Possible GBCF Move From BASS To FLW Will Be Decided This Month
Larry Lewis, president of Georgia Bass Chapter Federation, will meet with other state presidents to decide if the Federation needs a face lift.
Will the Georgia Bass Chapter Federation (GBCF) continue to be part of the Bass Angler’s Sportsman Society (BASS) or will it become part of FLW Outdoors? A few years ago that thought would have never occurred to anyone in the State Federation, but recent actions by BASS have made some anglers upset enough that an affiliation change may soon happen.
Due to a dispute over membership dues, state Bass Chapter Federations are discussing whether to stay with BASS or try to find some other organization that will meet their needs, like FLW. There is also a possibility the Federation will become independent of all national organizations and become a stand-alone organization.
Georgia State Federation Board members polled their clubs in early December, and 83 of the 105 clubs said they would support any action taken by the board. Another 12 chapters said they supported the board but wanted more information, and only two said they wanted to stay with BASS no matter what happened.
In a December 10 meeting the Georgia board decided to hold dues until an agreement is reached with BASS or some other group. Normally, dues are required by December 31.
All Federation state presidents will meet at the Federation National Tournament January 9-14 at Harris Chain in Florida to discuss what’s best for the Federation. Several organizations including BASS and FLW will make presentations there.
In response to all this, BASS requested a phone conference with the Federation’s state presidents on December 13. GBCF President Larry Lewis said this two-hour call resulted in BASS making some concessions, and they agreed to meet with the Federation at the national event to further discuss solving this problem.
Problems between BASS and the Federation began three years ago when BASS tried to eliminate the five amateur slots at the Bassmaster’s Classic. These slots were reintroduced after an uproar from the Federation, but it left a sour taste with the Federation. Another complaint with Federation members is BASS raising Federation dues by $5. This was done without consulting with anyone in the Federation. The seven-member Federation board protested the increase and asked their members to send dues to the state, rather than to BASS, and the state would send the dues to BASS depending on the outcome of the January 9-14 meeting.
Because of the Federation withholding dues money, BASS kicked the seven board members out of BASS, and said they could not hold any office in a BASS-related organization and could not attend BASS functions.
Larry said BASS could have avoided this whole situation by working through the Federation about the $5 increase in membership dues. Larry said the state presidents will try to make a decision based on what is best for the fishermen in the Federation.
BASS also said any state withholding dues would be punished by not allowing their fishermen to fish the Federation National Tournament at Harris Chain even though they qualified for this tournament before the dues controversy with BASS.
This stand-off continues, but no matter what happens the GBCF Top-Six will be held in April.
For more information visit http://fishing.about.com/od/bassclubs/a/bassvsfed.htm
Editor’s Note: Ronnie Garrison served as a GBCF director for 18 years and still fishes with two affiliated bass clubs.
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