How new initiative is providing boost to getting more people fishing
Efforts to communicate and promote the benefits of fishing has received a boost with the launch of the Get Folks Fishing Foundation (GFF).
The non-profit organisation is the idea of Indie film director, Michael de Avila, creator and host of US television show, Lunkerville, which travels across the country and highlights the exploits of everyday fishermen.
GFF is dedicated to furthering the mental and social wellbeing advantages of fishing among individuals and societies.
“No matter how different people’s lives are, it’s amazing how everyone experiences the same feelings when fishing,” says de Avila. “It’s meditative, exciting, introspective and social all at once.
“When I created Lunkerville after 9/11, I wanted to show people how fishing was this easy, fun and accessible stress reliever, and that anyone could do it, even a guy like me, in Manhattan, who didn’t know how to fish.
“Today, with mental health and social wellness at stake for so many, I’m even more driven to get folks fishing and bring people together to share fishing’s wellness benefits.
“My TV show, Lunkerville, will send that message out into the world so people remember — and first-timers realise — that fishing isn’t just about catching the biggest fish or a meal, but something more important.”
The GFF Foundation was revealed at ICAST 2021, along with the new Lunkerville Lure Tank, which was custom-wrapped with Getfolksfishing.org signage
The Foundation is now calling on private and corporate benefactors to get involved through Lunkerville TV and three other inaugural platforms:
Club Lunkerville invites community leaders to join a nationwide network of like-minded anglers to develop after-school fishing programmes and angling clubs for adults.
Cheaptackle.com is an online tackle store offering brand names at discounted prices with all profits going to GFF.
Freetackle.org helps jumpstart future anglers with tackle donations to new clubs, schools, recreational centres and fishing events.
“This is only the beginning,” adds de Avila. “My hope is that when people watch the episodes and witness folks from all walks of life, all thriving from the same feelings that come from recreational fishing — calm, joy, focus, surprise, excitement, camaraderie — they’ll want to experience it themselves. For me, fishing is the great connector that can bring people together.”