Opportunities To Help

Roger Trageser Apr 23rd, 2011 Permanent Link
    At almost 600 strong the question is often asked "what do members want or get out of being a part of the Maryland Bass Federation Nation".  The answers are as varied as the numbers representing this organization.  And represent you do.  Wether it is just to be part of a social network that eats, sleeps and lives fishing or at a more intense level that puts you in 
the tournament competition ranks we all represent the MBFN.  So let's roll up our sleeves because we have a few projects in the near future and I'd like to have the MBFN well represented at all of them.
    Now when I say projects of course they all involve fishing so let's not confuse these efforts with work.  These are, for lack of a better description, benefit events which will involve a little time and a little cash.
    The Butch Ward Memorial Scholarship Fund Tournament finds it self on the lower Potomac for the first time on May 21.  This gives glass boaters a golden opportunity to involve themselves with this significantly important component of our organization.  Over the course of the past years it has provided numerous schorlarship awards to worthy students.  The tradition continues and you can all be a part of it.  Applications are available at Tournament Entry Forms on our site.
    The MBFN will host the first annual Black Bass Stocking Tournament on the Choptank River also on May 21 (6 AM-2 PM).  We tried not to sit on the Butch Ward event but when the fry gotta go they gotta go.  This is the brainchild of Tidal manager Joe Love and Randy Elliott.  This should be an improvement over the current DNR "one drop spot".  The pay back is 100% and each team will be given a bag of fry to release at their favorite spot.  So that the DNR knows what to provide in the way of bags there will most likely be an application deadline a week out from the event.  Contact Randy at relliottfishing@aol.com for applications and information. 
    June 3 is the annual Nations Bass Tounament at National Harbor.  This event benefits the Nations Capital Living Classroom Foundation.  You a child and a sponsor representative partake in a morning tornament that provides many of these children an opportunity on the water that they perhaps have never had or ever will.  The FLW is the primary sponsor and this event is being held in conjunction with one of their major tournament events.  Special consideration is being made for parking and marina access for boat captain volunteers.  This one is fun, no pressure, just a nice morning on the water with lots and lots of smiles.  Contact me for information on this one at teamroger@aol.com.
    Finally (for now) there is the PVA/Wounded Warriors Tournament on July 22-24.  You know about this one guys.  We need help on the water and off.  This is a major event for the MBFN and I may even have Jerry McKinnis dropping in on this one.  We are all about helping the PVA but just in case you weren't aware we are the Wounded Warriors event.  That baby is ours and we're damned proud of it.  Join us.  Go to www.pvabasstour.org to register or contact Dick Brown at mdbfupdate2000@msn.com.  
    So, as it relates back to what I said in the beginning "what do you want from your Federation" my email door is always open for suggestions.  In the mean time we want you to be a part of the MBFN that steps up and helps out.  

The President's Corner

Roger Trageser Jan 21st, 2011 Permanent Link
Fellow Members,

On January 15 I attended a B.A.S.S. meeting in Orlando with new owner Jerry McGinnis. A more real and down to earth guy you will have a hard time meeting. One of the most striking comments Jerry made was when he said “If I don’t make one penny off of this deal I want B.A.S.S. to get back to what it was and what it should be.” The Federation’s input will be instrumental to Jerry and his partners developing their long term plan. I extended an invitation to Jerry to attend our conference and was told to give him a follow-up call in about a month so he can check his schedule (I’m going to try and lean on him just a bit). In the mean time I’ve attached five reports from Joe Love covering studies and reports for 2010. I’ve extended an invitation to Joe as well.


Tidal Bass Survey Results
Sportfishing Tournaments
Living Together: Largemouth Bass and Northern Snakehead
Do Bass use Spawning Sanctuaries?
Largemouth Bass Hatchery Stockings

A New Federation Era

Roger Trageser Dec 6th, 2010 Permanent Link

Five years ago the Federation pot was boiling.  We were headed down a road that eventually led to a split and, at that moment, a vast amount of uncertainty and concern.  Only a year into my first term my feet were still getting wet.  I relied on my Executive Board, my Board of President’s and above all my fellow members to guide our Federation into its’ decision to stay aligned with BASS.  Both BASS and FLW have had there ups and downs in the following years but there is no doubt in my mind that collectively we made the right decision.

Fast forward to 2011 and we have another new era before us, new ownership.  There had been grumblings for some time that the Disney/ESPN corporation never really knew what they had or what to do with the Federation.  As a volunteer organization we were difficult to plug into a purely business plan.  I believe the make up of the new owners will overcome this problem.  I have to believe that we were a large part of their discussion even before the offer was on the table. 

Buyers Jerry McKinnis, Don Logan and Jim Copeland are sportsman as well as businessman.  Their feet are in the same soil that we, as the grassroots organization of bass fishing, stand in.  I’m not going to kid myself for a moment that dollars are just going to be poured into the Federation.  It’s a business and businesses are bought to make money.  There may even be a little more “tightening of the belt” before all is said and done.  But I believe that this group will be inclined to make their decisions down the road with the best interest of the Federation always in the mix.

Because the sale had not been completed prior to the Federation Championship information that I normally bring back to the Board was not even discussed.  Attending Presidents kicked around ideas and offered suggestions to Jon Stewart to take back once the deal was completed.  There is a good possibility that Presidents will be reconvening on a weekend in January to pick up were we left off in October.  I plan to be there.

Speaking of changes for 2011 we will enter the new year as an Alliance sponsored state after three previous years of Skeeter Boats sponsorship.  I want to thank Skeeter Boats and Jim Horvath for their support and wish them great success with their continued primary sponsorship of BASS.  As the primary sponsor their discount programs are still available to all Federation members.  I will be working with our sponsorship committee to provide all the information regarding the Alliance benefits as well as all the other sponsor packages.

Lastly I would like to thank the Tournament Committee members for stirring the pot a little and, through the voices of there fellow region members, developing some changes that, although not official at the time of this writing,  I believe and hope will increase angler participation in our tournament venues.  A buddy trail has been an idea that has long been discussed and being kept “in house” (only Federation members can participate) will maintain a level of integrity and honesty. 

The “mini trail” format for the SQT is probably long overdue.  I think the cut down on some travel and the opportunity to factor in familiar water will eventually be appreciated.  Having attended both meetings I can tell you that no representative had a particular agenda or group in mind as these changes were developed.  There was never anything but a desire to try and reach out to as many potential anglers as the Federation wishes to provide.         

A Message from the President

Roger Trageser Mar 19th, 2009 Permanent Link
Roger TrageserAlmost three years ago in March of 2007 I asked presidents at our annual conference to support a substantial increase in the fishing license fee. Fee increases are not usually met with enthusiasm but your understanding of the urgency of the Fisheries Service budget situation was appreciated. If I didn’t mention it than, thank you for your support.

A number of positive actions have developed as a result of that decision. Immediately upon the Bill being passed the General Assemble required the formation of a Fisheries Task Force. This action, more than any other, established a line of communication, information and contacts that had not existed since Butch Ward was on the scene. We have, at long last, a new Tidal Black Bass Manager in the person of Dr. Joseph Love.

Although his previous work background was not rooted in black bass his science background and knowledge of developing studies and surveys will begin to provide us and DNR with information that we have not had access to for years. Our group has been ready at a moments notice to provide Joe with "on the water" information when ever the request is there. Joe attended the BASS Northern Open, our PVA tournament and has provided a number of follow-up reports in light of the bass mortality situation on the Potomac River this past summer. We put together some fish handling and live well maintenance recommendations that hopefully will find their way into next years fishing license handout booklet. We will join Dr. Love and Inland Fisheries Director Don Cosden at a roundtable conference in February to discuss survey results and findings from their 2009 studies.

Club presidents you need to mark March 14 on your calendar for 2010. Our annual president’s conference as been moved to the second Sunday of the month and both Joe and Don have been invited has our guest speakers.

We were asked to take a seat with the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative committee (MARI) and have since been asked to develop some proposals to enhance shallow water habitat in the upper areas of our rivers. These will not be reefs in the more familiar sense of the word but some type of "spawning enhancement" feature. Currently Federation member Dick Beirch, whose work background includes waterway engineering projects and who has a working relationship with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), is our committee representative. Actually I asked him if he would sit in on some meetings that I could not attend but his experience suits the job so much better than mine that I’m not letting him step away. I think he figured this out already. Dick will provide updated information at the president’s conference as well.

I will conclude, as I always do, with much thanks to all the board members, committee representatives and member volunteers who throughout the year provide time and service to our Federation. Special thanks to Mike Day our tournament director who has tweaked that department quite a bit, making it easier to access and obtain information.

Roger Trageser,
MBFN President

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