If you like bass fishing, [if your reading this blog you probably love bass fishing] then get involved! It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s a lot of work at the same time, but the self pride you get is unmatched in anything you will do in your bass fishing.
Here in North West Louisiana we have an organization that builds funds through donation and a single banquet. These funds are then used to help rebuild local docks, purchase items for the local Wildlife and Fisheries (things like GPS units), kids fishing programs, help stock local lakes with fingerlings and even run a fish hatchery in association with the Wild life and fisheries. You name it, if it deals with fishing; Bass Life Associates has probably helped in one way or another. One of the biggest parts of the program (and probably why it originally started) is the Catch and Release program. If you catch a bass between 8-9 pounds Bass Life will pay half of the cost of a replica, if you catch one between 9-10 pounds they will pay three quarters and if you catch one over 10 they pay it all.
Bass Life Associates isn’t some big corporation; it’s a group of folks that just plain love bass fishing and wanted to do something to help give back to the area lakes. Our meetings consist of everyone getting together and brain storming ideas on how to raise funds and then to use those funds to build better fisheries in our state. We have the normal Pres, Vice, Treasurer, and Secretary; most of the folks in these positions were railroaded there. We are just local fisherman that want to improve our already great fisheries. The reason I go on about the averageness (not a real word) is that anyone can do this, and your area could benefit from you getting evolved and starting your own program, it just takes a will.
Our biggest fund raiser is the Bass Life Banquet. We sell tables (that seat 10) to area business that are willing to support the area fisheries. The cost of these tables is a tax deduction as we are a nonprofit organization and the table cost is considered a donation. The dinner is catered and some of the best seafood you can have. We sell raffle tickets in two different categories that are different prices but you can win everything from a cooler full of tackle to a john boat (all these items are donated so the raffles sales goes into the funds).
Every year for the banquet, we purchase an aluminum boat decked out for bass fishing and sell only 100 tickets at $100 each. Your odds of winning are greatly improved because the minimal number of tickets sold. At the end of the night, they pull five tickets from the hopper and bring those five people up on stage. They empty the hopper and put just the five tickets back in. At this point, we also bring an auctioneer up on stage and the crowd can purchase one of the tickets from the owner (if the owner is willing to sell it). After the action stops a ticket is pulled from the hopper and if it’s yours, you lose. This is a last man (or woman) standing drawing. Now it’s down to just four in the hopper. The auctioneer comes back up, and the fun begins again. This happens until your down to just two folks on stage. Even if you’re not on the stage, it’s a lot of fun to watch. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen folks sell their tickets for 3-4 thousand dollars.
Our annual banquet is coming up in just two months. I would greatly appreciate if everyone that has a facebook account would swing by and like our facebook page, and the photo of me with the 12 pounder I caught last fall. Bringing awareness to the program all over the world will only help our cause.
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