How it All Began
The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society® Chapter program began in 1968 with the affiliation of the first B.A.S.S. chapter, Chattanooga Bass Club. Since then the program has grown to more than 2,500 clubs with approximately 45,000 members. These B.A.S.S. chapter members are the grass-roots fishermen dedicated to the future of bass fishing.
Realizing that a collection of chapters could accomplish more and have a stronger voice on issues that affect the future and preservation of bass fishing we decided to unite them. In 1972 nineteen state federations were installed and so began our B.A.S.S. National Federation program. Currently there are 49 federations in the United States, Japan, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Shortly one or more provinces in Canada will be added to that ever expanding list of federations.
Federation members also have another common interest, tournament fishing. These weekend anglers enjoy the B.A.S.S. National Federation Tournament Trail because it is the only amateur circuit that leads to the prestigious B.A.S.S. Masters Classic® where they compete against the top 35 professional fishermen each year.
Every year NYS B.A.S.S. Federation qualifies a twelve man team that will attend the following year’s Bass Anglers Sportsman Society National Federation Eastern Division Tournament. The trail leading up to qualifying for the state team is a highly competitive but still fun trail of four points tournaments from which 10 of the state’s 12 Man Team qualify through a points/weight system. The other two positions are obtained at the annual two day Club Team Event, where each New York B.A.S.S. affiliated club sends their six best anglers to complete as a team based on their internal club tournament trail qualification process.
The B.A.S.S. National Federation Eastern Division Tournament is the second step of the four that Federation members follow which will culminate in the BASS Masters Classic Tournament. This event pits the twelve best anglers from each state in the Eastern Division against each other to narrow the field to eight winners, one from each state. These winners then proceed to the Wrangler®/B.A.S.S.® National Championships™, step number three, where five winners, one from each division, get to participate in the Classic®.
The B.A.S.S. National Federation Eastern Division. This Division consists of eight states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Ontario Canada and of course, New York.
Today federation members are actively pushing for better conservation practices, introducing kids to fishing, conducting community service projects and promoting fishing throughout their communities.