The 2023 Sportfishing Summit, held Oct. 3-6, in Miramar Beach, Florida, convened more than 200 sportfishing industry leaders to address critical issues impacting recreational fishing. The American Sportfishing Association’s 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 Co. 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 Glenn Hughes, ASA president. “At the same time, it’s a tremendous opportunity to renew friendships, forge new ones, and feel a part of the sportfishing community.”
Recognizing the Industry’s Leaders
Those in attendance also celebrated two industry champions for their accomplishments over the past several decades. 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.
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.
The 2024 Sportfishing Summit will be held Oct. 15-18 at the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego, California.