1. Well folks it is that time of year again when we dust off the fishing gear, change old lines, and get the boat ready to hit the water. “It’s fishing time once again”.
2. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the New Brunswick Sportsfishing Association, and with that comes some exciting news surrounding what we have planned for this year to mark this milestone of the “best smallmouth bass fishing series east of Quebec”.
3. Throughout the past winter the Board of Directors and myself have worked tirelessly putting in literally hundreds of hours introducing new ideas, changes, etc, to make this coming season one of the best we have seen in years. Listed within this letter I will attempt to educate you as to what we have in store going forward to include the following topics: 2021 Board of Directors 2021 Schedule Newly designed NBSFA Logo New Website TOP 20 Team of The Year Points – Jackets Dennis Wilson Memorial Tournament – Fredericton, NB Team of The Year Classic MTB Brokerage Big Fish Award Clean – Drain – Dry DNRE // Town of Harvey // Harvey Lake Association Meetings 2021 Fish Care New Open Water // Hartland Bridge Salmon release Concerns
4a. This season your newly appointed Board of Directors are as follows:
Chairman – Bert Beek
Vice Chairman – Wilf Edmond
Secretary – Gord Bird
Treasurer – Bert Beek
Sponsorship Committee – Rick Greene
Website // Clothing Representative – Rob Nickerson
Variance Order Representative – Tim Chambers
Draw Representative – Mark Alward
Draw Representative – Chris Paul
BOD – Joe Ross BOD – Andrew Oliver BOD – Eddie Watling
b. Should you have any questions pertaining to any of the topics mentioned within this letter, the aforementioned gentlemen would be more than happy to assist you. I would also like to take this opportunity and thank each and every BOD for their insight, ideas, time and effort they have willingly put forth this past winter to assist in the production of the upcoming season, “thanks gentlemen”.
5a Jumping right into the business end of the letter, here is your 2021 NBSFA Schedule:
08 May – Harvey lake (sponsored by Northside Tire)
22 -23 May – Nackawic (sponsored by the Town of Nackawic)
03 Jul – Woodstock (sponsored by Clark Oil Ltd)
17 Jul – Magaguadavic Lake (sponsored by Lucky Strike and Bolle Glasses)
31 Jul – 1 Aug – Dennis Wilson Memorial (sponsored by the City of Fredericton & Steele GMC)
14 Aug – Perth-Andover (sponsored by Village of Perth-Andover)
04 – 05 Sep – Woodstock (sponsored by Town of Woodstock)
18 – 19 Sep – Classic (day 1 in Perth-Andover & day 2 in Woodstock) (sponsored by Phil’s Auto and Recreation and Motorguide)
b. I would also like to thank our outstanding sponsors for their contributions towards the NBSFA because through their efforts and generosity we would not be able to do what we love to do, “thank you sponsors”. I would kindly ask our members to remember these great sponsors as well as others you will hear mentioned this coming year and to support them the best you can.
6a. Keeping up with change, our group this past winter felt that it was time for a logo change. Through many ideas, colour choices, fish styles, etc, etc we decided on the logo above to properly represent the NBSFA.
b. The Red Maple Leaf depicts what we stand for “Canadians first and foremost”, the quotation of “Run by Anglers, For Anglers” is something we have done for the past 25 years and have remained with that quotation, and of course the smallmouth bass representing our smallmouth bass series. The 25th Anniversary Logo will remain with us for the entire year and next year will be removed.
7a. Going hand and hand with the new logo we also felt very strongly that it was time for a change in our website. Of course our Facebook page is alive an well, however with our new website (NBSFA.CA) you will note that there are many changes in comparison to the old site to include, on line registration, automatic totaling of tournaments you wish to fish, updated stats which will be completed within a 24-48 hour period following each event, a photo section to view past tournaments, a forums site to ask questions or simply make comment on whatever as well as other ideas which are being worked on presently.
b. One of the initiatives within the site which is being worked on which I am very proud to announce is a “Past Members Site” which will reflect those past members who have gone before us through their photos. Many of those past members were ambassadors to this sport and deservingly need to be remembered.
8. Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the NBSFA this coming season, we collectively decided to award Top 20 Team jackets based on points at the end of the regular season. We would like to thank ALL of our great sponsors who assisted us financially to obtain this goal. As in years past, teams must fish at least 4 out of 7 tournaments to go to the Classic. Teams will be awarded team points based on their placement in each tournament (ie: 1st will be given a 1, 2nd a 2 and so on) and the Top 20 teams at the end of the regular tournament series based on their best four tournaments will be awarded team jackets. The jackets will be lighter than the past 3 in 1 jackets and will be embroidered with the new NBSFA 25th Anniversary Crest on the front, plus a new design which we have yet to decide upon on the back. These jackets unlike jackets in the past will be one of a kind, “good luck to everyone”. As well, T-Shirts and hats depicting the aformentioned logo will be for sale through our website shortly.
9. Again this year for the fifth year in a row we are extremely happy to announce the Dennis Wilson Memorial Tournament which will be held on 31 Jul -01 Aug out of beautiful Carleton Park in Fredericton. This year we will once again be adding extra prize money (topping up) the top five placements. Of course we will pay down to place “X” dependant on the number of boats in the field, however the top five will be topped up as per my table below: Add an extra to 1st $1,600.00 Add an extra to 2nd $1,200.00 Add an extra to 3rd $1,000.00 Add an extra to 4th $800.00 Add an extra to 5th $400.0010. Come the end of our regular tournament series we will be crowning our Team of The Year followed by our Classic whereas we will be then crowning our Champions. As it currently stands now we are looking at a prize package for both Team of The year and Champions of $4,000.00 cash, Team Jackets and trophies which will be sponsored by the NBSFA. Going hand in hand with this we will also be crowning our MTB Brokerage – “BIG Fish of the Year award which will consist of $500.00 cash sponsored by the Town of Woodstock, two Abu Garcia Rods and Reels plus trophies sponsored by Mike Brennan at MTB Brokerage. Both Mike and the Town of Woodstock have been a great sponsors for many years, so please if you can attribute to Mike’s his newly formed company I would kindly ask you to do so, as well please also support the local businesses in Woodstock.
10. Some of you may or may not be aware however some of our waters here in the province have been invaded by foreign plant species. To that end, every tournament we fish we are asking // advising teams to clean any weed matter from their boats, Drain any water such as livewells at that particular lake and allow your vessel to dry before putting it in any other body of water. Practicing this will not only assist with the spread of invasive plant species it will also protect the environment. During some of the tournaments, folks from the Harvey Lake Association will be present to wash your boat off when exiting the waters, please be patient and assist these folks at each and every tournament. Working together will definitely protect our waters from invasive species.
11a. Of course with the good news follows some bad news. We have all seen the news reports with regards to the dead fish kill in a tournament in Ontario where hundreds of bass were found in a garbage bin. That story has made it’s way throughout North America and placed a “Black eye” on the bass fishing community as a whole. This year like no other year, eyes will be upon us at every corner, weigh-in and on the water. I am asking every angler involved with this excellent association to handle your fish with the utmost care by leaving livewells running, cooling them down when required with non chlorinated ice, practicing great fish handling, separating larger fish from smaller fish if able to in the livewells, not removing your fish from the livewells until called to bring them to the scale by tournament organizers, changing water in your livewells, etc, etc.
b. The NBSFA will be doing their part by utilizing the Shimano Water Weigh in System at each event when required, especially in the summer months. Participants will be asked to remain in their boats with their fish until called forward, once a participant comes forward they will place their fish in the Shimano Water Weigh in System, have them weighed in-in water, given back to each participant who will have a bag filled with water who will then take them to their boats and release them in deeper water away from the shore. Please note that this practice may differ a bit depending on location. This will be presented at each Captains meeting the morning of.
12a. As some of you may know I have been extremely busy in a letter writing campaign to stop the change in relocating Atlantic Salmon just below the Hartland bridge which would have been closed off for all fishing, including tournaments. We won that case and it may be looked at again in the future. Going hand in hand with that, we also learned this year that the water between the Grafton bridge above Woodstock to the old train tressel is now fishable throughout the fishing season. In other words this water is no longer off limits during our tournaments. This is good news.
b. With that good news also comes the good news that myself and a couple other BOD members along with the other bass groups met with DNRE a few weeks back and discussed several important smallmouth bass issues. In a nutshell the smallmouth bass fishery is healthy according to the stats held by DNRE throughout most of the province. The only place where weights were down was in the lower St John River system last year.
c. Adding to meetings, we also met with the Village of Harvey, The Harvey Lake Association and other bass groups and discussed Harvey Lake. In a nutshell through education, conversation and dialogue we were able to educate several folks on what we have done and continue to do for the lakes we fish, show that our weights over the past few years are up as well as invite folks to come see us during a weigh in to see how we handle the fish to erase any false feelings that we harm the resource. Of course these practices will go hand in hand with our fish care, fish handling and release methods.
13. One other thing before I sign off. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Henry Arseneault for his work with the NBSFA Sticker Sales on Facebook. Believe me when I say this, the draws have kept Henry and I very busy for a period there, so on behalf of the NBSFA BOD’s, “thanks Henry” and for the remainder of you fine folks, please support these draws as 100% of ALL FUNDS raised through draws, sponsors, memberships, etc goes back to the fishermen and women. We are the only Registered Not For Profit Association in the province, we give back 100% period.15. In conclusion, I know this was a lot to read and digest. Please share this letter with your friends, members, past members, etc, etc as we would love to have each and everyone of you at our events this upcoming season. Again, we have worked extremely hard this past winter to bring you a very exciting 2021 season. See you ALL on the water. Take care, Be Safe.16. Please support the sponsors that support all of us as we pursue this crazy hobby of ours. These folks all make if possible for us to do what we do. Dennis Wilson Memorial Fund, Town of Woodstock, MotorGuide, City of Fredericton, Northside Tire, Dennis Wilson Memorial Fund, Town of Woodstock, City of Fredericton, Northside Tire, Phil’s Auto & Recreation, Village of Perth Andover, Town of Nackawic, Steele GMC Buick, Clark Oil, Lucky Strike, MTB Brokerage, Abu Garcia, Bolle, Minnow Tackle Shop, DarMar Fly Shop, Trout Brook Fly Shop
Bert Beek Chairman,