Hansen welcomes champion angler and Bassmaster CEO to Capital

LANSING—World-class angler Kevin VanDam, Bassmaster CEO Bruce Akin and two other Bassmaster officials joined Sen. Goeff Hansen at the Capital on Tuesday. The group was in Lansing to meet with Gov. Snyder, other lawmakers and administration officials about establishing a partnership with the Pure Michigan campaign.

VanDam is Kalamazoo native, a four time winner of the Bassmaster Classic and winner of seven Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year titles, and numerous other awards during his career. On top of these accolades, he is also the all-time money leader in the history of the Bassmaster tournament.

“Michigan has a proud heritage of hunting, trapping, fishing and outdoor recreation,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “In 2011 alone, anglers contributed more than $2.4 billion to our economy. It is common sense to highlight one of the nation's s premier anglers, who chooses to call Michigan home, on a day focused on creating a long-term partnership between the state of Michigan and Bassmaster.”

Last month, the Bassmaster 2013 Elite Series Toyota All-Start Week and Evan Williams Bourbon Championship were held on Muskegon Lake and White Lake in Muskegon. The event brought 14 of the top professional anglers from around the nation to Michigan to compete in this three-day tournament.

“Muskegon is just one of hundreds of areas across Michigan that has world-class fishing,” Hansen said. “The tournament last month was a wonderful opportunity to showcase Pure Michigan to anglers from all over the world. I look forward to similar events coming to Michigan in the future.”

Numerous events were planned for VanDam and Bassmaster, including: Meeting with Governor Snyder, legislative leaders, Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh, and Travel Michigan officials.  The group attended Senate session and meet with other industry officials.

“I would like to thank Kevin VanDam & Bassmaster officials for coming back to Michigan to discuss ways of furthering the partnership between Bassmaster and the state of the Michigan," added Hansen.