August 03, 2015
For 72 industry leaders the 2015 ICAST week could not have started any better.
The weather, the venue, the fishing and the camaraderie all came together perfectly for the second annual Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies Classic, beamed tournament director Rick Ryals.
“Shingle Creek Golf Resort was the ideal venue to hold the fundraiser and Keep America Fishing was the ideal beneficiary for a tackle trade show event.”
Eighteen, four-man teams participated in an 18-hole best-ball golf scramble which included five fishing holes. “How it worked was when the team got to a fishing hole each foursome picked an angler to fish. Every bass caught contributed to lowering your team's overall golf score,” said Ryals.
“There weren't any hole-in-ones or 10-pound trophys caught, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves,” commented KP Clements, of TrophyCatch. “We were glad to be part of the second event. We learned a lot from last year, and even learned more this year. The FWC staff did a great job keeping track of the fish caught and the tackle tangle free.”
“The America Sport Fishing Association asked us to help them with an event which brings some fun to a week of business, and I think we've done that and even raised some money in the process,” said Florida Sportsman publisher Blair Wickstrom.
“You really knocked it out of the park this year…and it's only the second annual! I know next year will be even better,” said Liz Ogilvie, KeepAmericaFishing Director.
“Team Power-Pole came in with most bass inches caught in addition to the largest bass caught to help us to an overall third place finish, but the best part was helping to raise money for Keep Florida & America fishing! Next year we plan to get more involved, and will donate a Power-Pole shallow water anchor to help this cause,” said Power Pole's Robert Shamblin.
“The positive take away for people in Florida, regarding this event, is that as long as the world's largest tackle trade show is in the Sunshine State it bodes well for our fisheries and anglers,” said Wickstrom.