WONBASS responds on WB
[size=10pt]FROM HUTCH TO ALL OF BLOVIATORS!!!!![/size]
To all Western Bass readers -
Due to the high volume of feedback, I wanted to come back on to the Western Bass site and re-address the changes that WON BASS is making for the 2009 season.
In 2008, WONBASS held 6 pro-ams, two team championships and the US OPEN. In each event WONBASS with our sponsors awarded a fully-rigged boat and paid out 80% of our entry fees to our pros, making the total payback with the boat far in excess of 100%...and typically around 130%. The exact percentage of total payback varied according to the number of signups at each event.
In 2009, we started our season early in September of 2008. Much of our actual planning and decisions are made much earlier than that in order to get our permits and schedules out to the fishermen. While our sponsors verbally communicated to us that everything looked good and that they were again interested in being involved with WONBASS, they did not anticipate the dramatic downturn in the marine industry that was to come. As the economy and credit worsened throughout the year, our sponsors were forced to make drastic changes in their businesses, and their marketing budgets. As we all know our economy in general has been very hard hit, and the marine industry has been hit harder than most due to the perfect storm scenario of a horrible economy, credit crunch and high than normal gas prices.
As a result decisions and commitments came very slowly this year and that continues to still be the case. This is a year unlike any other previous year in that regard, as companies continue to struggle with their businesses. Just a couple weeks ago we finally got the final decision that we would be getting five boats in total for WONBASS and not the nine we had received last season. Given the economy this seemed to us to be a very strong commitment to our fishermen and to WONBASS, but it left us with many decisions to make regarding our circuit and no time to explore other options. We felt it important to keep our obligation to the team anglers who are allotted 2 Nitro Z7 Mercury Combos for the team championships. Likewise, we needed to keep the upgraded Nitro Z Boat for the U.S. Open boat at Lake Mead, and we had already awarded one boat in the first southern tournament, leaving us with one boat to award in the remaining pro-am events..
Not feeling comfortable with running events without our standard 100% or better payback and faced with closed or lower water level lakes in the south, we opted to cancel the remainder of the pro-am events, and for this year to hold only the one event in the south we had already done and the one in Shasta in the north. Again these are highly unusual times and we assumed that our fishermen would understand.
With prime dates for the Delta and Clear Lake a staff available we though it might be fun for to do some lower priced, stand-alone events. Instead of a lesser version of our existing pro-ams with lower payouts, we opted to introduce a new type of big fish format that pays back in several different ways. Will this format appeal to all? No. Will this be a fun event with a great payback? Yes! Please read the full details of this event below before thinking this is an event for only the Pro angler and the AAA will get back seated.
Some have criticized our decision. Tough times call for tough decisions and if my call has upset you, I apologize. WON BASS has been pleased to serve our anglers for the past 20 years and will continue to do so. I will tell you that we are already working on plans for next season with and this time around we will be better prepared. We have a Nitro Z7 Boat & Trailer with a Mercury Motor all set to go for our Shasta, and it is going to be a great event and we really hope that everyone will try and fit it into their plans.
Some have questioned the payback on these new LOWER PRICED events. The payback for the Big Bass Challenge event at 76.19% event is fair although we are being criticized for grossing around $21K. Add in expenses and salaries and this is not that much folks.
It appears that some are abuzz about West Coast Bass, whose payback is also exactly the same as the WON BASS Big Bass Challenges at 76.19 % per event. According to my math, this is a grand total $35,000 that West Coast Bass is keeping per event.
(The AAA payback column is incorrect on their website – it should be $31,100.) I guess I don’t understand how it is O.K. for one organization to charge you more and take more of your money, but WON BASS charging less and making less of a profit is not.
If it is all about paying $640 as a pro and $340 as an AAA angler for a pro-am circuit, then great. WON BASS can do exactly that in 2010 and if we did we would PAY A LOT MORE BACK than West Coast Bass is planning to do. I guess we’ll see how it goes……
Furthermore, our decision had nothing to do with weighing 1 fish verses 5 fish or said staffing requirements. In a big fish contest, there is only a need to weigh 1 fish and not 5. We didn’t change our pro format, and these are simply events we added to try and fill the void for some after the pro-ams were canceled.
So, in a nutshell, we are offering two stand alone events that offer cash prizes and many opportunities for skilled anglers to cash a check. I think it provides a good opportunity to get out and fish. We look to be back on track in 2010. I hope this clarifies the situation. For those who still have questions, please feel free to contact me at (949) 366-0030.