Community Commitment

Bass Pro Shops donates more than 32,000 rods and reels in unprecedented effort to get kids fishing again

“Gone Fishing” initiative invites everyone to join the fishing movement – catch your first fish, learn the basics and pledge to take someone fishing

SPRINGFIELD, MO. – Bass Pro Shops is inviting families across North America to unplug from their digital devices and discover the fun of fishing with “Gone Fishing,” an unprecedented effort aimed at reconnecting people with the great outdoors. Comprised of more than 75 free events, thousands of product donations and collaborations with dozens of nonprofit partners, “Gone Fishing” is intended to introduce the activity to new audiences and encourage everyone to go fishing with someone they love.

“Kids today spend half as much time outside as they did just two decades ago despite countless studies touting the physical and mental benefits of getting children outdoors,” said Stan Lippelman, vice president of marketing for Bass Pro Shops. “In our digital era, it has never been more important to remind everyone that fishing is an easy, fun way to get outside while spending quality time with family and friends. Our goal is to inspire millions of people to take someone fishing, especially urban youth and kids who have never fished before.”

Nationwide Donation Day
“Gone Fishing” kicks off with a nationwide donation day on Thursday, June 9. Bass Pro Shops is donating more than 32,000 rods and reels to nonprofit organizations across the US and Canada that connect kids with the outdoors. The gently used rods and reels were collected earlier this year when customers could trade them in for a discount on new gear. Bass Pro Shops has donated more than 216,000 items to youth-focused nonprofit organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and Boy Scouts of America in the past five years alone.

Join the Movement
Experienced and first-time anglers are encouraged to participate in the movement by taking a friend or family member fishing this summer, posting a photo of their outing on social media channels using #GoneFishing.

Free Events and Activities at Bass Pro Shops
“Gone Fishing” includes free fishing ponds and giveaways at all 78 Bass Pro Shops retail locations spanning back-to-back weekends on June 11-12 and June 18-19. Bass Pro Shops is the perfect place for beginners to catch their first fish and learn more about to get started. Last year 100,000 children caught a fish at Bass Pro Shops, many for their first time.

Families will love the free activities, seminars and giveaways:

  • Free Catch-and-Release Ponds – Kids are invited to catch a fish and receive a free “First Fish” certificate to commemorate the experience. Kids can also get a free downloadable photo with their fish to create a lasting memory. Noon to 4 PM.*
  • Free Introductory Fishing Guide – Families can take a home an informative guide outlining fishing basics including starter gear and the best local fishing spots. Available while supplies last.
  • Free Fishing Seminars – Local experts will share tips and advice on the best locations and gear to get started, as well as how to make fishing a fun experience for everyone. For full times and details visit
  • Free “Gone Fishing” Door Hanger – The first one hundred visitors per day to each location will receive a sign to hang on their door to communicate their whereabouts to family members, teachers or bosses.
  • Video Game Trade-In Program – Trade in a video game and save $5 off a new youth starter rod and reel combo $19.99 or more. Limit 1 per person. Games will be donated to AMVETS, an American Veterans service organization.

Bass Pro Shops: A Conservation Leader
“Gone Fishing” supports the broader mission of Bass Pro Shops to inspire people to enjoy, love and conserve the great outdoors. Founded by noted conservationist Johnny Morris, the company is deeply committed to protecting wildlife for generations and introducing new audiences to the outdoors to foster future generations of stewards. For example, Bass Pro Shops has provided more than $250 million in support of conservation and outdoor education initiatives in the past five years.

For more information about Gone Fishing, visit

*A casting pond will be offered at Bass Pro Shops in Anchorage, Alaska, and Rocky View, Alberta, Canada. First fish certificates not available at these locations

About Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops®, which specializes in outdoor fun, operates 98 stores and Tracker Marine Centers across America and Canada that are visited by more than 120 million people every year. Bass Pro Shops stores, many of which feature restaurants, offer huntingfishingcamping and other outdoor gear while their catalogs and website serve shoppers throughout the world. The company’s Tracker Marine Group® (, a leading brand of fishing boats for more than 37 years, manufactures and sells a variety of boats for fishing and cruising. Family fun is on tap at Bass Pro Shops resort Big Cedar Lodge® (, voted by Travel + Leisure as one of the top 50 Best Hotels for Families in the U.S. For more information, visit To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO. Follow us on Facebook at