Florida Fish and Wildlife Partners with Gulf Coast High School and Crystal Lake RV Resort



Crystal Lake RV Resort in Naples, Fla., recently hosted a day of Electro-fishing with Florida Fish and Wildlife and the Gulf Coast High School Bass Fishing Team on the resorts beautiful 60-acre lake in North Naples.

The project was part of an educational venture between the Student Angler Federation (SAF), which operates the largest High School Fishing program in the country and the FWC to get more students involved in not only the sport of fishing but also the science of how and why lakes and ponds are managed by state agencies.

Fifteen students from GCHS led by team coach, Heather Thornton, participated.  Along with officers Matt Stevens and Adrian Stanfill from Lakeland, Fla., who operated the Electro-fishing boat for the FWC.

Students were up close and personal with the entire sampling process as officers explained how a generator was used to pass an electrical current between two posts extending out into the water in front of the boat as it travels along the shoreline. Any fish that gets in between the electrical field created by this process is temporarily stunned and comes to the surface. Students were then able to scoop up the disabled fish with a net as the FWC officers identified, weighed and measured each fish. Once the data is recorded the fish are returned to the water away from the current field where they will swim away unharmed.

 A representative sample was then created of the distance covered by the boat and the amount of time it took to cover that area. This method allows the FWC to create a sample population of how many and what type of fish are actually in the lake. Depending on the condition of the fish, they can also determine the health of the fish population and then make recommendations on how the fish population can be improved.  Suggestions like the introduction of forage fish (fish that other fish like Largemouth Bass can eat), as well as, recommendations on the addition of nursery habitat structures that will protect small fish from being eaten by the larger ones are usually the outcome of such a survey.

“Elector-fishing was really interesting and I learned a lot about the science and biology of the fish,” GCHS sophomore and participant, Simon Burgham, said.

Team coach Thorton added “Each of the students remarked that electro-fishing is something that they always wanted to see and that they were very excited to participate in,” Team Coach, Thorton, said. “We are all grateful for a memorable field experience.”

Also joining the FWC staff was the Chief of Fresh Water Fisheries, Tom Champeau. “The excitement, enthusiasm and leadership of the Gulf Coast High School Fishing club will attract many students to the sport of fishing as well as develop their passion for conservation,” Champeau commented.

Partnership efforts like these give students, as well as, the community members of Crystal Lake a better appreciation of how FWC uses fact and science to make many of their decisions on how to manage waterways and lakes within the state. In this case, the community at Crystal Lake will take the recommendations provided by the FWC and form an action plan to improve the fish populations in their lake, ergo increasing fishing opportunities. Special thanks to Chief Champeau, and officers Stanfill and Stevens for their efforts in educating everyone involved.

Students interested in learning more about High School fishing can go to www.highschoolfishing.org to see a host of exciting opportunities available in every state.







Lew’s Supports Michigan HS Bass Fishing Clinic Hosted by Wyandotte Bass

The Michigan HS Bass Fishing Clinic hosted by Wyandotte Bass was held over the weekend.  There were over 100 people in attendance for the clinic.  Six speakers including Lew’s pro staffer John Maniaci spoke about everything from finesse and power fishing techniques to safety and etiquette on the water.  Kyle Jump, a local college angler, spoke to the group about college fishing opportunities in the state.  Eight Lew’s Mach I rod and reel combos were raffled out to lucky anglers after the show.  The Michigan HS Bass Fishing Clinic wouldn’t have been as successful without the help of industry support from great companies such as Lew’s.

Lew’s High School Product Grant Program Open for Application

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Jan. 12, 2018) – Lew’s and the Future Fisherman Foundation (F3) are pleased to announce that the Lew’s High School Product Grant Program is now open to receive online applications for 2018 initiatives.

Nearly 100 high school fishing clubs across the country took advantage of the program launched last year for the purpose of helping organized teen groups grow their memberships, get involved in community activities and promote conservation awareness.

Downeast Fishing Club members Nick Stox (left) and Dorien Scott hold combos awarded through the Lew’s High School Product Grant program. The D.H. Conley High School fishing group, Greenville, N.C., used the gear for angler recruitment and fundraisers.

Officials at F3, a well-known non-profit organization dedicated to youth fishing, liked what they saw in the program’s inaugural season and said year two is off to a fast start.

“The Lew’s High School Grant Program was instrumental in helping a large number of teams get going last year and we witnessed great use of the products for the right things,” said Executive Director Mark Gintert. “The Lew’s Mach combos are top-shelf products, so they have been greatly appreciated whether being used for fundraisers, event prizes or
program incentives. Applications are already rolling in for 2018 and we’re proudly reviewing and responding quickly.”

There are three product award levels – 4, 8 or 12 Mach rod and reel combos, split equally between baitcast and spinning – with application approvals and combos awarded according to club size, activities and conservation involvement.

Lew’s funds the product grant program by earmarking a portion of the sales of its Mach rods, reels and combos to support the effort.

“We planned to award up to 1,000 combos for 2017 and we awarded right at that number, but we’re looking to grow it this year,” said Lew’s Senior Vice President of Marketing David May.

“Our company has always been committed to giving back to our industry and I can’t think of any group more important to the future of this sport than America’s youth. Fishing builds confidence and character, and Lew’s is pleased to lead this program,” he said.

Any U.S. high school fishing club or team is eligible to apply online between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2018. However, clubs are encouraged to apply early because the application opportunity will close before Sept. 30 if the product allocation is met before then.

For Lew’s High School Product Grant Program details, including the online application form, visit Lews.com and  Futurefisherman.org.

The Osceola Anglers Fishing Club of St. Cloud, Fla., is one of nearly 100 high school groups across the nation to benefit in 2017 from the Lew’s High School Product Grant program that awards rods and reels through an online application process for use in club recruitment, fundraisers and conservation awareness.


Future Fisherman Foundation Annual Auction Begins November 26 with the Biggest Selection Ever!

Ponca City, Okla., (11/17/17)

The Future Fisherman Foundation (a 501 (c) 3 Foundation) will once again offer Christmas shoppers a great opportunity to bid on a bevy of Guided Fishing Trip’s, as well as, a very large selection of tackle packages and merchandise.

Proceeds from the annual event support F3 programs like Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs, SuperFish and the Tackle for Educators programs.

If you belong to a high school, college or any type of fishing club there are a lot of bulk tackle packages that could be purchased and dispersed among members.

Without a doubt this year’s selection is THE BEST WE HAVE EVER HAD!  You have an awesome opportunity to receive quality product and help out a great cause with our selection of rods/reels, locators, tackle packages, plus a trolling motor and some terrific guide trips!  A huge THANK YOU to all our donors this year; we couldn’t do it without them.

The auction goes live at 9am EST on November 26.  It will run for seven days and bidding closes December 3, at 9am EST.

Interested bidders should go to www.futurefisherman.org and click on the auction link then click on the eBay link to view the trips and merchandise and place your winning bids!

Help us “Ensure the Future of Fishing” by supporting this terrific event!


About the Future Fisherman Foundation

Established in 1986, the Future Fisherman Foundation (F3) unites the sportfishing industry and a nationwide network of state outdoor educators, national conservation groups, youth organizations and other educators dedicated to introducing America’s youth to angling, conservation and the outdoors lifestyle. The Future Fisherman Foundation (F3) operates under The Bass Federation (TBF) umbrella of companies and is the official non-profit education arm of TBF.  For more info visit futurefisherman.org.