Professional bass angler Michael Iaconelli spent Tuesday and Wednesday on Capitol Hill discussing fishing issues with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and congressmen that included Georgia Republicans Jody Hice, Drew Ferguson and Buddy Carter and New Jersey Republican Frank LoBiondo.
For the Yamaha pro angler from New Jersey, the meetings were an opportunity to advocate on behalf of recreational fishermen and talk about getting kids involved in fishing through The Ike Foundation’s outreach. Iaconelli supports Bass Anglers for Saltwater Conservation, an advocacy effort developed by B.A.S.S. since B.A.SC.’s inception in 2015.
“Although I am a professional bass angler, I know that many of the recreational anglers across the country fish in both fresh and saltwater environments,” Iaconelli said in a statement. “B.A.S.C. is really about a brotherhood of anglers who are trying to preserve one of our nation’s oldest and most beloved sports, recreational fishing. It has been an honor for me to attend these meetings on the Hill and have an open dialogue about the issues facing our industry. It’s also my hope that if we raise a collective voice as anglers we can effect real change in the laws governing recreational fishing and ensure the sport’s growth for future generations.”
B.A.S.S. said this month that more than 75,000 advocacy letters have been sent to Congress by anglers nationwide through the B.A.S.C. website.
During the past two years anglers have sent letters to their representatives in Washington, D.C., through BassforSalt.com in support of the Modern Fish Act, the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the extension of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper season and Everglades restoration.