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Re: “Submit your Big Idea for Arkansas

Arkansas to me is rich in the outdoors and that is what needs to be leveraged. More strategically, what needs to be leveraged is TROPHY FISHING. The White River is a former brown trout world record holder, and yet its dominated and positioned as a neat place for folks to come catch 12" stocked rainbow trout to eat and more positioned to the casual angling scene and could be tuned up and made to be a trophy fishing destination. The White River and Tributaries are already seriously Trophy Brown Trout fisheries and the Ozark lakes are a perfect fit to grow trophy largemouth/smallmouth/spotted bass (and walleye) and the key ingredient is the stocking rainbow trout. The Norfork Hatchery is Federal, and that doesn't say a whole lot but compared to any other state, just having a Federal Hatchery is a huge advantage and something to be leveraged. Stocked rainbow trout is key to make all the lakes (Mountain and Midland anyway) trophy fisheries, and bring tournaments (or create our own tournaments) and get creative with a competitive approach to trophy fishing (vs. traditional bass tournaments that are more about size and numbers, not just size), and just attract anglers from the neighboring states to Arkansas as a destination. I'm not a hunter but make moves and investments to make Arkansas a trophy hunting destination. Not just claim to have big fish and big bucks and birds, actually show it and repeat repeat repeat. Get all the fisheries people doing new and progressive things to attract college grads who want to be doing killer stuff and leading edge. You'd have to invest years of time and resources because it won't happen overnight, but there already exists underserved trophy fishing markets (ie, the White and its tributaries) to ramp up with. Get the businesses aligned with catering to people, around the seasons, invest in tourism, good food, but keep it simple. Have something about 'Arkansas--The Trophy State' or something. Revenue around tourism, good media (ie, hire people from progressive media outlets to make the fishing and hunting promos and things be whiz bang) which brings good advertising, and just create attention and wow factor to Arkansas by posting big fish and big bucks and birds all over the place for all to see and covet and believe me, they will come. I mean, this is home to Ranger Boats, Forrest Wood, the Ozarks, the White River, The Arkansas River ... shoot, bring it. Every state around here has fishing and hunting. Nobody focuses on Trophy Fishing and lives it. That is the opportunity in a nutshell, as I see it!

Posted by southernswimbait on 11/15/2011 at 2:07 PM


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