Lake Champlain was a completely new place for me. I didn’t have a game plan going into practice for the 2018 TBF Region 15 National Semi-Finals. I didn’t get an opportunity to pre fish before scheduled practice either. However, I studied my Navionics maps, watched my Lowrance HDS units all week, viewed a lot of online video, and talked to friends/teammates to get an idea of what I could expect.
I broke down my practice to fish north and south of the Ticonderoga ramp. I wanted to make sure I took time to explore as much as possible. Although it was sunny and 85, we were due for adverse weather and cold front conditions, which had me focused on targeting thicker vegetation. There were numerous mats and heavy grass lines; so I thought it would be worthwhile to find stretches that I could punch/flip. I guessed that the dropping temps and deteriorating conditions would push fish into heavy shallow cover.
I spent Wednesday south of the ramp looking for good water and came up with a few areas that had fish. The bites were few and far between and it didn’t seem like the opportunity for a good bag was there. I aimed to catch 15lbs a day regardless of where it landed me. I thought that was a good goal and these areas didn’t have what I was looking for.
I steamed north on Thursday. I originally set out in search of smallmouth but my plans quickly changed when the wind kicked up. I stayed south of the Crown Point Bridge and went back to looking for largemouth. Thursday yielded an abundance of 3-4lb fish and one 5lber. The best part was it was a mile long stretch and it seemed like there were no other boats around it.
Most of Friday was spent rechecking and expanding on key areas, shaking fish off if they bit. I felt confident that I could scrap up a decent limit on Saturday and stay consistent on Sunday, which was imperative to do well.
Day 1 I ran north of Ticonderoga and immediately found active fish, but they wouldn’t commit. I settled in to the area and picked it apart slowly instead. As the morning progressed, the bite turned on and by 11am my non-boater and I had good limits. We spent another 2 hours expanding on the spot in hopes for finding something for Sunday. At 130 it was time to head back toward the ramp and check some spots along the way. One grass line yielded a 1lb upgrade that put me just over 16lbs for the day.
Day 2 was brisk and the wind subsided. The bite in my main area was definitely affected. I was also concerned that we stayed too long the day before. It took until 1130 to scrap up a 10lb limit and by 1230 it was clear that we needed to make adjustments. I pulled out the Dobyns Champion XP 765 and 766 and headed straight to where I made a cull late in the afternoon on Saturday. Tom Petty came on the radio as we came off pad and I had a weird feeling that something good was about to happen. Over the next 90 minutes I culled 4 times. All of my fish came from the edges of the thickest mats in the cleanest water available. I caught them on 3 and 4 inch baits rigged on Euro Tackle Tungsten 1oz and 1.5 Oz weights.
I honestly didn’t think I had enough weight to win. I knew I had to stay consistent and catch them both days but I didn’t think 29lbs would be enough for two days on Champlain. It proved me wrong, and for that I am grateful.
I’m also immensely thankful for the support from my wife, friends, teammates, the companies that provided me with the tools to make this happen, and my family. My mom, stepdad and stepsister drove up for the weekend just to see the weigh in! Also, a giant thank you to Fred and Amy Perry for keeping CT TBF organized, giving all of us anglers a platform to fish competitively and keeping the whole team fed too! Without this team, as a whole, none of this would have been possible or as much fun.
PONCA CITY, Okla. (Nov 2, 2015)
The Bass Federation, FLW and the Student Angler Federation announced today the Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce and Kimberling City, Mo., will host the 2016 TBF Federation National Championship and the TBF/FLW High School Fishing National Championship on April 12-17.
“We’re thrilled The Bass Federation has chosen Kimberling City on Table Rock Lake to host its national championship,” Executive Director of Table Rock Chamber of Commerce, Sheila Thomas, stated. “Our community is very excited to welcome this great organization and all of its anglers next April.”
Both events will be held on Table Rock Lake launching out of Port of Kimberling in down town Kimberling City and will be held in conjunction with the Walmart FLW Tour event being held just down the road in Rogers, Ark.
“Table Rock is a diverse fishery with something for everyone and a great place to host these championship events,” TBF National President, Robert Cartlidge, said. “There are many things for the anglers and their families to do in the area. The fishing is exceptional and the community is welcoming the anglers with open arms; we’re looking forward to a great event.”
The TBF championship is the culmination of more than two years of competition against tens of thousands of members in TBF clubs across the United States and Canada. Only the top anglers from each state federation and the Canadian champions earn slots. Anglers will compete for more than $200,000 in cash and prizes.
High School Fishing National Championship qualifiers have fished through a state championship and one of five conference championships to earn the opportunity to compete for $10,000 in college scholarships.
The TBF National Championship will consist of three competition days, held April 14-16. The entire field will compete Thursday and Friday, with weigh-ins lakeside at Port Of Kimberling. The final day field will then be cut to the top boater and co-angler from each of the seven TBF divisions. The final weigh-in will be held at the FLW Expo at Prairie Creek Recreation Area in Rogers, Ark. High School championship anglers will fish two days. The full field will fish on Saturday, April 16. Then, the field will be cut for Sunday’s final round, and the finalists will be presented on stage at the FLW Tour event.
TBF National Championship anglers will compete for 15 berths in two of the sport’s most coveted events – the Forrest Wood Cup and the BFL All-American. The top boater and co-angler from each of the seven TBF divisions will advance to the 2016 BFL All-American. The TBF Federation National Champion boater will also advance to the world championship of bass fishing, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, for a shot at winning the biggest payday in bass fishing.
The winning boater also will receive the $100,000 “Living the Dream” prize package to include a prize check, fully paid entry fees on the 2017 FLW Tour as a pro, travel expense stipends for each event, and use of a “Living the Dream” wrapped Ranger boat for the year. The top co-angler will receive fully paid entry fees into the FLW Series division of choice.
Coverage of the TBF National Championship will be broadcast in high-definition on the NBC Sports Network and streamed live on bassfederation.com.
For more information about, The Bass Federation, visit bassfederation.com or call 580-765-9031. Look for TBF on facebook at Facebook.com/thebassfederation and on twitter at Twitter.com/bassfederation, @bassfederation.
For more information about the Table Rock area, contact Sheila Thomas, Table Rock Chamber, 417-739-2564.
Rich Baker and Tony Viccaro will be representing CT-TBF at the 2015/2016 Nationals !
The Bass Federation, Inc. (TBF) Announces Massive Expansion and Format Change To Its Adult Program For The First Time Since 1990. All New TBF National Semi Final Events
The Bass Federation is expanding the adult National Championship qualifying program from seven TBF Division Championships to a TBF National Semi-Finals Program comprised of more than 20 “close-to-home” events beginning in 2016.
“It is time,” was the theme that resonated throughout the 2015 state presidents’ annual conferences, which were held in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup in August in Hot Springs, Ark.
Both programs (the Division Championships and the new National Semi-Final Program) will run concurrently in the 2016 transition year.
The basic structure of TBF’s current adult program was voted into place in 1990 by the state Federation presidents and has served the Federation well for more than 25 years. The first hurdle in making such a major change is getting all state presidents to agree on a basic outline. The new concept outline was approved unanimously by all states attending TBF’s 2015 annual meetings.
The TBF National Semi-Finals Program will make competing much more cost-effective, with travel costs reduced and cash payout to individual anglers increased. No longer will Federation members have to travel across the nation to attempt to qualify for the National Championship and the chance of a lifetime to “live their dream.”
Highlights of the new program include:
- All National Semi-Final Program events will take place in two- and three-state groups, so travel and expenses will be reduced substantially.
- Prize money will be an added feature.
- State events will continue and provide incentives for each individual TBF-affiliated club.
- States with larger memberships will qualify more anglers to a TBF National Semi-Final, presuming they have more members competing.
- All TBF-affiliated clubs in good standing will be able to qualify their top two club anglers directly from their clubs to a TBF National Semi-Final.
- More anglers from each state will advance to the TBF National Championship. In 2017, that amounts to at least two boaters and two co-anglers from each state. Depending on National Semi-Final entry numbers, some states might advance even more.
- All payouts will increase significantly.
- For full details contact the state Federation president or the link on bassfederation.com.
An Overview from Robert Cartlidge
“Drastically expanding something that has been so successful was not taken lightly,” says Robert Cartlidge, TBF president and CEO, of the changes. “Of course, we’ve made improvements over the years to the program, such as the national insurance program started in 1991, the TBF/FLW ‘Living The Dream’ program, numerous member discounts and even doubling the number of anglers from each state advancing to the Federation National Championship in 2006.
“As North America’s longtime leader in fishing, youth programs and conservation at the grassroots level, TBF has been laser-focused on the High School Fishing program for the last few years since we founded it nationwide in 2007,” Cartlidge continues. “The High School Fishing program is well-established and continues to grow annually by leaps and bounds.
“All of our programs are widely imitated in the industry, in part because they are so successful, so we do recognize that this change will affect a lot of folks,” Cartlidge adds. “I’m sure the new program that the presidents built will be imitated as well, and change will spread.
“As the industry leader in grassroots fishing, we have a responsibility to look ahead to the next 25 years and recognize that the world is a different place now than it was in 1989, and it will continue to change. It’s time for us to turn the same laser focus we used to found and develop the High School Fishing program toward our adult program, and we are doing exactly that.”
Notice to all membership,
On Wednesday, March 25, 2015 2:21 AM, "The Bass Federation, Inc. (TBF)" <TBF@bassfederation.com> wrote:
Open Membership Letter to TBF Members March 24, 2015
TBF Membership Update from the National Board Of Directors.
Open letter to all members of The Bass Federation, Inc. (TBF)
From: TBF Board of Directors
March 23, 2015
Due to some recent changes in our industry we felt it prudent to reachout to our membership base and answer a few questions that have come up recently on the current state of the national grassroots programing.
First let us say that The Bass Federation (TBF) is in great shape, we can always use more members so we can speak with a bigger voice on issues important to anglers and clean waters everywhere that we have been involved with such as lead bans, anglers rights, culling issues and season limits and aquatic invasive species over the past months and years. "Bigger" makes us all stronger and means more for all our members, but our foundation is solid both from a membership standpoint as well as a financial one. Part of the advantage that TBF has is because of the way we are built, no other company in the outdoors has some of the advantages we have in business.
We are the oldest & largest grassroots, fishing, youth & conservation organization in North America.
We are 100% member owned and the only member owned organization in all of the fishing industry.
We have a great long term sponsor base of companies fully committed to you the members and with the horsepower to get things done.
We have much lower overhead in many areas but especially in staffing.
Starting with our National President, Robert Cartlidge and including the National TBF Board of Directors our leadership all is very fortunate to be able to work without pay to lead our federation on a daily basis just as they always have. It is the same with all the State Federation Presidents, State Youth, Conservation, and Tournament Directors and other state officers and all the TBF club officers who also work without pay and always have, to provide you with the very best opportunities. That is a powerful volunteer force and a huge overhead cost savings that TBF does not have to incur that no one else has been able to match. It helps make us a very solid company long term.
We are members too! All members of our leadership team are competitive anglers ourselves just like you, all of us have spent decades in the federation program. We all have a love of the outdoors and for the camaraderie of the membership coupled with a desire to include, enhance and protect it all for the next generation.
Over the course of the last few weeks many of you have contacted our offices and staff asking about “possible future cuts” by TBF due to the newly announced program cuts and changes recently unveiled by B.A.S.S. to the B.A.S.S. Nation program. As many of you obviously know, B.A.S.S. recently rolled out some significant cuts and changes to their Nation program. Changes that as we understand it include a new dues payment structure that will in many cases double the dues costs for smaller bass clubs nationwide and cuts that include HALF as many (down to 3) Classic spots moving forward. Changes outlined also include cutting their current 6 division championship schedule in HALF down to only 3 regionals nationwide, thereby greatly increasing travel costs for the anglers. Some of you have questioned if The Bass Federation (TBF) will “follow suit” and we want to be very clear that idea is not even on our radar, we have no plans to make sweeping cuts to our programs, quite the opposite.
We intend to keep leading the charge of grassroots angling programs as the federation has for 45 years and keep it centered on the federation’s founding principles of Fishing, Youth and Conservation.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” it is said and some of the new BASS Nation changes announced do imitate some of our current TBF program highlights such as, sending 2 from each state to a national championship like TBF has done since 2006 and it includes a version of our long established TBF Living The Dream program. (Which TBF started in 2005, the last year we were affiliated with B.A.S.S.)
In 2005, TBF awarded the very first TBF Living The Dream prize package to Jamie Fralick from South Dakota to fish the Bassmaster Elite series in 2006. TBF and our sponsors paid a full ride including: Fully paid entry fees, use of a custom wrapped Ranger boat, etc. into the elite series for full year even back then, almost 10 years ago now.
Today, with the full and complete support of FLW, since that first year in 2006 the TBF Living The Dream program has expanded to our Federation National Champion each year including a guaranteed spot with FULLY paid entry fees into the FLW tour as a pro, use of a custom wrapped Ranger boat the full season & a tow vehicle to pull it with, a clothing package, custom trading cards AND expense money for each event!
For our co-angler National Champion we offer fully paid entry fees, a clothing package and expense money to fish any FLW Rayovac series of choice! PLUS for the last 10 years TBF anglers earn 14 spots in the BFL-All American and 2 spots in the world richest payout event, the Forrest Wood Cup! In many areas of the US (the West coast, some New England states and Canada, TBF currently is the ONLY path to the BFL All American from those states. There is not another program like it in the industry, even today.
In 2010 TBF turned its focus on youth and started the High School Fishing movement nationwide. FLW was the very first partner to join in as was Ranger Boats and it has very quickly taken the industry by storm. Our High School Fishing Program contacted more than 10,000 anglers last year alone!
In fact, we will tease you a bit to say that some members of the TBF board have for many months now been turning our focus on the adult program just as we did with High School in 2010 and drafting some expansion ideas to greatly EXPAND the TBF Federation Adult program. We are focused on increasing opportunities and benefits to every TBF affiliated adult member, TBF member club and TBF state federation.
The TBF board will spend several days in face to face meetings at the upcoming TBF Federation National Championship in April putting all their considerable effort and experience into discussing these ideas to see if they can develop an expansion program that makes since to be presented to the state federation presidents in August at their annual meetings to implement and carry the federation forward for another 45 years into the future!
So as you can see, the TBF leadership and staff under the guidance of the TBF Board of Directors, in harmony with our “Partners in Fishing” at FLW and with YOUR input and that of the state federations is not only committed to our national program we are actively looking for ways to expand it.
We can assure you that FLW is as committed to TBF as ever and to you as we are. FLW is as true of a partner as their ever has been. FLW and our TBF leadership team work closely together and have a great relationship. They routinely discuss ideas and ways to jointly improve both of our programs and our completely separate businesses together and we will keep building ideas and looking for ways to add on where it makes since to do so.
Please pass the word to your local clubs and friends to come and "JOIN US" at TBF as we value them as members and as friends and we always have a place for them to fish!
Please feel free to contact us or the Federation National Office anytime with any questions or ideas. We hope this helps answer some of your recent questions we have been receiving and we want to thank each and every one of you for being a member of the Federation and for your support and hard work at the local level because it is you and always has been you,
“Doing the work that makes the difference.”
The Bass Federation, Inc. (TBF) Board of Directors
* All documents are in PDF form