Bass Pro Shops Gives Away 40,000 Rods and Reels to Kids Around the Country for ‘Gone Fishing’ Program

by Amy Myers

In order to encourage families to spend time together outside, founder of Bass Pro Shops and owner of Cabela’s Johnny Morris announced that the franchise has donated 40,000 rods and reels to the “Gone Fishing” movement. The program helps children of all backgrounds access outdoor equipment by working with non-profit organizations all over the country.

Prioritizing Family and Fishing

Originally a Springfield, Missouri resident, Morris is a known advocate for spending quality time with family in nature.

According to Bass Pro, Morris stated, “The most special memories in life come from spending time in nature with those you care about. For me, it all started with fishing, which is why we’re proud to donate thousands of fishing poles to help kids discover the joys of fishing this summer.”

Because of Morris’ passion, Bass Pro Shops has donated over 400,000 products to non-profit organizations within the last five years. A portion of the contributions will specifically help kids of all social backgrounds fall in love with fishing.

While the franchise is responsible for the creation of the program, most of the rods actually come from the customers. In exchange for in-store deals and discounts, customers can trade in their gently-used gear. The rods and reels are then refurbished and ready for their next owners.

Bass Pro Hosts Family Activities

Accompanying the widespread donations, Bass Pro Shops is also hosting free live fishing events for families.

This weekend and next, kids can cast their lines into the Catch-and-Release Ponds and earn their official certificate from Fishing League Worldwide. Free copies of “Nibbles & Bites,” a beginner’s guide, crafts, and other goodies will also be available.

Throughout the summer, families can also participate in Bass Pro Shops’ Amateur Fishing Tournament. The company will be handing out $4.3 million in prizes, including the $1 million prize for the reigning national champion team. Amateur anglers can participate in one of the eight regional tournaments in order to qualify for the national competition.

For families that can’t attend the company’s events in person, there are still opportunities to join in the fun. Bass Pro Shops invites families to grab their fishing gear, take a photo and post it on social media. Add #gonefishing, tagging @Cabelas and @BassProShops as well as three friends to do the same for a chance to win a gift certificate.

Morris stated, “If there was a bright spot from this past year, it was the unprecedented interest of families wanting to get outside and go fishing.”

With donated gear, free events and chances to win prizes, there’s more reason than ever to get outside together.

Just as the official Bass Pro Shop site says, “Take a kid fishing, you’ll be happy you did.”