40,000+ Rods and Reels to Be Donated to Kids in Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's ‘Gone Fishing' Project

Ready for some free fishing encouragement? You can join Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's in their donation-driven "Gone Fishing" event.

Families everywhere are being asked to rise to the challenge set forth by Bass Pro Shops founder and lifetime conservationist Johnny Morris, who wants you to get outside and discover the incredible rewards of going fishing this summer.

The call to action is part of an ongoing effort to introduce the great outdoors to more kids and families, and includes a major donation of over 40,000 rods and reels to non-profit organizations. Youth from all backgrounds, including underprivileged, minority, and urban community members, will have a chance to learn about and participate in one of the greatest and most meaningful methods of outdoor recreation.

The Gone Fishing event takes place at local Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's retailers June 12 and 13, as well as June 19 and 20, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Activities include free fishing and casting opportunities as part of the pledge to help motivate kids to put down their electronic devices and pick up a rod and reel. Specifics will vary by location, so it might be worth it to check in with a store near you to see what's involved.

Bass Pro Shops

Here's an outline of some of the things you can expect if you attend:

  • Free Catch-And-Release Ponds: Kids can experience the excitement of fishing at in-store catch-and-release ponds and earn a free "First Fish Certificate" from FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) to celebrate their achievement.
  • Free Fishing 101 Guide: Free copies of "Nibbles & Bites" teach the fundamentals of fishing. The informational guide is available while supplies last.
  • Free Giveaways & Take-Home Crafts: After completing the catch-and-release pond, kids will receive free take-home crafts and giveaways while supplies last.

Even if you can't attend in person, anyone can still get involved in the Gone Fishing event by posting a fishing photo or video to their social media accounts using the hashtag #gonefishing and tagging @bassproshops or @cabelas. If you tag and challenge three friends or family members to take a kid fishing, you'll get entered for a chance to win a Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's gift card.

The donated fishing gear is accumulated each spring as customers are asked to bring in gently used rods and reels in exchange for discounts on new equipment. Everything gets inspected and refurbished to guarantee a good experience for the child or family that ends up with the gear.

According to the event's announcement, more than 500,000 items have been donated to youth-focused nonprofit organizations across North America since the Gone Fishing project's inception. It has helped millions of families catch their first fish, with over 150,000 kids participating in the events over the years.

"If there was a bright spot from this past year, it was the unprecedented interest of families wanting to get outside and go fishing," said Johnny Morris. "The most special memories in life come from spending time in nature with those you care about. For me, it all started with fishing, which is why we're proud to donate thousands of fishing poles to help kids discover the joys of fishing this summer."

Morris and the Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's team are investing in the future with the Gone Fishing project, and it's just one more way they're helping protect and conserve the great outdoors.