BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — To help encourage the proper disposal and possible recycling of worn out or used soft plastic lures, Keep America Fishing is partnering with B.A.S.S. Nation chapters to expand their Pledge to Pitch It campaign.
“Too often, used soft baits are ending up as litter at the bottoms of lakes and rivers,” said Liz Ogilvie, Chief Marketing Officer for the American Sportfishing Association, the parent organization of Keep America Fishing. “A bill was introduced in Maine’s legislature that would have banned the sale and use of soft plastic lures. That’s why Keep America Fishing created the Pitch It campaign - to get fishermen involved in the proper disposal of worn out soft baits by pitching them in the trash or recycling them.”
Keep America Fishing has secured sponsorships from Grizzly Smokeless Tobacco and Jackall Lures to provide incentives to B.A.S.S. Nation state chapters that create soft bait collection/recycling programs. This support will ensure that each state that completes an approved project receives up to $1,000 worth of Jackall fishing lures.
To be eligible for the program, each state chapter must submit a short (less than one page) proposal outlining their plan for collecting used soft plastic lures to B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31.
“It is really up the states organizations as to how they set up their program,” said Gilliland. “It could be as simple as having each club bring collected soft plastic lures to a state championship and the one turning in the most pounds of soft baits wins. But we would rather see the states get creative with this. Maybe make it something for high school teams — pitting them against each other for school pride and prizes.”
The plan should focus on collecting used soft plastics to keep them out of the state’s waters, and although it does not have to include recycling, that feature in a plan would certainly add to the proposal's value. Longer term projects that keep the Pitch It theme out there for the public to see, such as permanent collection bins or tubes at launch ramps or tackle shops, are preferred.
The Jackall product will be shipped directly to the state chapter after the project is substantially complete and the organization sends in a short report with photographs showing what they did and who their winners are.