bassmaster-pic-for-web.jpgPartners with B.A.S.S. to Promote Fishing and Tourism in New York 2014 Tournament to Include ‘Governor's Challenge' Featuring the Governor, Elected Officials and some of the Biggest Names in Professional Fishing   Albany, N.Y. (August 8, 2013) - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and B.A.S.S. today announced the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament will return to New York State in 2014. Under a partnership with B.A.S.S., the event will include the "Governor's Challenge," a fishing competition featuring the Governor, elected officials from New York State, and some of the biggest names in professional fishing, to highlight and promote the state's many fishing and vacation opportunities. Following the success of the Governor's 2013 Adirondack Challenge, the Governor's Challenge will feature a tournament, fishing demonstrations, and a banquet to lure in New Yorkers and visitors from out of state. The Governor and B.A.S.S. made the announcement today at the Bassmaster 2013 Elite Series Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown, which is taking place August 8-11 on the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, New York. The Governor's Challenge will be held next fall in the Finger Lakes to attract visitors to the Upstate region and boost the local economy. In conjunction with the Governor's Challenge, B.A.S.S. will also hold a Bassmaster Elite Series event. As part of this partnership, B.A.S.S. will provide a promotional media campaign that will feature these two events as well as the many fishing opportunities and destinations all across New York State. "From the Finger Lakes to the Hudson River to Long Island, New York is home to world-class fishing for all anglers and these destinations are waiting to be discovered," Governor Cuomo said. "That is why we are holding this exciting competition next year: to draw much needed and deserved attention to the beautiful and diverse fishing spots in New York. No matter who comes out victorious, New Yorkers will be the true winners in the 2014 Governor's Challenge. This event will help grow our tourism and fishing industries and attract revenue to the Upstate communities that need it most. I thank B.A.S.S. for their investment in the Empire State and look forward to making this event a ‘reel' success." Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S., said, "B.A.S.S. is pleased to join with Governor Cuomo and the state of New York in promoting the great fisheries and vacation destinations all across the state. We have held numerous tournaments throughout our 43 year history and look forward to increasing our presence in the coming years. Our partnership with the Governor is a great way to showcase all of what New York has to offer to anglers from around the world, and with this announcement, we invite them to join us next year for what will surely be an exciting event in the Empire State." The Bassmaster Elite Series and the Governor's Challenge events will build upon other fishing-related initiatives spearheaded by the Governor and intended to boost interest in fishing and traveling in New York. Recently, the State released an updated I Love NY Great Lakes Fishing brochure to guide anglers on where to fish and what to fish for in New York. The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is also updating its "Getting Started in Fishing" brochure to help the next generation of anglers get started, which will be available online and at fishing clinics. DEC's Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources is updating its website to make it easier to find information about fishing and to provide additional information about where to go. In 2012, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to provide more free fishing clinics in New York, introducing people of all ages to the sport and promoting participation in recreational angling. Free fishing clinic events are available year-round statewide. Upcoming events include: · Suffolk Children's Saltwater Fishing Clinic (Pre-Registration Required): West Meadow Beach, Stony Brook, August 24, 2013, 2 PM - 4:30 PM · Suffolk Saltwater Family Fishing Clinic (Pre-Registration Required): Corey Beach, Blue Point, August 28, 2013, 5:30 PM - sunset · Rockland National Hunting and Fishing Day Congers Lake Memorial Park: Congers, September 28, 2013 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM · Nassau Fall Family Fishing Festival Hempstead Lake State Park: Hempstead, October 19, 2013, 10 AM - 4 PM For more information on these events, go to: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27123.html. This year, the Governor announced "NY Open for Fishing and Hunting," which was passed as part of the 2013-14 state budget. The initiative streamlined hunting and fishing licenses and reduced license fees for sportsmen and sportswomen while maintaining support for the state's fish and wildlife programs. New York State has some of the finest fishing in the country. There is world-class fishing for a wide variety of coldwater, warmwater and saltwater fish species. With more than 7,500 lakes and ponds, 50,000 miles of rivers and streams, and hundreds of miles of coastline, fishing opportunities are always nearby such as the Great Lakes and mountain trout streams. Some of the best anglers in the industry are in town this week for the Bassmaster 2013 Elite Series Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown - including Kevin VanDam from Michigan, Mike Iaconelli from New Jersey, Gerald Swindle from Alabama, Skeet Reese from California and Rick Clunn from Missouri - and they are praising the quality of fishing in New York. Kevin VanDam said, "I fished my first Bassmaster event ever here on this water in 1987. It's very special to me. It's one of the most pristine and dynamic fisheries I've ever seen." "There is a ton of water here and plenty of fish, going to need good bags each day to do well!" said Mike Iaconelli. "The scenery here in this part of New York is just breathtaking. The people are wonderful - I feel like I'm back in the South because everybody's been so nice. And to top it off, this is one of the top smallmouth bass fisheries in the world," said Gerald Swindle. New York State is home to an estimated 1.88 million anglers, and New York's sport fishing industry generates an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity annually, supporting nearly 17,000 jobs. The tourism industry is the fifth largest employer in New York State. A recent report by Tourism Economics showed that in 2012, traveler spending generated $92 billion in business sales in New York - an increase of 6% from 2011. Tourism also supported more than 714,000 jobs with total income of $29 billion. ###