Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,
I trust that this letter finds you all well with your boats put away for the winter, however the thoughts of getting back on the water along with those great memories of you landing smallmouth bass continue to warm your soul. Well, this year unlike last we were able to hold our Annual General Meeting and discuss the upcoming season as well as what took place last year. My intent this day is to enlighten you as to what was decided on as well as some of our plans going forward into the 2022 season. So please grab something warm to sip on and have a read:
COVID 19: Unlike in years past we started the year off with having to sit down and write out a COVID 19 Operational Plan which was forwarded to every city/town/village along with the department of Natural Resources and Energy outlining our plan as to how we would handle fishermen and women during a tournament setting. The plan was widely accepted and we were able to hold our seven sanctioned tournaments along with our Championship. Ultimately, the BOD decided not to hold any kids events as we felt strongly that it would be next to impossible to handle the children with the limited staff that we have on hand. Hopefully in the coming years we will be able to hold these two kids events once again, only time will tell;
Letters and Meetings:
Last year also seen a year where I wrote letters to the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy and the Saint John River Advisory Group to stop the closure of waters just below the Hartland bridge for the use of an Atlantic Salmon Release point. These letters along with others were successful in our attempts to stop the closure of this portion of the river as well as finally open the waters between the Grafton Bridge up river from the town of Woodstock to the old train bridge which we can now fish openly during our tournament season. Additionally myself and a few others from the NBSFA met with the town of Harvey Mayor and Council, The Harvey Lake Association, representation from the Department of Natural Resources and Energy, The Fredericton Anglers Club and the NB Bass Tour where we collectively discussed the fishing pressures on Harvey Lake. In a nutshell, it was a successful meeting and of important note, the data we collected at the end of our tournaments clearly indicated that the smallmouth population in Harvey Lake is doing well via numbers and weights compared to previous years;
For a number of years we felt that the old Internet site was old, out of date and needed to be re-vamped. A lot of work went into this new site tooting our newly developed NBSFA logo. This site is the first in the nation and perhaps in the world to also build a page(s) to remember our past members who have gone before us as we wish to continue to remember them. Thanks to everyone involved in making this happen;;
Jackets/Hoodies/T-shirts & Hats:
Well, with a new logo you need a place to show it off, somewhere other than on-line so we had both Wendy and Rob Nickerson step up to the plate last season and offer hats, t-shirts, hoodies and jackets depicting our new logo. It is important to note that the new logo also reflects our 25th Anniversary and in years to follow the 25th Anniversary script will be dropped and the script of “since 1996” will be incorporated into the logo. This year the NBSFA BOD also collectively decided to award the top twenty teams with jackets which will be available to those teams very soon. Thank you Wendy and Rob for your efforts towards this
A very successful venture to raise funds for the Association. In total we raised a bit over $11,000.00 which every cent will/has been given back to the fishermen through the purchase of jackets/trophies/ prizes/etc. I would like to once again throw my hand out to Henry Arsenault to thank him for his assistance with these very successful draws;
Dennis Wilson Estate:
The estate of the Late Dennis Wilson has finally come to a close. In total the NBSFA was awarded $175,000.00 of which we were given $10,000.00 over the past five years to run the Dennis Wilson memorial and fund the Team of The Year as per Dennis’ wishes. With that said and the $50,000.00 we spent over the past five years, we deposited a cheque in the amount of $125,000.00 into our bank account. Let it be known that this money will be set aside separately and a total of $10,000.00 per year (maximum) will continue to be spent on the DWM tournament and TOTY. On another note, I would like to thank Robbie Hooper for his insight/professional opinion and dedication to assisting me with the finalization of this legal estate;
City of Fredericton:
In conclusion of our accomplishments for 2021 I would also like to advise the membership that we also secured a new sponsorship with the city of Fredericton over a three year period at $3,000.00 per year. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank both Bobby Dupres and Adam Foster for their efforts to make this happen.
Commencing this year, All anglers including Alternates participating in the NBSFA must be a member. As well, the NBSFA is a team event and when registering, teams must register with an assigned partner of which both team members must pay their memberships. As I have said in the past, the funds collected from these memberships goes towards running the association to pay for insurances, maintenance of equipment, purchased of new equipment, trailer, tires, weigh slips, computer, speakers and the like, etc. As well these funds also assist with the payouts at our “Classic” whereas we paid out in excess of $15,000.00 last year to a field of 33 teams only collecting $6,600.00 from entries ($200.00 per team).
Although our Series is a team based series, it was discussed that we seriously look at allowing someone to fish alone should their partner not be available to fish a specific tournament or a multiple number of tournaments for a multitude of reasons. Knowing that this was potentially coming forth, I personally reached out to our insurance provider and was told that it does not matter and has no impact on our insurance policy should we allow participants to fish alone in a tournament. To that end and through discussion and a vote it was unanimously voted that we now will allow folks whose partner cannot fish any tournament including the Classic to fish alone or with an alternate, their choice. Following this vote it was also brought forward that we ask folks to wear their personal flotation device at all times when fishing alone however the membership felt that this was to hard to police. Finalization of the point of wearing of the PFD will be left to the newly appointed BOD with further direction at a later date;
As a result of the new ruling whereas we will allow participants to fish alone in cases where their partner cannot make it, the point system will not change. The person fishing the tournament alone will collect points for their team for that tournament;
As you have been made aware we have a new sponsor in the City of Fredericton. Going hand in hand with this, our sponsor rep for many years now, Mr. Rick Greene is actively working on another major sponsor which we should know more about in the coming weeks/months. If you are looking at purchasing new equipment, goods, etc this winter or in the coming season I would kindly ask that you support our sponsors as they are the backbone to keeping this organization afloat. A list of our sponsors can be seen on our site, please support them. Of course I would like to thank Rick for his continuous work with our sponsors;
2022 Awards / Jackets:
During the AGM there was a lot of talk surrounding the purchase of jackets as to whether we should still purchase them, go onto something else as many of us have a closet full of them or whatever! Bottom line through lots of discussion is that this coming year the NBSFA will purchase jackets for TOTY, Classic Champions, and the top ten in the TOTY race. Now persons winning or placing in the standings to win a jacket have a choice this coming year end; take the jacket or take the cost of the jacket in cash. Of note jackets this year cost $209.00 each;
2022 Schedule: is as follows:
07 May 2022 Harvey Lake
21-22 May 2022 Nackawic (Headpond)
02 Jul 2022 Lake Utopia
16 Jul 2022 Woodstock (Headpond)
30-31 Jul 2022 Fredericton (DWM)
13 Aug 2022 Perth Andover
03-04 Sep 2022 Woodstock (Headpond)
Sep 17 2022 Oromocto (Day 1 Classic)
Sep 18 2022 Woodstock (Day 2 Classic)
NBSFA // NB Bass Tour Amalgamation Request:
Prior to, and following the AGM, the NB Bass Tour approached selected BOD members of the NBSFA with a request to possibly amalgamate the two series during the Nackawic event in the spring and possibly the Woodstock event in the fall. Of the two approaches in which I was not a part of, they were done via phone calls and some follow-up via an email wanting it to be brought up at the AGM for discussion. It was announced at the AGM and not discussed as there was no representation from the NB Bass Tour at the AGM to answer many questions which would surround this subject. Of the approach I was contacted through it was done via email. Once I learned of the initial two and as well for the final email I informed the NB Bass Tour in writing that if they were serious about the amalgamation that they are to submit their proposal through me via email or letter. The request for this is to be in writing to protect both parties involved. In a nutshell, I have asked that this proposal be sent no later than end Jan 2022 at which time the newly formed BOD and myself would review the proposal, put together our thoughts, concerns and questions and then meet with the NB Bass Tour to discuss the way ahead. I have yet to hear back from the NB Bass Tour. In saying that, should I receive a written proposal from the NB Bass Tour, I will discuss it with the newly formed BOD then onward with the NB Bass Tour. Once this is complete and a record of discussion is written (minutes) and signed by both parties, if the need arises this subject will then be presented to the NBSFA membership via a Special General Meeting for their input, discussion and vote. Concluding this subject, although some may find my theory of wanting this in writing opposed to being done verbally a hardship or waste of time, I do not as I alluded to above, it protects both parties involved and we have a record of proposal and a record of discussion going forward if it should happen.
Thanks to Former NBSFA BODs: I would also like to take this time to personally thank those who were in the position as an NBSFA Board of Director last year. To say that we covered a multitude of subjects and crossed a number of bridges would be an understatement. From me to each and everyone of you; Wilf Edmund, Gord Bird, Chris Paul, Rick Greene, Tim Chambers, Eddie Watling, Andrew Oliver, Joe Ross, Rob Nickerson and Mark Alward, many-many-many thanks for your hard work and dedication to this association.
Newly formed NBSFA BODs:
Concluding the AGM it was also voted on the accept that the NBSFA BODs be downsized to six members. Having a less number of volunteers will allow us to get things done quicker in a more expedient manner as well as cover all the bases we need to cover with folks who actually have the time to take on more responsibilities. Today and in years past as with most organizations across this nation, volunteers are getting harder and harder to find and the NBSFA is no exception. Currently five persons have been identified who have volunteered to be on the BODs this year with additional responsibilities. They are in no particular order; Myself, Wilf Edmund, Rob Nickerson, Wendy Nickerson and Rick Greene. We are currently seeking another younger BOD as we are wanting to get some more younger persons involved in the association as our association needs to grow and meet those new ideas as they come towards us. So if you are a person who wishes to assist, take on some responsibilities to help grow the association please let us know.
New Teams // Former Teams:
During the tail-end of the AGM it was brought forth that we should look at something like a “Rookie of the Year” program. Needless to say this idea was short lived as we tried this in the past within the NBSFA and it was not a success. As well, 99.99% of the fishermen and women we see fish in smallmouth bass tournaments are not rookies per say as they have fished in some sort of tournament before either here or in another province, so in retrospect they are not rookies. However, in saying that we have and will be looking at a prize package which has yet to be determined. Our target audience for a new package are new teams in the NBSFA or an old team that hasn’t fished with the NBSFA for a number of years (say five). More to follow on this.
In writing this letter I’m always aware that I may have missed something. I also would like to thank every sponsor, all of our workers at the tournaments, all of the cities, towns, villages, their Mayors, Councils, the Department of Natural Resources and Energy, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, First Nations in the Tobique, and many others who helped us along the way. This past year we celebrated 25 years in business. We do this through hard work, dedication, honesty, clarity, volunteerism and most of all fairness. Come join us this coming season for another fun filled, action packed summer of tournament smallmouth bass fishing experience, you’ll truly love our approach. In conclusion, Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you. Make time for your families, friends, and others as those are the memories you will carry forever. Take care and be safe