2023 Sportfishing Summit Focuses on New Fishing Data and the Economy

Industry champions recognized for their outstanding leadership and support at annual ASA Summit.

Alexandria, Va. – The 2023 Sportfishing Summit, held October 3 – 6, in Miramar Beach, Fla., convened more than 200 sportfishing industry leaders to address critical issues impacting recreational fishing. The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) annual business meeting included presentations that focused heavily on data and economic trends and projections as well as board and committee meetings that engaged the recreational fishing community on issues that impact the industry from conservation to the economy.

Members and association partners heard information about emerging technologies such as GenAI; a review of new sportfishing survey data; an analysis of the economy and its impact on our trade; what ASA’s Government Affairs team is doing to address fisheries policy issues; and an overview of consumer spending.

“I commend all our board of directors and committee members who are willing to give so much of their time and talent to work on our industry’s behalf,” said Phil Lillo, owner and CEO of the Don Coffey Company and board of directors Chair. “I also thank the sponsors for showing their support for ASA and the sportfishing industry’s annual business meeting.”

“For one week each year, our industry’s leaders come together to discuss the business of the association and our industry’s collective future,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “At the same time, it’s a tremendous opportunity to renew friendships, forge new ones and feel a part of the sportfishing community.”

ASA’s Government Affairs committee discussing current and upcoming federal and state proposed policy changes that impact recreational fishing.

Recognizing the Industry’s Leaders

Those in attendance also celebrated two industry champions for their accomplishments over the past several decades. ASA President Glenn Hughes opened the Thursday evening annual awards dinner by honoring ASA Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson who is retiring after 19 years of service to the association and the recreational fishing industry.

Mary Jane Williamson, retiring after 19 years as ASA’s Communications director, with John Mazurkiewicz, Bass Fishing Hall of Fame’s board president, who served more than 20 years as Communications committee chair.

Additionally, Kirk Immens, former ASA board chairman and president of Sportco Marketing, Inc., was presented with ASA’s Lifetime Achievement Award as well as being inducted into the Sportfishing Industry Hall of Fame for his many years of service to sportfishing and the community.

Kirk Immens, center, Sportco Marketing, Inc., received ASA’s Lifetime Achievement award for his dedication to the association and the industry.

The 2024 Sportfishing Summit will be held at the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego, Calif., from October 15 – 18.

About

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 800,000 people.