Growing Grassroots

Category: Tournament

 Jan 14th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jan 14th, 2014 at 12:00 AM

While the professional ranks of tournament fishing have been shrinking over the years, the FLW Tour has less events and the Bassmaster Elite Series has reduced the Classic champions purse by $200,000, one small tournament organization is growing, an seems to be flourishing. That company is the NBAA, the National Bass Anglers Association.

NBAA Head Honcho Robert Cartlidge (flwoutdoors.com)

The NBAA was born years ago in Michigan. Robert Cartlidge, the President of The Bass Federation (TBF) had purchased the company with eyes on expansion. So far, he is succeeding with eyes on even more growth in the near future.

“The NBAA will be announcing its expansion plans soon,” said NBAA VP of Sales and Marketing Kelly Gohman. “The company is doing well and the grassroots market is growing for us.

“The company originated in Michigan. It was put up for sale and Robert Cartlidge, better known as the president of the TBF, purchased it. The TBF did not purchase it, Robert did, but there is a symbiotic relationship between the organizations.”

Growth is tied to the participants.

“We surveyed the anglers to see what they wanted out of a tournament trail,” said Gohman. “We found that the majority of NBAA anglers want to sleep in their own beds. They like fishing close to home in tournaments, but will occasionally travel to a larger event or championship. Very few of the anglers we surveyed want to live the nomadic lifestyle of a professional angler.”

News to hit the NBAA website soon.

“We will announce on our website that the top 10 percent of the anglers will be eligible to compete in a national championship in 2015,” said Gohman. “They will also receive a travel stipend. With a little over 100 divisions that is going to be a fair amount of anglers eligible to participate.”

Total market saturation not the goal of the NBAA.

“The NBAA wants to provide a venue for the anglers to compete,” said Gohman. “Anglers don’t have to spend a fortune to compete, have a shot at cash and prizes and another chance to participate in a national championship. We are not the Elites, but we are a step above the $10 bet with your dad on who will catch the first or biggest fish.

“Our plans are to expand, but if we are not in all of the states that offer bass fishing, that won’t be a failure to us. We want to provide a fun tournament that is competitive and grows the camaraderie and enjoyment of the sport.”
For more details and news check out www.nbaa-bass.com.

More like this