ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 28, 2009) - There are tens of thousands of places to boat and fish in the U.S. – and for the 30th Anniversary of National Fishing & Boating Week (June 6-14), the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is launching an online movement that encourages kids and their families to find one. RBFF is asking boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels to visit TakeMeFishing.org where they can learn, plan and equip themselves for a day on the water, find free fishing days and locate events in their area. Site visitors may also be eligible to win daily prizes and a brand new boat, motor and trailer when they play the new interactive game, “Catch A Boat.”
Since its 2005 reauthorization, RBFF has introduced more than 500,000 youth and newcomers to boating and fishing while raising more than $6 million for state conservation efforts. Beginning with National Fishing & Boating Week, RBFF is hoping to see families across the country get involved.
“I can give anyone three good reasons to go boating and fishing this summer,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “First, new research shows fishing is the number one gateway activity to get people interested in other outdoor activities. Second, it’s affordable and local at a time when many families are considering skipping their summer vacations all together. And third, participation in boating and fishing helps protect our nation’s waterways and fisheries, preserving them for future generations.”
To further encourage boating and fishing in 2009, RBFF has designed an interactive online game that lets TakeMeFishing.org visitors virtually “fish” for a chance to win a boat. Participants may be eligible to win daily prizes from one of RBFF’s sponsors – Dick’s Sporting Goods, Humminbird, Plano, Rapala, Simms, West Marine and Zebco – or the grand prize of a Triumph boat with an Evinrude motor and EZ Loader trailer. The “Catch A Boat” contest will go live at 12 p.m. CT on June 4, 2009 and run for seven weeks through boating and fishing season. For Official Rules and eligibility information, visit TakeMeFishing.org.
“Catch A Boat” is the latest online initiative from RBFF, which successfully re-launched its Take Me Fishing™ campaign Web site in April 2008. In its first year online, TakeMeFishing.org received 2.4 million unique visitors – up 129 percent from 2008 and 243 percent from 2007. RBFF also recruited more than 6,800 boaters and anglers to join its social network, Fishington – The Fishing & Boating Capital of the Internet - which debuted seven months ago and was recognized as an Official Webby Honoree in April 2009.
“Catch A Boat is designed to help RBFF meet multiple goals including increased traffic to our Web site and a boost in the number of Anglers’ Legacy Ambassadors and Discover Boating DVD requests,” added Peterson. “We hope our stakeholders will leverage the national Take Me Fishing campaign, which is now in full swing, to help inspire participation among their members and customers.”
National Fishing & Boating Week began as National Fishing Week in 1979 when industry and conservation leaders, state natural resource agencies and anglers organized a unified effort to introduce more young people to the sport and outdoor conservation. In 2001, responsibility for the week was handed off to RBFF.
National Fishing & Boating Week videos and images are available online.
RBFF (www.rbff.org) is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers' Legacy™.