How do I join?
The way to join our organization is by joining one of our local clubs or forming a club of your own, it just takes six members to form a club or click here to see the list of our clubs, and contact the member listed. You may want to contact several clubs in your area to compare, because each club is run a little differently. The best time to join a club is usually between December and March; however you can join many clubs any time during the year. If you have questions about starting a new club please contact the President at firstname.lastname@example.org or for starting a Junior club email@example.com
Who are we?
We are the official statewide organization for TBF (The Bass Federation) and FLW affiliated clubs. We are a non-profit membership organization. Our purpose is to take a leadership role among our members, the general public and youth in education and development of: fishing and boating safety, strategy and ethics; respect and protection of the environment; and an appreciation of basic rules of sportsmanship.
What do we do?
We currently hold multiple State run adult tournaments, plus our Junior State Championship annually in Wisconsin, including qualifying the top finishers from our Adult State Championship. Wisconsin’s State Qualifiers every year then competes in the TBF Divisional Tournament against other Midwest states, then sending at least the top two anglers from each state to compete in the TBF Federation National Championship tournament. We hold a State Convention each winter, and have Club Representatives meetings three times per year. We fund and qualify two youths from our Junior State Championship to go on to the Junior World Championships. We also participate in lobbyist and educational efforts to support conservation issues. With additional funding, we would like to conduct more statewide youth and conservation projects. At the local level, each of our clubs also conducts their own tournaments, as well as their own youth, conservation, and community service projects. Some of our clubs have even won national awards for their projects.
How are we different from other tournament organizations?
Although catch and release bass tournaments are a part of our Federation, they are not the only aspect. This is a grass roots organization designed for beginner anglers, as well as the advanced. One of the most important aspects of our clubs is that the experienced members fish with new members teaching them the sport of bass fishing while they compete. Even the most experienced bass fishermen learn new ideas each year by fishing with other anglers during competition. All our members compete as individuals, not pairs, so that our anglers fish with quite a variety of other people throughout the year.
Our tournament locations change every year, moving all around the state, so that our members learn new waters and new techniques. Participating in our Federation is much more affordable for the average angler than the big money circuits. Although money prizes may be involved at various levels, the money is not the primary focus of competition, and generally is of smaller value than other competitive circuits. However, there is still the opportunity for some members to do very well monetarily in the upper levels of competition. Our Federation is also about promoting the sport of bass fishing among the youth. Each of our clubs are required to do at least one hands-on youth project each year, and we participate in state and national youth projects as well.
Another main focus of our Federation is preserving the bass environment, and promoting conservation issues within our state. We participate in political awareness, work with our state DNR, and try to have influence on state legislature. In general, we are about teaching, fun, conservation, youth, sportsmanship, and competition; many other circuits are just about tournaments and money.
How does our tournament system work?
There are 6 levels of tournament competition in the Federation system in Wisconsin:
- Competition begins by fishing tournaments in a local club. The number of tournaments varies per club. All active members from each club may go on to the next level their first year.
- Wisconsin holds three one-day Divisional Qualifier tournaments in the spring to summer. A top percentage from each Divisional Qualifier tournament goes on to the next level. Members can fish one, two or all three of these events. Not only will a top percentage from each separate tournament go on, a top percentage of a combined points total from the best two of three will also qualify to move on.
- Wisconsin also holds a “best of the best” Mr. Bass Tournament each year. A top percentage from this tournament also goes on to the next level.
- The Wisconsin State Team competes against three other States in the TBF Divisional Tournament that fall. The location of this tournament rotates between the states each year. The Wisconsin members compete win prize money, however, the top two finishers from Wisconsin will go on to the next level the following spring.
- Two or more Federation members from each state team compete in the TBF Federation National Championship each spring. The country is divided into seven divisions, and the two best finishers from each Division will go on to the next level as determined by TBF.
- The top winner form each Division at the National Championship gets to fish in the All American, and one lucky National Winner will get to fish in the FLW Cup and will be crowned with the “Living the Dream” package.