I looked very closely at the new proposal from BASS and it made me think a lot about why they failed so miserably in the West and eventually pulled their pro tournaments out completely. There was this constant flux in the programs, all the time changing what was there for anglers to commit to and very little stability from one year to the next.
Why would the ESPN/BASS brain trust feel the need to fire up an entirely new program, their Federation Nation, when what we had was working very nicely.
What was missing was financial accountability from the parent company.
Personally I don't see added value in anything having much to do with their BASS Insider program and I wouldn't participate in University programs or their Field Tester Program either. That's all a bunch of window dressing that was very similar to the junk they used to mail out when you paid your corporate membership fees. A bunch of junk that wound up likely never being used so what the heck good was it.
As far enhancing the payback at the Federation National Championship, well... that was one of the original issues that was brought up by federation representatives. And the BASS smart guys didn't want to talk at all about it then, when it was still pertinent and important. Now, I might think differently if my regional representatives were still around and welcome to attend BASS meetings.
“The Federation Nation will share a common bond, a common goal, a fraternal feel and a vested interest in growing the sport,” said Don Rucks, BASS vice president and general manager.
News flash to Don Rucks, the Federations already had the 'feel' to them and felt so for a couple or more decades. The arrogant stance from BASS that has taken us to this point and time should have only served to strengthen that feeling across the country. It should have opened the greater number of state president's eyes to what disspationate people are now running the show at BASS.
My bottom line is simple. Rucks and company have already shown enough about themselves, their intentions and their passions to never be trusted again. They might try to take this 'new' approach and try to sugar coat the true reality a bit but the real 'truth of the situation' is already out of the bag and nobody knows it better then the anglers that supported the federation for years that got their walking papers and are still persona non grata with BASS as well as the group of anglers that for years supported BASS pro level tournaments in the West.
BASS turned and walked away and we should be happy to leave the relationship at that.