Morris

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris fishes with son John Paul.

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is challenging families everywhere to put down their digital devices and head outside to discover the joys of fishing this summer.

Morris, who also owns World Wide Sportsman in Islamorada and Cabela’s, is once again donating more than 40,000 rods and reels to hundreds of not-for-profit partners that help kids from all backgrounds connect to the great outdoors to kick off Gone Fishing.

Many of the recipients engage underprivileged, minority and urban youth who might otherwise not have a chance to get introduced to the sport of fishing.

The nationwide effort is part of an annual call-to-action that aims to introduce the sport to millions of kids. In addition to donating tens of thousands of rods and reels, all Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores will host free in-store fishing and casting activities during the weekends of June 12-13 and June 19-20.

Since the program’s inception, Morris’ stores have donated more than 500,000 products to youth-focused nonprofit organizations across North America and helped millions of families catch their first fish, with over 150,000 kids participating in free events.

“If there was a bright spot from this past year, it was the unprecedented interest of families wanting to get outside and go fishing,” Morris said. “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.”