Earlier this week, we were privileged to attend the Strike King Lures Writer’s Conference held annually on Kentucky Lake near Paris, Tennessee. For the past three years, roughly 15–20 of Strike King’s professional fishermen have gathered together with sportsmen editors and writers from all across the nation to show off new products and share their expertise on fishing.
We rode along with professional fisherman Billy McDonald, sponsored by Lucas Oil Marine Products and Protect the Harvest, to share our mission with the writers that accompanied Billy during individual one and a half hour-long sessions for two days.
Most people don’t think about how they could lose the right to fish, because to most it’s a lifestyle and tradition that’s been passed down from generation to generation. We picture groups like PETA as a fringe, radical animal rights group and not as a threat to our fundamental freedoms. PETA may seem far from being grounded in reality, posing women in mermaid outfits holding signs that say “Fishing Hurts,” but it’s how they portray the American fishing industry that’s dangerous.
We recently talked about PETA’s “Fish Amnesty Day” during our ‘This Week In Insanity’ podcast. A day devoted to spreading lies and false implications about how fish are mistreated and not to be used as a food source. PETA doesn’t understand that fishing is more than just the so-called “sport” they demonize. It’s about spending time outdoors, watching the sun rise and set, putting food on the table, and passing the importance of environmental stewardship to the next generation.
These attacks on fishing may seem out of tune with reality, but those who don’t have the ability to experience fishing first hand, may only see fishing through the lens that PETA provides.
Public protests bring media attention, but the actual consequences are realized when laws are influenced, written, and passed by pressure from animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States. Eliminating the use of lead weights, and banning the use of plastic fishing lures are means used by animal rights groups to attack the flank.
They’ll never be able to ban fishing outright, because they know YOU wouldn’t ever let that happen. But by taking away tools from your tackle box, driving up costs, and restricting access to public waters, they exert political pressure with the end goal of eliminating YOUR ability to fish.
Strike King Lures and many other fishing industry professional groups including Wired 2 Fish, In-Fisherman, Advanced Angler, Hook n’ Look, and FLW are working to promote and protect the fishing industry. As American sportsmen and women, our past experiences have instilled in us a love and respect for the outdoors, but animal rights groups have been allowed to rewrite our own stories in the public eye. If these extremists haven’t shared those same experiences, they can’t be trusted to portray hunting and fishing accurately or fairly.
There are 30-40 million anglers in America and if we ALL unite and stand up against the pressures of radical animal rights groups, common sense and the truth will prevail.