Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

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TheFLY
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Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby TheFLY » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:12 pm

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1. Why has the Wild West Bass Trail (WWBT) been sold? Gary Dobyns and Matt and Angie Morgan founded WWBT. It has been three years of hard work for all involved. Gary is now moving his home and business to Texas over the next six to nine months and the Morgans are going to dedicate more time and energy to expanding their American Crappie Trail in the Central and Southeastern United States. The time was right for WWBT to transition to a new group of dedicated, Western stewards.

2. Who are the new owners? WWBT’s new ownership group has chosen to remain private and out of the spotlight, allowing WWBT events and media to place one hundred percent of the focus on the West’s best anglers and its dedicated sponsors. WWBT is owned and operated in the West by team devoted to keeping it in the West.

3. Who will be running and directing WWBT events? WWBT is not interested in wholesale change. WWBT wishes to continue its success while retooling and honing its product for 2018. To those ends, Jeremy DeHart will remain on board with the WWBT as its General Manager and Director of Operations. Jason Bubier will continue to serve as the Tournament Director for all California team events and now for all Pro Am events. Longtime tournament pro Shane Moline will serve as the new Tournament Director for Arizona team events.

4. Will WWBT still be televised? Absolutely. Television coverage of the Wild West Bass Trail Pro Am and Team Championships, along with the Western Classic Championship, will be available to the viewer on the Pursuit Channel. Combined with the network airings, there are YouTube video links and live internet weigh-ins at the events. This will include a full production weigh-in, angler interviews, sponsor commercials, billboards, highlights and multiple venues of social media to maximize our partners’ products and brand impressions to the viewer. The Pursuit Channel reaches into 47 million homes and is adding full HD every quarter. As of spring 2017, Pursuit Channel is upgraded into full HD on DirecTV and AT&T.

5. Will WWBT still have a live show? Yes. The Wild West Bass Trail Live broadcast kicks off on Friday of each Pro Am event and runs through the final awards ceremony on Sunday. WWBT Live is not your typical web stream. Our viewers both online and on location are presented with a multi-camera production of the weigh-in with added anglers’ insights during each flight. Fans can tune in at http://www.wildwestbasstrail.com on any device.

6. What is WWBT’s mission and purpose? WWBT has not changed its mission and purpose. WWBT’s mission is to promote and advertise for the highest quality companies and anglers by providing premier competitive fishing events in the West for nationwide viewing. Anglers and sponsors combined will showcase their skills and products with the most innovative television, web, print and social media available. Put simply, we exist to:

a. Promote our western anglers;
b. Promote our sponsors; and
c. Promote western fisheries and host destinations.

7. Will WWBT’s schedule change now that there is a new ownership team? No. The WWBT ownership transfer has been a friendly, collaborative project occurring over approximately four months in an effort to maintain its existing schedule, relationships with host lakes, cities and governmental entities, and sponsors. The WWBT schedule will not change from what has been posted on our website.

8. Will there be a change in WWBT Sponsors? Sponsors can and will change on a year to year basis. That is the reality in the fishing business as well as any other business from which our anglers come. However, WWBT is dedicated to maintaining all existing sponsorship relationships. At this juncture we do not foresee any significant sponsorship changes for 2018. In fact, we hope to be able to announce a couple of new sponsors for our anglers in the upcoming weeks.

9. Will Gary Dobyns and Craig Gottwals have any role in the new management? No. Both Gary and Craig have truly enjoyed their work with WWBT, but both are ready to stop watching the WWBT anglers catch fish and get out on the water to fish alongside of them.

WWBT knew that Dobyns could not compete against WWBT anglers as an owner. It would have been bad for business. His efforts were designed to launch this circuit and to see it succeed. Gary will still be in California until the April to June timeframe as he moves his business to Texas. He is also going to keep a home in northern California. In addition to assisting the new ownership team in the transition, Gary plans to fish all or nearly all of WWBT’s Pro Ams in 2018. It could be Gary’s last year to compete in Pro Am events in California and he is eager to do so one last time. Numerous times during 2016 and 2017 anglers approached Gary and other WWBT personnel and asked why Gary wasn’t fishing. The majority of anglers expressed that in order to be the best, they wanted to beat the best and “take Gary’s entry fee!” In 2018 anglers will have that opportunity.

Gottwals, on the other hand, simply wants to donate his entry fees out of the kindness of a benevolent heart. He has enjoyed his time as an emcee and host and will assist WWBT in securing a replacement. He will also be available to fill in and support WWBT in its media efforts on an as needed basis. He too plans to fish all of WWBT’s events in 2018.

10. What will happen to Last Cast with Gary and Craig? The award winning (Jeremy bought them dinner once) and critically acclaimed (Richard Dobyns told them they weren’t the worst fishing show he’d seen) show featuring WWBT anglers and techniques will continue in 2018. Dobyns and Gottwals will now take their live show to the air (and via podcast) twice a month. They’ll cover all things bass fishing with a focus on the Western half of the country (yes, Texas is in the left half) and an emphasis on the WWBT. WWBT winners and winning techniques will be featured along with WWBT sponsors, management, anglers and locations.

11. Will there be Rule Changes in 2018? Yes. WWBT will have a few rule changes in 2018. Those changes, however, are not due to the sale. Those changes are part of WWBT’s ongoing effort to continually improve its product for the anglers and sponsors. The rule changes will be a direct result of the angler survey conducted in September and October of 2017. Both the new and old ownership team crafted that angler survey and have worked together to ensure all changes are for the better. The new rules will be posted on our website and linked at http://www.WesternBass.com on or before December 1, 2017.

12. Will the WWBT Payout change in 2018? Yes. Simply put, Dobyns and the Morgans added money to every payout in 2016 and 2017 in an effort to bolster boat count as much as possible. WWBT regularly paid out over 100% at team evens and 108% or 109% at Pro Ams. With the inclusion of Ranger Boats and Evinrude motors at the Championships, WWBT paid well over its standard 108%. At its present level of sponsor support, WWBT cannot maintain 108% payout. WWBT must continue for the western anglers and, therefore, it must sustain itself. Thus, WWBT’s 2018 payouts will be 90% or better at each event.

We are still finalizing our budget but are fully committed to keeping angler payout at or above 90%. WWBT strives to provide the highest possible payout. As our budget allows and sponsor support grows, we will continue to reinvest that back into our product by augmenting media coverage and bolstering angler payout.

If any anglers are uncomfortable with that we truly regret that we may lose their business. Nevertheless, at 90% per event, WWBT is highly competitive with all similarly priced professional fishing events nationwide.

basshol
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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby basshol » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:09 pm

Is that 90% plus contingency

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TheFLY
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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby TheFLY » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:15 pm

Greetings Basshol,

The 90% minimum would be inclusive of all contingency programs that WWBT has negotiated with sponsors for WWBT anglers. I know that has always been a huge part of the WWBT philosophy and it was how they were able to lure some of their larger sponsors into the West.

However it would not include contingency dollars that anglers win from their non-WWBT sponsors such as Toyota Bonus Bucks, Triton Gold, BassCat, etc. Those would end up bringing the payback up over 90%.

It also would not include the boats given away at the championship events. Those dollars, too, would bring payout up over a 90% threshold.

-Craig

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby zethkinnettfishing » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:24 pm

When does registration and all open? I heard there is a nwe website coming in Nov but Nov. is basically over.

J.Bubier
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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby J.Bubier » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:45 pm

Thank You Craig for the Clarification, but "Benevolent" was a pretty big word for you.... hehehe, looking forward to weighing your bags again this season, let's shoot for Gallon Sized bags this year instead of the quarts size ziplocks like last year ;), have a great holiday my friend....
Jason Bubier
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ajbubier@sbcglobal.net

Diesel Guy
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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby Diesel Guy » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:18 am

I would first like to commend you on this post and the openness/honesty. Appreciate you laying things out there for us(good or bad). It's appreciated.

Secondly, I fished WWBT last yr for the first time last yr and was extremely disappointed with the constant "on the fly" inconsistencies and changes in a multitude of areas. I personally am happy to see there are changes that were made(not pointing fingers). We have decided to give the circuit another shot this year in hope all the bugs are worked out. Appreciate all the hard work everyone involved does for us anglers. Thank you!

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby scubaman » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:16 am

I don't understand why all the cloak and dagger on the new owners. Gary Dobyns name brought a lot of creditability to the circuit. Personally I would like to know the owners. I think this is a mistake in holding this back. Just my opinion.

2. Who are the new owners? WWBT’s new ownership group has chosen to remain private and out of the spotlight, allowing WWBT events and media to place one hundred percent of the focus on the West’s best anglers and its dedicated sponsors. WWBT is owned and operated in the West by team devoted to keeping it in the West.

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby TheFLY » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:47 am

Thank you Jason. As to my benevolence, I've also been called nobler than Oedipus, clairvoyant and toothless! But hey, what the hell! :D Gary and I will also fish the Nor-Cal 90s this year even if I have to fish one or two alone while he's back and forth to Texas. So yeah, there's likely to be more ziplocks. :|

Thank you too Deisel. One thing I learned last year in helping out at WWBT is that change is CONSTANT and Sh** Happens! Every event, every piece of equipment, every weather variation, power surges, lake closures, you name it. I have endless respect for all tourney orgs at every level now. It was banana-town at times. And yes, I know the new crew and the remaining crew will work hard to smooth out that turbulence as WWBT sails on.

I get it Scuba, but I can assure you that the intent is in no way to be sneaky or nefarious. The new owners are just low key folks who don't want to be out there at this time. I suspect that will change in the months to come. To help dispel some of the myths out there, the new owners are not folks who have ever owned a tournament org before. As I understand it they just have some logistics and red tape they must work through before they are engaged. I can also assure you that when/if they ever come out to be in the spotlight, the angler response will be, "huh, okay." In other words, it won't be and isn't a big deal. It's just that some folks may be in the midst of other things in their life that keep them from wanting to be hands-on with a new business venture.

But that is why the best news in all of this is that Jeremy DeHart, Shane Moline, and Jason Bubier and Family have been announced as the management team for WWBT. With Shane, Jeremy and Jason we have the old and new: folks that were at every single event last year as Operations Directors, Tournament Directors and even Pro Anglers.

I've fished many events, had my car fixed, and bought goods and services from countless businesses when I don't know who the private owners are. What matters is if I'm treated fairly, respectfully and if I am getting a quality product. Jeremy, Jason and Shane will ensure that the WWBT product is as good as can be in 2018.

Hope to see you all on the water!

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby TheFLY » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:42 pm

zethkinnettfishing wrote:When does registration and all open? I heard there is a nwe website coming in Nov but Nov. is basically over.


Answer: As soon as humanly possible! Today is the official closing date on the sale and there are many moving pieces flying around. Funds are being wired and web domains are "transitioning" - hey like Gary, transitioning! ... (to Texas that is.)

WWBT's original intent was to move the web page over earlier as you've probably seen from prior posts. But I just received word that there could be a new landing page with some more updates as early as tonight or as late as early next week. Rules should be up with that update. Honestly, I'd tell you the exact changes if I knew them all but folks were really torn on a few nuances as late as Tuesday.

I'm assuming registration will be open shortly after the new landing page launches. I know we all want to get signed up.

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby zethkinnettfishing » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:37 pm

thanks

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby TheFLY » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:27 am

From the Wild West Bass Trail Facebook Page:

"Hey WWBT fans!, Registration for the 2018 season will be live on the new WWBT site on Tuesday, December 12th at 12pm PST. We will send out a notification to all anglers when it opens. If you have never fished with us, 2018 is a great time to start!"

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Gary Dobyns
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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby Gary Dobyns » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:27 pm

Scubaman, the new owners have reasons to be behind the scenes. As I've said these guys are industry people and did not want to see WWBT go away or even change. Again, these guys are in the industry and things don't always line up with "sponsors". The new owners want to remain anonymous for now. Matt, Angie, and myself signed a non-disclosure agreeing to this. It's their wish an we must honor it.

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby jiggin4bass » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:58 pm

With Basspro shops buying up the boat companys and cabels makes you wonder did they come to ca and buy up wwbt.

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby zethkinnettfishing » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:53 am

"ANGLER GPS: Co-Anglers are not allowed to carry GPS systems. They may not use cell phones during competition unless in an emergency situation. Co-Anglers will articulate to the Pro and then call the Tournament Director in such emergency."

The problem here is that one of the most popular scales used for culling connects to a cell phone via blue tooth to record weights. So are you saying that this is not allowed? https://www.connectscale.com/

Also, so as a co-angler I cannot use navionics app to determine where I am, depth etc in cases where the boater has the graphs turned off in the back but leaves his on in the front thus providing a significant disadvantage when fishing offshore or over deeper water?

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby kmah » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:11 pm

Looks like rule 46 on the 2018 Rules.

https://www.wildwestbasstrail.com/2018-rules/

Based on how’s it written, your interpretation is correct. No use of a cell phone unless it’s an emergency situation.

I always turn my graphs off when I stop teams or Pro/ams. The large screens eat up a lot of battery power. Under this rule you would not be able to use a mobile device.

Ken

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Re: Wild West Bass Trail 2018 Season Questions & Answers

Postby TheFLY » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:38 pm

An updated logo and new look to site - I like it guys, well done! Cleaner, crisper color scheme with simpler user interface.

https://www.wildwestbasstrail.com/

Registration opens in just over 19 hours.

Any truth to the rumors that the new owners are also in the process of purchasing BASS and FLW and making those circuits feeders into a WWBT Elite Series?

:lol:


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