A new type of bait was provided at no charge at kid’s fishing events across Wyoming this spring and summer thanks to a donation from Stubby Steve’s Bait Company of North Tazewell, Va.
The company donated 7,000 packets of its eco-friendly pellet bait to the Game and Fish Department to help introduce youngsters to fishing and introduce its product to the Cowboy State.
Steve Munsey, owner of Stubby Steve’s, got such a poor response from buying a $3,500 ad in a prominent national fishing magazine in 2009, he decided to devote his advertising budget to get the product in kids’ hands in 2010.
“So I contacted wildlife departments to see if they could use some bait for kid’s fishing events and ended up making a donation to about 20 states,” said Munsey, who is also a practicing veterinarian.
He recalls making the Wyoming contact being very memorable. Munsey had just endured a particularly rude and bureaucratic response in trying to donate some bait to a southern state.
“Then I called Wyoming and got a hold of your fishing education rep (Janet Milek in Casper) and she was so nice and appreciative, in contrast to the previous call, I decided to increase the donation size,” he said.
Munsey said he got the idea for the bait when teaching kids to fly cast. He wanted to increase their chances of getting a bite while learning to cast, so he developed a fish hatchery-food type pellet that floated and was pliable enough to be placed on a hook. He says field tests and testimonials have shown the bait works well for many species rarely raised in hatcheries.
“Many crappie anglers are having good success tipping their jigs with bait,” he said.
Civic groups, private organizations, federal agencies and the Game and the Fish teamed up in 2010 to conduct at least 18 family and youth fishing events across Wyoming.
“The donation from Stubby Steve’s played a pivotal role in the success of these events,” said Milek, the Game and Fish’s aquatic education coordinator. “The bait works well and we really appreciate their generosity.”
Milek says the bait works well because it stays on the hook well, even after a fish is hooked and landed.
In addition to kid’s fishing events across the state, the Game and Fish also promotes fishing with an annual “Free Fishing Day.” On June 4, 2011, all prospective anglers – resident and nonresident – can fish without a license.
To learn more about Stubby Steve’s bait, visit their website at http://www.stubbysteve.com/
source: Wyoming Game and Fish Department