quick Top 3600 and 3700 Tackle Bags. (Photo: Plano)

Some of the latest news from the fishing and boating industry:

One of Wisconsin’s most popular fishing-related events, the St. Croix Rod Customer Appreciation Day, will be June 15 — Father's Day weekend — at the company's headquarters in Wisconsin.

The annual event includes product discounts, hourly  drawings, fishing and tackle seminars, free food and more. It begins at 7 a.m.

“St. Croix Rod Customer Appreciation Day has turned into Wisconsin’s premier fishing event," said Ryan Teach, St. Croix’s Factory Store Manager. "I would argue that there isn’t anything remotely close to it that compares. So, if you’re a St. Croix enthusiast, there’s really only one place you want to be on June 15th and that’s at Customer Appreciation Day.”

More than 2,700 attended the 2018 event despite rain and stormy weather, with visitors commuting from as far as Croatia. Teach said the tent size has been tripled for this year as they plan for more than 3,000 visitors.

Other participating companies includ Daiwa, Pure Fishing, Eskimo and brands such as Berkley, Eagle Claw, Trokar and others. St. Croix also will offer discounts on ice fishing products in its line and from supporting partner Eskimo for its drill-based Pistol Bit augers.

BPS Terminates Partnership With Bluegreen Vacations

Bass Pro Shops has terminated its partnership agreement with Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited, for what the company says were high-pressure sales tactics within its stores.

Bluegreen had an agreement to market vacation ownership interests in Bass Pro stores. The relationship is terminated immediatedly, according to this press release from Bass Pro:

A positive customer experience is paramount to Bass Pro’s mission. Bass Pro does not tolerate high-pressure or offensive salesmanship in its stores. One of our partners, Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited, Inc. (“Bluegreen”), has not lived up to its contractual obligations on this important point. Due to this issue and other defaults, Bass Pro has terminated its marketing relationship with Bluegreen in accordance with the parties’ contract.

As of Saturday, May 25, 2019, Bluegreen will no longer be permitted to market vacation ownership interests in Bass Pro stores. Because this matter relates to pending litigation, Bass Pro will have no further comment at this time.

Simms Teams With Gunpowder PR

Simms, a leading manufacturer of waders, outerwear and technical fishing apparel, has selected Gunpowder, Inc. to help drive the brand’s communications strategy and execution.

In its role, Gunpowder will work in partnership with the Simms marketing team on all public relations and media relations efforts for the brand. 

“Gunpowder’s industry experience, bold thinking and reputation for elevating brands through communications are a few of the reasons we’ve chosen to partner with them,” said Rich Hohne, Senior Director of Marketing & Brand Management for Simms. “We’ve worked alongside the Gunpowder team on several occasions. Their ability and willingness to think outside of traditional PR tactics coupled with the team’s passion for the outdoors is a perfect fit for Simms.”

Simms will continue its support of key brand initiatives and partnerships with efforts important to the brand and the outdoor industry. Gunpowder is being tapped to support all Simms’ new product launches and brand initiatives, including the brand’s expansion into all fishing markets, while also helping promote branded content and assist at events, including trade shows. The agency will help tell the company’s story, while maximizing investment across all marketing channels through public relations.

“Gunpowder’s philosophy aligns perfectly with Simms’ — we both agree that fishing and the great outdoors have the power to unite, relieve stress and develop character,” said Ryan Chuckel, Founder and President of Gunpowder. “It’s an exciting time for our team as we continue to work alongside some of the most iconic brands in the category. We can’t wait to jump in (with our waders on) and help drive results for a global leader in the fishing industry.”

Gunpowder’s client roster includes Minn Kota, Humminbird, Costa Sunglasses, Pure Fishing, Mercury Marine, Beretta, Academy Sports + Outdoors and GoPro.

Record Number of Lionfish Removed in Florida Tournament

A total of 19,167 lionfish, spiny invasive predators that have proliferated in the last decade, were removed from Gulf and Atlantic waters as part of the Emerald Coast Open.

The event coincided with the fifth annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival at AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar and HarborWalk Village in Destin May 18-99.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) worked closely with the Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau on the tournament and festival.

Chances still exist to win prizes through the FWC’s 2019 Lionfish Challenge, a removal incentive program that started May 18 on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day and runs through Labor Day (Sept. 2). This year, participants who submit the largest and smallest lionfish may be eligible to receive up to $3,000 in cash prizes thanks to support from American Sportfishing Association, Yamaha Motor Company, Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and National Marine Manufacturers Association. Find more details  at

Lionfish and other exotic pets that can no longer be cared for should never be released into public waters or lands. To learn more about where to surrender an exotic pet for adoption, visit and click on “Nonnative Species” and “Exotic Pet Amnesty Program.”

Emerald Coast Open stats:

  • Total removed: 19,167
  • Total removed May 18 and 19: 14,119
  • Pre-tournament removals starting Feb. 1: 5,048
  • Winning Team: Florida Man removed 2,241 lionfish
  • Largest lionfish: 17.32 inches by team Killer B’s
  • Smallest lionfish: 2.95 inches by team Diamond Diver
  • Total number of participants: 189

To help support Florida lionfish control programs, check out these new Rep Your Water lionfish hats at Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida or the 2019 Guy Harvey Lionfish apparel from the legendary artist.

Brunswick Completes Acquisition of Freedom Boat Club

Brunswick Corporation has completed its previously announced acquisition of Freedom Boat Club. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Freedom Boat Club, founded in 1989, is the largest boat club operator and the premier marine franchisor in the nation. FBC and its franchisees service more than 20,000 members, providing them with access to a fleet of nearly 2,200 boats at approximately 170 company-owned or franchised locations across 30 states, Canada and Europe.

John Giglio and his experienced management team will continue to lead Freedom Boat Club, which will operate within Brunswick’s Boating Services Network as part of the Company’s Business Acceleration group.

“We are excited to welcome John and the entire Freedom Boat Club team of employees and franchise partners to Boating Services,” said Cecil Cohn, President – Boating Services. “We look forward to supporting their growth in our common goal to help attract the next generation of boaters.”

Plano Offers New A-Series Tackle Bags

Fishermen wanting storage solutions for everything from a day in the boat to bank fishing can find them in the new A-series 2.0 Quick Top 3600 and 3700 Tackle Bags from Plano.

The new bags combine the convenience and protection of a hard tackle box with the comfort and versatility of a rugged yet soft exterior.

The 2.0 Quick Top Tackle Bags feature molded, hard-top lids with dual, water-resistant compartments ideal for phones, sunglasses and other frequently used items. The whole hard top unzips at its base and flips open for easy access to the four included Stowaways boxes inside the soft-sided compartment. The bottoms of the 2.0 Quick Top Tackle Bags are molded, impact-resistant high-density polyethylene, which help keep water out and also retain the shape of the soft compartments.

The 2.0 Quick Top 3600 comes with four 3650 Stowaway boxes; the 2.0 Quick Top 3700 has four 3750 Stowaway boxes. Both can be configured with included dividers for everything from tiny hooks and split shot to large spinnerbaits and crankbaits.

The 2.0 Quick Top has five exerior pockets; the largest has Molle webbing for accessories or pouches for additional gear. Both bags feature a removable and adjustable padded shoulder strap and oversized, molded zippers on all pockets and the main compartment.


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