Leading up to the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on Lake Hartwell, youth anglers from the Anderson, S.C., area gathered to pick up trash and debris leading to Green Pond Landing and Event Center. The event was sponsored by Shimano, a multinational manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment, which has a facility in Charleston, S.C.
Shimano’s Varsity Program, which promotes advocacy and mentorship, with a buying program for young anglers, provided trash bags and reels to give away with Grady’s Outdoors of Anderson.
“We are very appreciative of the people that gave up time, on a Saturday, to put Anderson County and Visit Anderson’s best foot forward to host the Bassmaster Classic,” said Neil Paul, director of Visit Anderson.
The youth picked up more than 240 bags of trash and a dozen tires leading to Green Pond, where the Classic will launch each day.
In conjunction with the Keep America Fishing “Pledge to Pitch” campaign, the Shimano Varsity Program encourages anglers to recycle their soft plastics and replaces them with Jackall soft plastics.
“We have the opportunity, with young anglers, to show them how to be responsible for the woods and water that they will soon be taking care of,” said Frank Hyla, youth fishing coordinator for Shimano.
“We’ve never before had an influx of anglers like we do with [young people fishing],” Hyla said. “Shimano created the Varsity Program to create a learning environment in fishing, for conservation and career building.”
To learn more about the program email: FHyla@shimano.com.