MORRIS, Ill. — Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation anglers showed their support for the Keep America Fishing Pitch It campaign by bringing in bucket loads of soft plastics during a state qualifier, Sept. 26-27, on the Illinois River.
Ralph Sweat, Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation regional director, organized the chapter’s effort to support the Pitch It campaign, a program designed to properly of dispose soft plastic lures.
During the state qualifier, more than 90 pounds of worn-out soft plastics were collected for recycling, according to Sweat.
Prizes, donated by Jackall Lures, were presented to the two clubs that weighed in the most soft plastics. The Black Hawk Bassmasters had the highest collection with 32 pounds and received $750 of Jackall Lures soft baits. The Maple Bassmasters earned the second-place prize of $500 of Jackall Lures by turning in 29 pounds.
Sweat is recycling the soft plastics in an unusual way. “I designed a mold shaped like a bass,” he said. “I melted the plastic down into small bass about 7 inches long and made trophies out of them.”
The trophies will go to the top finishers in Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation junior tournaments.
The Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation is also helping the Pitch It program by working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to install recycling stations at each lake in the state. Sweat said stations have already been installed at Springfield, Carlyle and Clinton lakes.