ASA Chairman makes impassioned rallying call to industry
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American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Board Chairman, Chris Megan, made an impassioned rallying call to the industry today when he opened the first ICAST Online.
Speaking at the traditional Industry Breakfast, Megan called on the trade to embrace and encourage an estimated 8m returnees and newcomers to the sport.
Megan, Publisher at On The Water Media, highlighted the fact that while much of the US has been closed, the outdoors has been open, transitioning a nation of spectators into willing participants in the outdoors lifestyle.
“But without success these new anglers will turn back to spectators,” he warned. “And this is where you all [the industry] come in,”
“We have to provide them with entry level opportunities so that they can meet with success. However, success for them isn’t a 500lb marlin or even a 5lb trout. It is simply a bend in their rod and a photo that says ‘look at me, I caught something.’
“These 8m new anglers can become consumers, but even more importantly they can become voices if we reach out to them and show them the way.
Talking of the impact of COVID-19 on angling, Megan added: “This has been a trying period for our industry, but I am confident that with the (ASA’s) leadership, staff and Board’s guidance we will come out stronger, ready to take on any new challenge that could possibly come our way.”
Earlier, Megan had welcomed people to what he described as ‘the first and hopefully last’ virtual ICAST.