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 MLF 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 MLF 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 “Boater” Division and a “Non-Boater” Division. Boaters will compete against other Boaters and Non-Boaters will compete against other Non- Boaters for cash prizes and to earn spots at the National Semi-Final tournaments. 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 to qualify for the State Team. To be eligible, the member is required to pay an additional fee at the beginning of the year (prior to their first tournament). Points are accumulated over the year (based on your finish at each of the tournaments). The Top 4 Boaters and the Top 4 Non-Boaters are guaranteed a spot on the State Team.
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 20% 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.
Each year we qualify a State Team to fish the National Semi-Final 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. The Top 4 Boaters and the Top 4 Non-Boaters are guaranteed a spot on 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. The Top 4 Boaters and the Top 4 Non-Boaters are also guaranteed a spot on the State Team. 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 National Semi-Final 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 two days. During the competition days each member fishes with (but against) a person from one of the other states. The weights from 4 designated members of the State Team are combined and the total weights determine the order of finish for the State Teams. This tournament will also determine who will be fishing at the "Nationals" for the upcoming year. The top Boater and top Non-Boater from each state will become the National Qualifiers from that state for the year. 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 seven regions of the country and they will move on to a the BFL All-American. The overall winner of the TBF National Championship wins entry fees, prize money and a new boat.
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, our Vice-President Jim Johnson 860-559-0626 or at Jimj652531@aol.com or our Tournament Director Keith Cleary 914-419-0218 or at email@example.com