Tennessee Bass Federation
Tennessee Bass Federation Wins National Award
At recent ceremonies held during the Bass Masters Classic Week, the Tennessee Bass Federation was awarded the Federation Outstanding Achievement Award for the Best Overall Web Site. Jason Risley, web designer for the (www.tnbass.com) website was on hand to accept the award for the TBF at an ESPN/BASS banquet from Don Corkran, National Federation Director. The following is part of the statement Don made before making the presentation to Jason:
“As the world of technology grows by leaps and bounds, it is important for the Bass Federations to keep up with the changing times. Our ever-growing presence on the World-Wide-Web enables us to communicate with our members, and attract new members in ways like never before. The only award that is given out at the Federation Level, verses the club or chapter level is for Federation Outstanding Web Site. This is the third year we have had this award and it goes to this Federation for its clean, easy-to-navigate design and an attention to detail that make deep website features come to life. Of course, the site also adheres to the bass requirements—proper branding, links back to Bassmaster.com and links to BASS sponsors on almost all pages. The club and board of directors are well organized with photos and email links. Particularly impressive are: the site’s use of calendars and event results, the easy to follow links, attractively tabled results, photo galleries from each event, easy to use message board, and a host of helpful external links.
All in all, the website does an impressive job of organizing an incredible amount of information.”
The TBF would like to thank Jason Risley for a great job on the website and for all the time and energy he donates to the Tennessee Bass Federation.
Three Tennesseans inducted into the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame
On July 31, 2004 three Tennesseans were inducted into the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame at induction ceremonies held in conjunction with the BASS Masters Classic. The Tennessee trio included Earl Bentz, Harold Sharp, and Billy Westmorland. George Cochran, from Arkansas, was also added to the Hall of Fame this year.
Earl Bentz grew up in South Carolina and spent his early years working for his uncle’s marine business and driving racing boats. Later he raced for the Mercury Racing Team in Oshkosh, WI winning 9 national and 2 world titles. In 1975 Earl went to work for Hydra Sports in Nashville and started a long relationship with the folks in Tennessee. In 1983, he started his own company, Stratos Boats, Inc and more recently in 1996 founded Triton Boats. Triton Boats are recognized as the industry leader in both fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats and is the official boat of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.
Earl serves on many fishing industry and conservation boards and has a true love for the great outdoors that many industry leaders have long forgotten. Earl has had a long-term relationship with the Tennessee Bass Federation that we appreciate and hope will continue into the future.
Harold Sharp was the second member of BASS and organized the first affiliated BASS chapter in January of 1968. That chapter was the Chattanooga Bass Club. Harold served as president of the Chattanooga Bass Club from its organization until November 1970, when he resigned and moved to Montgomery, Alabama to go to work for BASS.
For most of his years at BASS, Harold was the Tournament Director and served in that capacity until January 1987. As tournament director, Sharp established and coordinated the format for the Bass Masters Classic “drive-in weigh-in”, the Bass Masters Classic Outdoor Show, MegaBucks, BASS Invitationals, and BASS Federation tournaments. He also directed the entire BASS tournament department for 17 years.
Those in attendance at the ceremony will not soon forget Harold’s comments about how important the State Federations are. Thanks Harold!!!
Billy Westmorland is the first member of the Hall of Fame to be inducted posthumously. Bass fishing lost a legend when Billy died on September 29, 2002. He made his reputation specializing in smallmouth bass, but was very successful fishing for largemouth. Westmorland was one of the most consistently successful tournament anglers of his time, earning money in more than half of the tournaments he entered and finishing in the top 50 in two out of every three events in his career.
Billy Westmoreland loved smallmouth bass and his home waters, Dale Hollow Lake.
It was a great night for the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the Inductees, and Families. It was also a great night for the folks from Tennessee.
Jr Bassmaster World Championship
On Monday July 26, 2004, two young men from Tennessee had the thrill of a lifetime. They got to go fishing in the same boat with one of the 2004 Citgo BASS Master Classic Contenders on Lake Norman in North Carolina. They fished out of not just any boat but one of the Triton TRX 21 Classic Boats with the new 250 HP Mercury 4 Stroke Verado motors. The Jrs got to use the same boats that the Classic contenders would use just a couple of days later on Lake Wylie during the BASS Masters Classic. Kevin White of Collinwood, TN (11-14 Age Group) drew Mark Kile from Arizona and Nick Kelly from Brownsville, TN (15-18 Age Group) drew Paul Elias from Mississippi. I don’t know who was more excited Nick and Kevin or their parents. Tommy and Cindy White from Collinwood and Sammy and Patsy Kelly from Brownsville are great folks and it was enjoyable to spend some time with each of them. Since both of these fishermen are so young, we could be seeing them again in the near future in the Jr BASS Master World Championship or maybe even in the Classic itself. Nick and Kevin both represented what is best in the youth of Tennessee. They are not only good fishermen, they are good citizens and young people we can all be proud of! I would encourage all adult TBF clubs in Tennessee to consider supporting a Jr Bass Club in your area and lets get more kids out on the water fishing. For more information contact Brenda White, TBF Youth Director. Her contact information is located on the TBF Web Site (www.tnbass.com).
The 2004 Tennessee BASS Federation State Tournament is set for October 7th, 8th, & 9th, on Loudon / Tellico Lakes. Entry forms and fees are due in by September 8th, 2004. After this date there will be a $50.00 late fee. Clubs that have qualified have until 15 days prior to the first competition day of the State Tournament to get their entry forms in. After that date the next club or clubs in line will be invited. The official launch ramp will be the ramp at Concord Park just off of North Shore Dr. The weigh-in will be held at the Concord Marina. To find directions to these locations go to www.tnbass.com and click on the Events calendar, click on Oct 8th then click on State Tournament information. There is a map of the area that will help you find the place. Keep in mind that Thursday October 7th is registration day and the lakes are “OFF LIMIT”. The host hotel is the Signature Inn, 209 Market Place, Knoxville, TN. To make reservations call 865-531-7444 and identify yourself as being with the Tennessee Bass Federation. The rates are $55 per night for a double. Each room has a microwave and a refrigerator / freezer. In the mornings during the tournament day’s breakfast will open at 3:00 AM. In the afternoon they will have popcorn and cookies available in the lobby. I would encourage each club to fill out the online application. Then you can send in your $200 entry fee plus $5.00 for each member that wants in on the big fish pot to:
Ed Bryant, Vice President/Tournament Director
1505 Frances Street
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464.
This will be a good time to bring the family as there is a lot for them to do in and around Knoxville while you are out fishing. All other dates, times and places will be posted as soon as they are finalized. Check back on the website often for further tournament information.