Bill Shedd is the Chairman and CEO of the American Fishing Tackle Co. (AFTCO), a recreational fishing brand now in its third generation as a family business. Along with three of his children, he oversees AFTCO’s fishing tackle and clothing divisions.
Shedd has volunteered over 15,000 hours to conservation projects, spending four to five hundred hours every year for more than 35 years on marine conservation and recreational fishing industry issues. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA Cal) and the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI). He’s also on the Board of Directors of the Center for Sportfish Policy (CSP), International Game Fish Association (IGFA), and the California Artificial Reef Enhancement (CARE) program. He served seven years on the Board of Directors of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), and as Chairman of the ASA Government Affairs Committee for over 25 years. He also served on the board of United Sport Fishermen (USF), the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), as Chairman of California’s Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP), and on the NOAA Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC).
Shedd was the co-founder of United Anglers of Southern California (UASC) where he led efforts to develop the white seabass grow-out facilities to support the hatchery and played a key role with UASC to eliminate set gill nets in California. In 2019, he testified in front of the United States Senate on behalf of the final gillnet phaseout. In 1989, Shedd started the AFTCO Tag Flag program in both the Atlantic and Pacific, which for 18 years, played a major role in increasing awareness of and participation in tag and release. Shedd firmly believes that recreational anglers are the original stewards of marine resources in the modern conservation era. Shedd has been a leading voice and vocal advocate for the protection of fishing access for recreational anglers.
Recognition of Shedd’s fishery conservation efforts include: the IGFA Hall of Fame (2023), ASA Lifetime Achievement Award (2017), the CSP Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award (2015), the UASC Bill Ray Memorial Award (2000), the CCA Cal Anthony Hsieh Marine Conservation Award (2023), the IGFA Conservation Award (1999), the California Outdoor Writers Association Man of the Year Award (2013), Bill Poole Memorial Award (2012), and the MotorBoating Best of the Year Award (2005). Shedd is also in the American Sportfishing Association Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was asked to be the keynote speaker at the NOAA Fisheries and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission National Recreational Fisheries Summit.
Shedd is best known for a lifetime of marine conservation and sportfishing industry leadership. He is also known for guiding the Shedd family’s second-generation leadership of AFTCO, helping to create innovative AFTCO fishing tackle products, and starting AFTCO’s clothing business. He is most proud of his wife Jill, his kids, and his grandkids. His greatest joy is seeing a third generation of Shedd family members successfully lead the AFTCO team — not only as a for-profit business but also as one that gives back to the sportfishing community and helps to ensure future healthy fish populations. Shedd and his wife of more than 40 years, Jill, reside in Southern California. Both enjoy their four children Cody, Carie, Christie, and Casey, and seven grandchildren. Shedd is a graduate of the University of Oregon and still regularly surfs and fishes.