AFTCO was proud to support the 10th season of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Trophy Catch program in 2022. Trophy Catch is a citizen science promotional conservation program for anglers who catch, document, and release largemouth bass 8 pounds and heavier throughout the state of Florida. The primary goals of the program are to promote freshwater fishing, engage anglers, collect catch data to help with FWC management, and to work with industry partners on conservation messages.
Prizes were awarded to participating anglers who caught qualifying fish for the Lunker Club (8.0-9.9 lbs.), Trophy Club (10.0-12.9 lbs.), and Hall-of-Fame Club (13 pounds and greater). Congratulations to Dale Dew for winning the 10-Tag Grand Prize of $10,000 and Grant Smelcer who caught and released a 14-pound, 4-ounce bass from Porter Lake in Washington County. Smelcer also received additional prizes including a Hydronaut Heavy-Duty Rain Suit.
During the ten year history of the program, there have been more than 13,500 approved Trophy Catch bass reported. Catching, documenting, and releasing these lunkers are an important part of protecting the great fisheries in the state of Florida, and allow the FWC to collect valuable data to keep their waters healthy for years to come.
In 2022, AFTCO donated $426,465 in cash contributions through the 10% Pledge. Additionally, AFTCO donated approximately $400K in product and contributed employee time to support causes like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Trophy Catch program.