THE BASS FEDERATION OF CONNECTICUT (TBF of CT)
Who we are and what we do !
The TBF is a group of fishermen (and women) who enjoy fishing tournaments, but still want to enjoy the fun of fishing with friends. While we are competitive, most of us don't really aspire to become pros as much as we do to have a good time and learn from other fishermen. We have a tournament trail, open tournaments, youth programs, member insurance, a State Team and each year we send two members to fish the TBF "Nationals". Over the next few paragraphs we will try to break it all down for a better understanding of what we do.
The costs to be a member of the TBF of CT are quite simple and relatively cheap. To join our organization will cost $85.00 per year. $35.00 FLW dues; $15.00 National TBF dues; $35.00 State TBF dues. As you see we do require that all of our members are also members of FLW and TBF National. These are the organizations that support us and allow us to have an organization that is not limited by our state boundaries. These are also the organizations who provide us with an insurance policy which covers EVERY MEMBER for our events at the club and state levels. This insurance alone would cost more than the total cost of membership, if each of the clubs were to purchase it. We do not mandate that our members sell any raffle tickets or attend any functions. We do ask that our members support us by fishing some of the opens and fishing to qualify for the State Team, but neither of these things is mandatory at any level. Our goal is to keep the costs and obligations to a minimum, while providing the maximum opportunities to our membership.
Each year the organization hosts a tournament trail for the membership. There are two divisions in which the members can choose to fish. "A Division" is a little more expensive and is generally fished by people who are comfortable at fishing tournaments and have a little more knowledge of the waters. "B Division" is quite cheap to fish and is generally considered to be a place for learners and people who are not familiar with the waters to fish against other people who are competing at the same level. As an organization, we don't mandate which division people fish, but ask that they do what is right and fair to others.
Although we do not allow people to pair together with their friends, we will allow pairing within a club. If more than 50% of the membership of a given club is fishing a tournament, the members are allowed to pair up with other members of the club. Members are only allowed to fish together two times a year. We do this so that people will be more comfortable in the tournament environment. While this doesn't usually matter to veteran tournament anglers, many newcomers to the sport are intimidated by the idea of fishing in the back of someone's boat who they have never met. One of our major goals is to introduce new people to the enjoyment of tournament fishing, and this is one of our methods for doing so.
Members of the organization who are so inclined can also fish "C Division" to qualify for the State Team. To fish this division the member is required to pay an additional fee at the beginning of the year (prior to their first tournament). For this division the points are accumulated over the year (based on your finish at each of the tournaments) and the top finishers are guaranteed a spot on the State Team. The position is determined by the overall finish position with the top four finishers receiving a spot.
Each year the organization hosts a number of "Open Team Tournaments". People who wish to fish these tournaments are NOT required to be TBF members, although many of our members do fish them. There is a 75% payout at each of these tournaments to 10% of the field. The balance of the monies is used to help support all of the endeavors of the organization, whether it be youth, conservation or State Team. These tournaments are run by the members of the State Team, many of whom also fish them. We try to schedule these around the many other opens and trails that are out there for the convenience of those who would like to fish. As with our trail we also keep the costs for these tournaments low to encourage participation in a less than great economy.
We currently have a program in which our youth members fish tournaments throughout the season to qualify for the "Junior Nationals". We have two divisions based on age brackets. Anglers go out with seasoned adult members who allow the children to fish, but do not compete during the tournament. The idea is for kids to find the fish and do the fishing, while having competent fishermen on hand for safety and to give advice if asked. The top angler in each of the age brackets is sent to the Junior Nationals to compete at the next level. This is usually an out of state tournament and is for a long weekend. Although the program is still relatively small, we are in the process of expanding it.
Each year we qualify a State Team to fish at a "Divisional" Tournament. We hold a two day qualifying tournament which any member can fish. It is usually held on two different bodies of water (always within the state of CT.), and the total accumulated points for the two days will determine the members of the state team. As was explained in an earlier paragraph, several members of this team are also determined by the federation "trail" events over the course of the year. Half of the members of the team will be designated as boaters and the other half as non-boaters. All expenses are paid by the Federation for the Regional and National events which will be explained in the next paragraph.
Every year National TBF hosts a Divisional Tournament in which all of the teams within the designated region fish against each as a team event. The team practices together for several days and then competes for three days. During the competition days each member fishes with (but against) a person from one of the other states. The weights from all 12 members of the State Team are combined and the total weights determine the order of finish for the State Teams. First, second and third all receive trophies. Each State Team receives a cash prize determined by their finish in this event. This tournament will also determine who will be fishing at the "Nationals" for the upcoming year. The top two anglers from each state will become the National Qualifiers from that state for the year. The top finisher will fish as a boater and the second will fish as a non-boater at the Nationals. The Nationals are hosted by the TBF at a location of their choosing. This week long event will qualify a winning boater and non-boater from each of the six regions of the country and they will move on to an FLW Pro Tournament. The overall winner of this event wins entry fees and a fully wrapped truck and boat for a year to participate in the FLW trail events.
This is just a brief look at who and what we are and do. Hopefully it is enough to encourage your participation.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our President:
FRED PERRY 860-663-5557 or firstname.lastname@example.org