The Bass Federation announced today the Grand Lake Association and the city of Grove, Okla., will host the 2013 TBF Federation National Championship. The event will be held April 8-13, 2013 on Grand Lake and launch out of the new Wolf Creek Park in Grove. It’s the culmination of more than two years of work for most of these anglers, competing against the nearly 25,000 members in TBF clubs across the United States and Canada to earn their invitation. Only the best anglers from each US state federation, the Association of Collegiate Anglers National Champions and the Canadian Champions earn a slot at the national contest. There they’ll test their skills against the grand lake fish and each other, in the nearly quarter of a million dollar event.
Each angler competed locally to qualify for the 2012 no-entry fee TBF Divisional Championship Series. The top two anglers from each state federation at the divisional championship series advance to compete in the no-entry-fee 2013 TBF Federation National Championship at Grand Lake.
“We are excited to be hosting another National Championship in Grove at our new Wolf Creek Park Launch Facility,” said Bruce Johnson, City Manager of Grove. “This is another great tournament that will continue to enhance our region as a top fishing destination.”
Once again, grassroots fishing’s most prestigious event will be held in conjunction with an FLW Outdoors Tour stop taking place just across the state line in Beaver Lake, Ark. Three official practice days will be held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 8-10, followed by three days of competition held, April 11-13. The entire field will compete Thursday and Friday with weigh-ins lakeside at the new Wolf Creek Park in Grove, Okla.
The field will then be cut to the top boater and co-angler from each of the seven TBF divisions. The final day weigh-in will be held at the FLW Outdoor’s Expo at the John Q Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Ark., Saturday, April 13. The expo will offer festivities for both events. The National Champion boater and co-angler with the heaviest three-day cumulative weight will be crowned at the Expo.
“We’re excited to return to Grand Lake as it holds a special place in the Federation’s history,” TBF National President, Robert Cartlidge, stated. “Grand Lake was the site of the first national presidents meetings, and host to the last six man team national championship in 1980. The Federation hasn’t been back to the fabled fishery for a national championship since that event 33 years ago.”
In 1980, the championship was won by a young Oklahoma Fisheries Biologist named Ken Cook from Meers, Okla. The win launched what would one day be Cook’s legendary fishing career, which began in the Oklahoma Bass Federation. In 2013, another up and coming angler will look to do the same, as grassroots anglers from across the country set their sights on advancing beyond the federation’s grassroots ranks. This is the event in the fishing industry that can make it possible.
“Thirty-three years is a long time not to visit such a great fishery, but to be honest we had outgrown the facilities,” Cartlidge continued. “Until recently, when the City of Grove had the vision to build a new state of the art facility at Wolf Creek Park. This is definitely a case of build it and “they” will come. I applaud the city and lake association leaders for their vision. We are thrilled to be on our way to Grand Lake in April.”
TBF National Championship anglers will compete for their share of nearly a quarter of a million dollars in cash and prizes. Every TBF championship angler will receive a check and other prizes. In total, 16 berths will be awarded in two of the sport’s most coveted events – the Forrest Wood Cup and the BFL All-American.
“We want to thank The Bass Federation for coming to Grove for this prestigious tournament and we look forward to working with them to have a great event,” said Marty Follis, Mayor of Grove.
The top boater and co-angler from each of the seven TBF divisions will advance to the 2013 BFL All-American. The TBF Federation National Champion boater and co-angler will also advance to the world’s championship of bass fishing, the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. In addition, the winning boater will receive the $100,000 “Living the Dream” prize package to include, a prize check, fully paid entry fees on the 2014 FLW Tour as a Tour Pro, travel expense stipends for each event, and use of a “Living the Dream” wrapped Chevy truck and Ranger boat for the year, as well as, other sponsor merchandise.
The TBF National State Federation Presidents and Conservation Directors convention and annual meetings will also be held in Grove, Okla., in conjunction with the event.
“This event is another feather in the cap of Grand Lake and we are excited to help sponsor this tournament for the economic impact this event will have on the region and the national attention the fishery will get,” said Tad Jones, Executive Director of the Grand Lake Association.
Coverage of the TBF National Championship presented by the National Guard will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBCSports network and streamed live on, www.bassfederation.com, all three days.
The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF), is the oldest and largest, organized grassroots angling organization in America. TBF is 100% owned by those it serves and is dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events at the local level each year, and have provided the foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for nearly 45 years.
Image courtesy The Bass Federation