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Author Topic: Why I'm voting TBF  (Read 6048 times)

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djkimmel

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Why I'm voting TBF
« on: March 05, 2006, 03:25:53 PM »

This has been a nerve-wracking and anxiety-ridden decision for me, but I've waited too long to make this absolutely clear and explain why. Frankly, I've enjoyed the participation on the web site, and I've been afraid of harming a number of relationships I have here and elsewhere.

But in a representative democracy, you have to take a stand and vote, or sit on the sidelines and watch decisions be made for you by others. I don?t like that impotence. I?m voting for TBF.

As far as BASS and FLW Outdoors, Don Rucks said ESPN/BASS is a business and they will run it as a business. I feel the same way about the Michigan federation. To be viable, and I've said this for years, the federation has to be run like a business - it is a corporation.

To do the good things the federation and federation clubs can and do, we need funding at an acceptable level. We need to consider our contracts just like BASS does and make a decision that best meets our business needs. Voting on emotion and the past only is not good business. Things change. Companies change.

BASS is no longer the same BASS we originally began with anymore than FLW Outdoors is still Operation Bass. I don't feel that by voting for FLW Outdoors I'm voting for Wal-Mart anymore than I feel by voting for BASS I'm voting for Busch Beer or Citgo Gas.

Nothing and nobody is perfect. I haven't had a real strong candidate for President my entire adult life - one I've been completely comfortable and happy with. Yet, I will continue to vote and pick the best choice for me that I can.

I don't pick someone to vote for based on only one thing like some people do - say abortion. I can't do that even if it works for others. I can't pick BASS or FLW for only one thing either - say because I appreciate BASS' conservation department or because I don't like Wal-Mart.

First and foremost, my concern is that the Michigan federation comes out of this as strong as possible with the financial strength to be a viable organization. I've tried for years to get all bass clubs to join the federation exactly because we need to work together to protect our ability (right or privilege) to fish and have public access and clean water. I find it weak and a copout when bass anglers say, "I don't like politics" so they don't join. If they also don't participate in any other way, then they are not helping make things better or at least keeping things from getting worse.

Our country works by involvement in the democratic process and as far as I can tell, despite all the issues and challenges of that process, no one has come up with a better one. So I'll continue to work within it. I am very confident that the more people are involved the BETTER the process becomes.

This BASS/FLW issue is uncomfortable. We will lose some clubs and members. There will probably end up being two Michigan federations later this year. I fully expect to even see some issues on this forum for a time because of what happens on March 12 and because of my choice to vote for TBF. I'm not happy about that, but you do the best you can with what you have and then try to move on without beating yourself up too bad. I probably have even strained some relationships just by waiting so long to make it clear where I stand. It?s pretty tough knowing that I?m upsetting people regardless of the way I vote.

At our last federation meeting, there were a few REALLY angry people. I?m sorry we have to go through that, but corporate people writing memo?s and making business decisions have made it necessary for us to go through this. I hate to see things get angry like that, but it happens in the type of a process sometimes when people have strong feelings. What I heard was mostly from the really upset people was ? ?I don?t like Wal-Mart?; ?I don?t like FLW Outdoors?; ?I don?t like Irwin Jacobs?; ?We?ve been with BASS forever, how can we change?? ? like we are being traitors. What I did not hear much of was, ?what is best for the Michigan federation??

I see this issue like a presidential vote. There are two and only two realistic candidates. Each has positives and each has negatives. I have one vote. Which one best serves the existing needs of the Michigan federation? That is how I intend to vote exactly because the federation is important to me and I believe we have to vote for the future, not the past.

The past is gone. Things change. Change is uncomfortable, but sometimes necessary. I have no real idea where ESPN/BASS is headed with the federations in the future. There are some positive signs and some negative signs, but ESPN/BASS has made it clear their priorities are tournaments/TV, youth and conservation. There have been troubling indications that the federation as it is now, is considered much differently than it has been. I?m going by all of the things I?ve heard and seen come down from the top of ESPN/BASS.

I still like the conservation people very much. They are very important and they are saying some of the right things, but, and this is a big BUT, they are not leading the way ESPN/BASS goes in the future. Neither are the youth people there. There has been plenty said and wrote about what the upper level of ESPN/BASS has said and done so I won?t repeat it here. If you are interested, you have already read all of it here and other places.

What I know for sure is that Ranger Boats has been a strong, loyal and extremely valuable Michigan federation sponsor for many years. And Ranger Boats wants to continue to provide the same level of sponsorship - the free raffle boat and a huge discount on another boat if we want it - we have already looked and a similar agreement is not available through other channels. The raffle is our single largest and therefore most important federation sponsorship. I want to make sure we keep this relationship. The federation can't afford to lose this deal financially. Other Michigan sponsors may be impacted too depending on how we vote because of their affiliation with various companies.
If the Michigan federation stays BASS as a BASS Federation Nation group, TBF is obligated to start a new federation. Will our existing federation be able to keep the same level of sponsorship from our existing major sponsors who are more strongly aligned with FLW Outdoors? No. They will not be able to justify supporting us AND the new TBF federation. They may continue in some capacity, but budgets and sponsorship are limited. This is business and I will fully understand how this works out just like I can understand why Don Rucks says ESPN/BASS will not ask the federations for votes or their agreement on business decisions because ESPN/BASS is a business and will run like one. I hope they understand the federations will make decisions the same way. This is not spite. This is just how things work in business.

I may not fully understand or like some of things that ESPN/BASS is doing now, but that doesn?t change what is or isn?t best for the Michigan federation. If our corporate financing more closely matched BASS, or the same opportunities for federation financing were available through BASS, things could be different. Unfortunately, our Michigan federation sponsors are more closely aligned with TBF and their partners, and we can not get the same level of support from BASS-aligned sponsors. The federation has looked into this in the past. Our Ranger deal is one of the best in the country and we have been told we can keep is plus benefit from the new deals too if we are aligned with TBF.

This is not some kind of blackmail. This is business. I fully understand that. It does not hurt that I am personally aligned with Ranger and Yamaha either. But understand, and you can believe I mean this, if my personal sponsors were other companies that the federation could not get anywhere near the level of support from, I would not be hamstringing the Michigan federation by foolishly trying to get them to go that way. Without proper financial strength, the federation can?t accomplish much. I can?t be that shortsighted when I need a strong federation behind me when I go into meetings with government agencies and officials.

I will not dislike or hold against anyone who votes for a strong reason or reasons one way or the other. Vote your conscience for whatever reasons that are important to you. That is how the representative democracy works. I hope most others give me the same courtesy. I just want people to know why I will vote the way I do. To me, despite the anxiety of this whole situation, the future direction best for the Michigan federation is fairly clear.

Some people reading this will be unhappy with me - I feel bad about that. There are some key persons who I?m concerned may not be too friendly to me anymore. I?m not looking forward to that. I hope I don?t lose too many readers or members either. I realize there are some strong emotions out there. I?m not keeping a list of ?people who vote for BASS? and I hope it doesn?t come to that kind of future, but I have to make a choice and this is the choice I now see best for the future of the Michigan Bass Federation even though thinking about possibly leaving BASS after all these years makes me very anxious.

I hope things stay civil at the March 12 meeting. Realistically, presidents/reps should be coming to that meeting with their vote already decided by their respective clubs. Anger won?t change those votes. I expect the federation board will do their best to keep things orderly even though they may take a beating from some people. I have no real idea what will happen as far as the vote results. Your guess is as good as mine. I also have no idea what I will do afterwards. I guess we?ll all find out what we do together.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.

yukonjack2

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2006, 05:31:14 PM »

Dan -

well put!  I'm with ya witch ever way you go!

Jack
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UAWBigDog

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2006, 08:11:28 PM »

Very well put Dan.  You almost have me convinced.        :D     In the democratic process, there is nothing personal here.  Every person will do what they feel is best for themselves.   FREE to do as we please.  What a country!!!!!

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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2006, 08:13:02 PM »

A rational and honest opinion always gets my attention and respect. I really don't know enough or have opinions strong enough to make a similar decision even though I try to stay up to date. I put my trust in folks like Lt. Dan based on what I have seen them do and stand for. Change is hard and inevitable, and always involves a litte roll of the dice. My two cents and my bet is Lt. Dan is going to make an informed decision that will be in our best interests based on what we know right now.

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djkimmel

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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2006, 09:42:47 PM »

I try hard. I make mistakes. I've made some doozy's (how the heck do you spell doozy?) in the past. I try to learn from them.

I plan on having a short talk with the BASS conservation people next week because I like them and I don't want them to think I've been sneaky. I told some people I didn't want to leave BASS and without the full explanation or attention, there has been some misunderstanding. I literally meant I would have loved things to stay the way they were in the old days and not have these 'growing' pains - not have friendships, clubs and federations potentially pulled apart, but things do change.

They have changed now. BASS is different. TBF is different. FLW Outdoors is different. The Michigan federation is different.

What I like about TBF is the federation is a 'stock-holding' member. We actually do get a vote and a say, unlike having just an agreement with BASS where there will be no votes anymore. I like having a vote. It may only be one vote among many, but it is a vote and I know I can be heard. Sometimes, a lot can be accomplished if the possibility is there. I like that. I always have.

Of course, it does not hurt my confidence knowing FLW Outdoors hired Lansing native David Simmons to be our federation liaison. I've known David since he was a strapping teenager and you won't find a nicer, more honest person with more integrity. He took the Yamaha angler team to new highs and I have no doubt we can get the same from him for TBF federations.

There are some really nice good people at BASS. I don't know any of the present crew real well, but I've had some workings with a few and they are honest and decent folk. I actually know more people better at FLW Outdoors and they are also honest and very decent folks.

I really liked the enthusiasm and excitement I got from Charlie Evans the other day regarding the TBF federations. I thought it was pretty neat to have the president of the company call me back and want to spend some time discussing the programs they have in the works and the effort they intend to put into it.

Heck, these are anglers just like us, not corporate black-tie strangers. These are people who understand anglers, particularly tournament anglers, and who know the future lies in building decent events, having clean and available water, and keeping our youth involved. It is their only business so they have to be on top of it.

I'm not saying BASS is different. BASS does have similar people at the middle and lower levels. I'm just not as sure about the people at the upper levels. I do like that they are trying new things, but the bulk of their leadership's emphasis is moving more and more to tournaments and TV. That has been made very clear.

I think they still recognize they get some value from youth and conservation activities by the federations. I think for the effort, they would just as soon have smaller groups and clubs to deal with on these events. The overall federations and BASS relationship has frankly been bumpy for well over 10 years with a federation or two threatening to quit every few seasons over one thing or another.

I actually thought when TBF was formed several years ago that we would finally come to the table more like equals - both recognizably valuable to each other - but it just never seemed to happen. Until someone else decided the federation where real valuable and put some kind of price tag on that value, BASS really didn't kick the relationship engine into high gear.

I think BASS just waited too long to react to keep us all together. I don't know why they waited so long. Some of these same questions about value and services have been floating around for years.

I do know that competition never hurts regardless. I don't expect the federations, basically organized groups of active and dedicated bass anglers, to ever be undervalued again.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.

smbassman

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2006, 08:29:27 AM »

Dan,

This is your opinion and you know what they're like! ;D  And everone has one, so don't be ashamed of yours.

It seems that the key to this and the direction of the MBCF board has been greatly infuenced by the Ranger sponsorship and that is understandable.  Most of the federation anglers probably don't know or understand how much money is brought in and where it is spent.  So the board probably knows better than the rest, how important that money is.

Personally, I think there would still be plenty of opportunity for sponsorships outside of Ranger if we do go with the Federation Nation.  It will take some work from the board to settle these contracts, but I know the support is out there.  This really didn't have any effect on my decision though.

My decision to vote for the Federation Nation was just like you stated above.  ?We?ve been with BASS forever, how can we change??  But my further reasoning is that the proposals from each group have changed in content, interpretation and support and I don't feel there was enough solid information for anyone to make a rational decision as far as what is best for the Federation.  In my mind, there just wasn't enough solid reasoning to change from BASS.  The Ranger sponsorship is about the only real solid piece of information, so I can understand your decision being based on that.

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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2006, 10:21:14 AM »

I am with Dan on this one. BASS has changed, that is why we as a group need to change. Why take a chance on getting new sponsors, the ones we have, have been with us a long time, and as Dan has stated we have one of the best deals with ranger. Our federation will not be the same as the past federation, BASS wants a dictatorship, and will dictate what "our" federation will do, they have made many changes to make sure they have control.

Lets be reminded that we will have a Federation Nation, it will have to start new, so lets not throw away a for sure major sponsor on the hopes we will align with another (a bird in the hand comes to mind).

My personal belief and opinion will have mother BASS pulling the plug on federation tournaments, with the weekend series taking it's place, and thus removing the slots for the federation anglers in the Bass Masters Classic. Bass has already tried to end divisionals.

Again this is my opinion, and lets just hope that we get good weather and good attendance at this weekends vote, it would be a shame to have a low turnout and not get a good account of which way the majority wants.

DennisB.

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2006, 10:46:04 AM »

I don't get it but I also don't fish tournaments, yet! I would imagine that either one would be a decent deal for any one that would like to  tournament fish part time. Why would people care one way or the other what "club" or Organization you fish with? shouldn't they worry about where they want to fish?  It's not like they have to fish where you do, do they? what if the whole thing never happened and there was only tbf and they said forget it and then there was no where to fish, Isn't haveing two oppertunities better than none? Someone please enlighten me :'(
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MadWags

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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2006, 11:05:06 AM »

Dan;

In my mind, yours is a reasonable and well thought out decision. Although I have never belonged to the Federation and I do not have a horse in the race, I can easily follow your logic and I wish you the best in your forth coming partnership. Let me know when all is decised and I will surely join you in your quest.
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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2006, 11:43:43 AM »

Thanks everyone for the candid discussion. I really appreciate it.

DennisB. you've touched on what is important - some type of organized voice of anglers - especially one made up if dedicated avid anglers - is critical to our future.

Two organizations, or three, or four is even better in the long run because maybe these additional organizations allow more attractive options to more anglers getting more anglers involved, even a little, in keeping our rights and privileges safe, and keeping clean water full of healthy fish out there so we have a reason to do all of this stuff. Thanks.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.

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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2006, 12:30:13 PM »

Hey Lt. Dan,
Try not to worry too much about people being mad at you.  I'll bet you won't see that as much as you may fear.  Many of us fish events that are affiliated with both organizations as well as several others.  So at least as far the members of greatlakesbass are concerned, my guess is that we'll all still be friends in the end.  Besides, how silly would it be for us to stop liking each other just because of which fishing organization we choose to support.  Last time I checked, this was a recreational sport for most of us.  I can't see mature adults getting mad at each other and refusing to participate in a fishing forum just because the admin on the forum says "I'm voting TBF". 

Hopefully, I'm right about that and we won't all take this too seriously.  It's fishing after all... not feeding the starving in Africa or working for world peace.  So let's all keep it in perspective, not take our differences personally or too seriously.  And let's get out there and have a great time.  The bass in the lakes don't care if you're TBF or Fed Nation.  They still won't bite your dang lure!
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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2006, 12:57:00 PM »

I have been reading and keeping my often big mouth shut on this subject.  But I have to say very nicely put Revtro!
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djkimmel

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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2006, 10:57:24 PM »

I don't worry much about all of you because you are all great people - setting great examples about courtesy and maturity. Thanks again... and again.

I'm mostly concerned about some of the silent readers - who aren't always silent forever. I know I upset one person and probably more when I notified my contacts at BASS how I felt. It couldn't really be helped and I'd rather tell them directly and take the consequences.

I guess I was their contact for getting a lot of information out throughout the process so now they are my contact for getting my opinion to BASS. I'm sure they are frustrated and disappointed since they are basically good people doing good work.

It can't be helped at this point. I'll be glad when this finally settled and we are moving forward again. Only a few more days before the vote and then we smooth out the resulting changes or confusion as best as possible.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.

Reelin Realtor

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2006, 12:07:12 AM »

I'm with Dan as well. I'm not happy with the changes and there are going to be changes regardless of what the bass anglers want.? It's is now about making the best organizational choice. BASS will still have 500,000 members and they will continue? their conservation efforts, all those members don't belong just because there's a federation. 500,000 members no demands vs. 40,000 that are unified.? Who's generating the revenue.

The TBF is an independent coalition of clubs that have come together under a common organization.? It is important to maintain the unity nationally amongst the different bass fishing clubs. By maintaining the national unity and independence I think the direction of the organization will be much stronger in maintaining the goals and direction of the grass roots organizations.? The ability of TBF to be able to have the states vote insures the destiny of the organization is decided by its members.

ESPN/BASS has voiced its opinion that they won't have issues decided through a democratic process.? TBF is a democratic organization who has as one of their sponsors FLW Outdoors. ESPN/BASS broke its ties with TBF because of what was in the best interest of ESPN/BASS, not bass fishing. I feel TBF, the national organized grass roots organization is what's best for bass fishing.

Dave

« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 12:11:44 AM by Reelin Realtor »
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djkimmel

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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2006, 12:32:54 AM »

Hi Dave
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.

Reelin Realtor

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2006, 12:40:39 AM »

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canvsbk

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2006, 06:30:12 AM »

A little revolution now and then is just fine. It tends to clear your vision. I certainly wouldn't be overly concerned about strained freindships, a true freind doesn't go down the tube with you, he goes first to break your fall.
Of course it's about the money,on both ends. Nearly everything we do is, think about it. In the end the result will be the same as it is now,those 2 guys in the other boat, 1 with a U of M shirt and the other with an MSU on his will still be enjoying doing what they can to have the biggest sack at the end of the day.
My boat will still be 2 ounces shy of the money, regardless of what bank the checks are drawn on. And then we'll all be back there again next weekend.
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Dan

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2006, 11:13:06 AM »

Interesting article RR. Would like to see a picture of those nesting boxes. Trying to picture how the landscape timbers are securing the plastic drums to the bottom. Driven vertically in like stakes?? If they stick up wouldn't they become a navagational hazard. Just trying to picture them. Maybe our lake association would be interested. We have been having a problem with the bass in our lake. DNR have done a study and preliminary test results show LMBV. Should know more in a few months.
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MBell

Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2006, 04:47:45 PM »

Just sounds like a box that holds gravel for spawing, the box keeps the gravel from being covered by silt.  They do this in the Detroit river for sturgeon spawning. 
-Matt
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Re: Why I'm voting TBF
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2006, 10:30:09 PM »

My old bass club did this one spring in a large kid's fishing point. ~4x4 lined wood boxes filled with gravel. We saw bass using some of them the next spring.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.
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