Industry News

Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards again to sponsor Classic Bass Champions Tour in 2018

ZIMMERMAN, Minn. — Classic Bass has announced that Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards will again be the presenting sponsor of the Champions Tour in 2018. In 2017, Andy Walls of Grand Rapids, Minn., left the Champions Tour Championship on Lake Pokegama with a new Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboard package; the winner of the 2018 championship also will earn a…

Mills Fleet Farm names new executive VP/CFO

Mills Fleet Farm has announced that Michael Schwindle has been appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer. Schwindle was most recently CFO at Payless Shoe Source, and previously held CFO positions at both Harry & David and Musician’s Friend, a subsidiary of Guitar Center. He began his career at Deloitte & Touche LLP with roles in both the auditing…

U.S. sales of outdoor equipment slump as consumer habits shift

Snow industry sales, which include skis, snowboards, boots, bindings and other equipment, are faring better than the larger outdoor industry. (Photo by Brian Peterson)DENVER — The outdoor gear industry brought its biggest winter marketplace to Denver last week as it faces slipping sales and shifting U.S. consumer habits. About 1,000 manufacturers showed new products to 11,000 retail buyers at the…

Gander Outdoors says it will open 69 stores by May – 39 in Great Lakes region

Gander Outdoors, formerly known as Gander Mountain, recently released a list of 69 stores that new parent company Camping World Holdings, Inc., said will reopen by May – with the majority of those stores in the Great Lakes region. The stores, along with a number that won’t reopen, were originally closed because of last year’s foreclosure of Gander Mountain’s parent…

St. Croix hires new northeast regional account manager

PARK FALLS, Wis. – Alex Smay has joined St. Croix as the fishing rod company’s northeast regional account manager. Smay brings nearly 10 years of experience in outdoor marketing and sales management in both fishing and hunting. Smay’s territory will cover Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Ohio. Smay holds a degree in marketing management from Grove City (Pa.) College….

Pennsylvania sporting goods store, Facebook clash over nixing of ads due to promotion of gun sales

The Sportsman’s Shop in East Earl, Pa., says it can no longer advertise products like American flags or outdoor clothing on Facebook because its Facebook page promotes the sales of guns and includes links that lead to the same, according to reports. The Lancaster County store, which has been in operation since 1954, specializes in sport shooting, hunting, archery, fishing…

Outdoor News kicks off hard-water coverage across Great Lakes region

Plymouth, Minn. — With ice creeping in on shorelines across waterways in the Great Lakes states, Outdoor News has kicked off its annual ongoing coverage – tips, gear profiles, advice from the top names in the industry and more – of the hard-water season for anglers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Outdoor News will provide…

Pradco acquires War Eagle Custom Lures

FORT SMITH, Ark. – Pradco Outdoor Brands, manufacturer and marketer of fishing and hunting brands and products, has acquired War Eagle Custom Lures, formerly of Rogers, Ark. War Eagle offers spinnerbaits, jigs, buzz baits, jigging spoons and jig heads. War Eagle Custom Lures has operated in Rogers for the last 21 years. Now, the business will be operated from Pradco’s…

Kids’ State-Fish Art Contest includes aquatic invasive species category

In 2014, Colleen Malley from Pennsylvania won with her painting of striped bass and the invasive Northern snakehead.WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. — Win the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest, sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, twice in the same year? Now you can – by becoming the “Invader Crusader.” The “Silent Invader” national category was created in 2012 to introduce children…

Garmin acquires Navionics

Garmin Ltd. announced that it has acquired Navionics S.p.A., a privately-held worldwide provider of electronic navigational charts and mobile applications for the marine industry. In addition to a popular boating app, Navionics has developed an extensive repository of nautical charts for oceans, rivers, and lakes. Many of these charts have been developed with Navionics’ proprietary surveys, done both in the…

First Gander Outdoors stores reportedly to open in early 2018

Re-branded Gander Mountain stores will start opening early in 2018, according to reports. According to a plan released recently by Camping World, which bought out Gander Mountain, 15-20 new Gander Outdoors locations could open by March 31 – the end of the first quarter – with 40-45 more stores possibly opening by the third quarter in September, the reports say….

Cortland names Clay Norris new director of national sales and marketing

Clay Norris has joined the Cortland Line Company as director of national sales and marketing, the company announced Tuesday, Oct. 24. Norris has 35 years of marketing, branding, product, and selling experience with a heavy focus on the fishing and outdoor industries. Previously, Norris worked on the agency side for more than 12 years where he went from a media…

GameMill Entertainment releases Rapala Fishing Pro Series on Playstation 4, Xbox One

MINNEAPOLIS – GameMill Entertainment has launched the Rapala Fishing Pro Series, a game featuring the Rapala fishing brand. An authentic destination-fishing experience, according to Minneapolis-based GameMill, the Rapala Fishing Pro Series takes players on a tour to become the next great Rapala pro angler by competing in a variety of challenging tournaments on six of North America’s best known fishing…

Camping World Holdings acquires Pittsburgh area’s Cooper’s RV Center

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Camping World Holdings, Inc., has announced the planned acquisition of Cooper’s RV Center in the greater Pittsburgh area. Camping World currently operates RV dealerships in the Hanover and Harrisburg areas of Pennsylvania. With the acquisition of Cooper’s RV Center, Camping World plans to significantly expand its market footprint and presence in western Pennsylvania, the company said in a…

Ohio continues to grow WILD School Site program

MANSFIELD, Ohio – The Ohio Bird Sanctuary (OBS) was recently dedicated as an official WILD School Site, according to the Ohio DNR. The Sanctuary is the 175th site dedicated in Ohio and the second in Richland County. OBS partnered with the ODNR Division of Wildlife as well as the Wilderness Center Chapter of the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists to design and install a chimney swift tower on…

New York Outdoor News staffers win awards

Paula and Steve Piatt of New York Outdoor News were among the big winners recently in the New York State Outdoor Writers Association contest. Paula Piatt finished first in the newspaper feature division with her piece on turkey trapping and tagging that appeared in the April 15 issue of New York Outdoor News. The publication dominated the newspaper feature division,…

ASA names new president, award winners at Sportfishing Summit

The American Sportfishing Association’s 2017 Sportfishing Summit, regarded as the sportfishing industry’s premier networking and business management event, was held last week in Clearwater Beach, Fla. According to the ASA, the annual fall business meeting brought together more than 220 fishing and boating industry and community leaders to provide a venue to discuss the issues impacting recreational fishing during committee…

Custom Jigs & Spins introduces tungsten glow bug jig with UV (video)

Custom Jigs & Spins of Coralville, Iowa, has introduced its new JaJe fly, which the company calls a tungsten fly with attitude. According to the company, the hackle is resilient and tied in to stay secure, even after dozens of catches. And its compact yet heavy, brightly-colored tungsten head keeps the super-sharp Japanese hook riding at a 30-degree angle for instant hook…