Green River played host to this year’s District 03, TBF National Semi-Final event between Kentucky and Tennessee Federation Anglers. National Board Member, Former Kentucky TBF President and longtime Federation Member Donnie Keeton went down and presided over the weekend event. Kentucky is one of a few states that have enough participation throughout the year, that they get to qualify two boaters and two co-anglers to the Federation National Championship. As the Covid virus still looms, Donnie spent many long hours planning out the two-day event to keep everyone socially distanced and safe as possible.
Kentucky will be represented at the FNC by Boater Lance Freeman and Boater Ted Milby. The co-anglers from Kentucky are Mark Day and Scott Nieheisel. Tennessee will be sending Boater Matthew Wilson and co-angler Preston Craig as their representatives to the spring Federation National Championship.
Lance Freeman will be returning to defend his title as he won the 2020 FNC at Grand Lake last spring. Lance reported catching all his fish by basically video fishing. Lance said he was looking at all of his fish on the Livescope and could see each of them before he ever made a cast. He was fishing out in about 15-25 feet of water and was using an Alabama Rig to entice the fish. The fish were just on small pieces of wood or up next to a pile of rocks or brush. Ted Milby reported catching most of his fish on a jig fished out on main lake brush piles in 15-25 feet of water. Bites were hard to come by on the first day and very slow on the second day. Ted said most every fish he weighed in came off of a piece of structure that he had put in the lake in years past. The Tennessee Boater, Matthew Wilson, reportedly caught his fish each day out on the main lake in 20-25 feet of water throwing a Shakey Head. Brush piles or wood worked best to get his bites. He said he got very few bites each day but at least the ones he got were quality bites.
For the Kentucky Co-anglers, Mark Day, reported catching his fish on wind-blown secondary points and deeper bluff walls while fishing a jig. This was Marks first year fishing with the KBF and is looking forward to competing in the upcoming National Championship. Scott Nieheisel was doing almost the same thing to catch his fish. He fished a ½ ounce Sasquatch jig and an A-Rig to secure his birth into the FNC. Scott is no stranger to the bigger events either, in just 4 years of fishing in the Kentucky Bass Federation events, he has been State Champion twice, a two-time Co-Angler of the year and this will be his third time reaching the FNC in just four years.
The co-angler for Tennessee is someone you may remember also. Preston Craig will fish out of the back of the boat at this year’s FNC event. He won the Boater side last year at Paris Landing. Preston said his anglers took him “up the river” both days and he simply put a 5/16th ounce green pumpkin jig and a Green pumpkin worm to good use and caught most of his fish in 3-6 feet of water around stumps and brush piles.
The Ranger Cup Winner from this event was Bill Lowther from Kentucky. Donnie says this event was just like listening to Bluegrass Music… where a good time was had by all! Congratulations to all the Federation National championship qualifiers and good luck in the 2021 Championship.
CONTACT THE NORTH DAKOTA STATE OFFICIALS (BELOW) AND LET THEM KNOW YOUR DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS MONEY GRAB, THAT YOU DO NOT SUPPORT IT AND WILL NOT SPEND ANOTHER DIME IN NORTH DAKOTA UNTIL IT THIS NEW RULE IS REMOVED.
WHAT IS GOING ON?
The Bass Federation, Inc (TBF) is the nation’s oldest and largest organized grassroots Fishing, Youth and Conservation organization with chapters in all 48 US mainland states and Canada. As such we work hard to promote fishing, clean water and to work and support DNR’s and Fish and Game agencies in their efforts our TBF affiliated Bass clubs across the nation do even more grassroots work than anyone. TBF and our TBF affiliated circuits, member and clubs has donated millions in cold hard cash and tens of thousands of labor hours to Bass Conservation projects locally and nationally and was instrumental in lobbying for clean water legislation such as the clean waters act and various Sport Fishing legislation for decades.
So it is with great sadness we have to report that North Dakota and the North Dakota Fish and Game has quietly passed new rules with no opportunity for all stakeholder comment or input that will financially prohibit larger tournaments from operating anymore in the state of North Dakota.
For years ND Game and fish has had the very highest (by far) tournament permit fees in the nation bar none. Nearly every state in the US charges $200 or less for a tournament permit for a large event. However large events and National circuits holding events in North Dakota have been charged up to $5,000 for a tournament permit by ND Fish and Game in the past.
We have now been told that effective immediately there is no limit on permit fees by North Dakota Fish and Game. NO input, NO discussion, just that North Dakota Game and Fish will demand 10% of gross receipts/entry fees to be paid to ND Fish and Game to hold a tournament. Large events would be forced to pay 10K, 20K, 30K and more (there is no limit) as a fee to host a tournament to be paid to ND Fish and Game.
You read that correctly, the ND Game and Fish will require 10% of gross receipts/entry fees of the tournament prize purse to be paid to them in order to secure the event permit. (For all tournaments of any size) and will include side pots, big fish pots etc.
This WILL impact all events but certainly top level events if they were to hold an event in North Dakota in the future. Think about TBF, TBF National semi finals even the federation national championship with a $400,000 total payout would now have to pay North Dakota Fish and Game $40,000 to hold the championship event in North Dakota and many more events of all species will be also be impacted. It is a cash grab by North Dakota Game and Fish for the privilege of bringing in millions in tourism dollars and TV exposure to North Dakota and funding to ND fish and game.
WHY should we as competitive anglers be charged more to catch the same 5 fish anyone else with a fishing licenses can legally catch (and eat) from public waters?
This is highway robbery and it is purely discriminatory in our opinion. It WILL affect interstate commerce.
No other use of public waters, or public land or public streets, to our knowledge is required to pay 10% of gross receipts/entry fees from an event to any other state agency. ONLY tournament fisherman and only in North Dakota.
YOUR fishing licenses sales and boat gas and tackle purchases already fund Sport Fish Restoration dollars totaling millions of dollars to the state of North Dakota. For every fishing licenses sold in North Dakota the state gets MORE Sport Fish funding. Anglers are already paying for the ND Game and Fish and funding most projects that they do.
IN 2020, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department received $12.8 million as its share of excise taxes paid by America’s recreational shooters, hunters, anglers and boaters.
Sport Fish Restoration is guided by the Dingell-Johnson and Sport Fish Restoration Act and is funded by the collection of excise taxes on sport fishing equipment and electric motors, import duties on fishing tackle and pleasure boats, and a portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines. States use Sport Fish Restoration Program funds to stock fish; acquire and improve sport fish habitat; provide aquatic resource education opportunities; conduct fisheries research; and build boat ramps and fishing opportunities and license sales fund the ND Fish and Game.
Additionally, TBF and affiliated organizations and Bass clubs and host communities everywhere have donated big dollars to support fishery conservations over the years in North Dakota.
TBF and our affiliates have held numerous youth fishing clinics, reel kids events conservation projects, TBF National Semi finals events and more in North Dakota. We want to do our part and we want to promote and ensure good fishing nationwide.
Every DNR & Game and Fish in most states are primarily (and in many states like ND) fully funded BY ANGLERS, their license sales and their fishing expenses. WE as anglers are already funding the ND fish and game as they received no general fund revenue. WE do our part and then some. So these are targeted and punitive fees in our opinion. It was put into place quietly and without discussion or input from those stakeholders that it impacts.
SO THE WAY TO GET THIER ATTENTION, is buy hitting them in the pocket book and reducing their tax base and their tourism dollars to the state BY NOT GOING TO NORTH DAKOTA and by reducing fish and game funding by simply NOT buying any North Dakota hunting or fishing licenses AND by contacting the elected officials there TO GET THIS CHANGED.
This new rule will effectively kill tournaments in the state of North Dakota as every major circuit already pays back more than $100 of entry fees to the anglers each year and cannot afford to pay these excessive fees. Now even after paying THE HIGHEST permit fees in the nation for years to ND Game and Fish they want MORE and we WILL NOT pay it. It is a pure money grab.
Most states recruit tourism and out of state dollars, they want it, most DNR’s and fish and game folks WANT people to use the resources, apparently this is no longer the case in North Dakota who simply wants to penalize tournament anglers for the privilege of coming to the state and spending millions each year on tourism. This will negatively impact anglers, communities, tourism both local and state and interstate commerce.
Anglers cannot stand by quietly on this issue, these are public waters. TBF will NOT hold any events in ND in the future and take these kind of funds away from our events and we urge all others NOT to hold any in ND or fish North Dakota until this new rule is changed. We also ask all of you to CONTACT North Dakota officials and let them know you want it changed.
We ask all TBF members and all clubs, all anglers everywhere, all resort owners and host communities you have every stayed at to contact North Dakota officials, governor’s office, state legislators and ND fish and game. Let them know this WILL negatively impact them and let your voices be heard that competitive anglers who spend big dollars to support them are tired of being taken advantage of.
YOU have the same right to go catch your legal limit of fish as anyone else with a license tournament or not. YOU helped pay for those public ramps and parking lots and fish stockings much of which was built with FEDERAL funds as well AND YOU help fund the ND Game and Fish as much as anyone. We all already paying more than our fair share which we are happy to do for our sport, but this is too much.
This could very well impact any or all of you, don’t assume that it is not happening in your state YET. If this punitive fee structure is allowed to stand how long before it comes to YOUR state? IF there was ever an issue that should unite anglers everywhere, this is it.
CONTACT THE NORTH DAKOTA STATE OFFICALS AND LET THEM KNOW YOUR DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS MONEY GRAB AND WILL NOT SUPPORT IT.
Office of Governor State of North Dakota
600 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck ND, 58505-0001
Phone Number: (701) 328-2200, Fax: (701) 328-2205
Contact – https://www.governor.nd.gov/contact
North Dakota Fish & Game,
100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095
Director’s Office: 701-328-6305
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Terry Steinwand, Director
- Fish Chief Greg Powers 701-328-6323
The Bass Federation, Inc.
Alabama and Mississippi Federation Anglers/Co-Anglers converged at Florence AL, to fish the waters of Pickwick Lake for the 2020 TBF District 4 National Semi-Finals Tournament. The dates of the event were 17-18 October 2020, launching out of McFarland Park. Anglers and Co-Anglers from each State Federation were fishing for the opportunity to advance to the TBF 2021 National Tournament to be scheduled during the spring of 2021. Mother nature presented excellent weather conditions for the event.
Following two days of competition of the Mississippi Anglers, Scott Whitehead with a total weight of 29.13 remerged as the winning Mississippi Angler. Alabama Angler, Keith Glasgow with a total weight of 19.73 was the winning Alabama Angler. Both of these anglers earned at berth at the 2021 TBF National Championship Tournament. Finishing in second place in the Angler Division was Jamie Long of Mississippi with 27.15, third place finisher was Edwin Gregory of Mississippi with 26.95. Keith Glasgow finished in fourth place with 19.73. Jeremy Mabrey of Alabama rounded out the Angler Division with 18.95.
Sonny Woodward of Alabama was the top Alabama Co-Angler with a total weight of 25.40 and Kyle Hill of Mississippi with a weight of 19.78 was the top finishing Mississippi Co-Angler. Woodward and Hill are headed to the 2021 TBF National Championship Tournament. Third place Co-Angler finisher was Matt Pearson of Mississippi with 15.19; Terry Pinkard of Alabama finished in fourth place with 14.30 and Neal Davis of Alabama finished in fifth place of the Co-Angler Division with 14.22.
The Team Pride competition of the tournament was won by Mississippi team members with a weight of 92.45. Alabama’s team weight was 92.12.
Edwin Gregory of Mississippi was the Ranger Cup winner of the event.
Congratulations to the tournament competitors of this event for qualifying to participate and we hope the best for all. Let’s all congratulate Scott Whitehead, Keith Glasgow, Sonny Woodward and Kyle Hill for their qualification to advance to the 2021 TBF National Tournament. For full results CLICK HERE