Chris Bahl Chat 12/5/01

Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm Walleye Central welcome for Chris Bahl!!!!
Driftr - Welcome Chris Bahl!!!
Driftr - Clap, clap, clap!
Chatman - Clap! Clap! Clap!!!!!
Bad Finger - Hey Chris.
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - Welcome!
Clicker - Clap, clap!!
TBO/MN - Clap, clap!
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - Clap, clap!
Swat1 - Clap, clap, clap!!
Chris Bahl - Thank you everyone, sorry about the delay.
Chatman - Well Chris, Lot's of exciting stuff to cover tonight!! Lot's of changes I hear.
Chatman - Where would you like to start tonight?
Chris Bahl - I have been working hard since I got here.
Chris Bahl - What would everyone like to talk about?
Driftr - Chris, can you tell us about yourself first?
Chatman - Let's Talk a little about the Cabela's Championship 2nd...
Chris Bahl - Well, I am a fisherman by heart, family man, marketer!
Driftr - Chris, where are you from?
Chatman - Where do you call home Chris?
Chris Bahl - I am from Garden City, KS. I now call Sidney, NE home.
BobB(MI) - Chris, I also attended the WC Get Together. Thanks for the donations! I know everyone appreciated your involvement.
Chris Bahl - Man, what a great event!!! Wish the fishing was better. It was great seeing everyone!
Chris Bahl - Who wants to talk championship?
Swat1 - We sure enjoyed having you there Chris!
Chatman - Yes it was a great event! And if anyone was like me, you missed the hottest get together ever!
MURFA - OK Chris!
Chatman - But enough about Walleye Central.
BobB(MI) - Tell us about the tourney, Chris.
Chatman - Are there any questions for Chris tonight?
MURFA - Is MWC having a tourney at the same time as Cabela's Championship?
Chris Bahl - The Cabela's National Team Championship will be the premier walleye event in this country. I can't wait for you all to experience it.
Driftr - Chris, do you do any tournament angling?
fishJB - Do you work for Cabela's?
Swat1 - What do you have to do to be able to fish it Chris?
Chris Bahl - Cabela's will announce within the week, that we have become the title sponsor of the MWC. We are very excited about that and believe it ties in great to our team initiative.
Chris Bahl - I do fish tournaments, the RCL, and yes I work for Cabela's, Corporate, as the External Relations Manager.
Chris Bahl - You had to have qualified through a sanctioned association and/or organization for the 2002 National Championship.
Chatman - What does your job entail Chris?
BobB(MI) - Chris, why doesn't the Michigan Walleye Tour (MWT) count as qualifying events?
Chris Bahl - I manage all sponsorships, endorsements, and other external promotional efforts for Cabela's.
Swat1 - What does qualify as a "Qualifying Event?"
Chatman - Thanks!
Bad Finger - Thumbs up for joining forces with the MWC!
Chris Bahl - The MWT did not participate last year. However it looks good for next year. The MWT needs to be a part of the National Championship. It is a very tough circuit!
fishJB - Will Cabela's offer a Championship every year?
Chatman - Swat has a great question Chris. What are the qualifying events?
Type Name Here - What do you think of the RCL Championship, being in Redwing next year?
Chris Bahl - You need a well-established event, association, or organization. Invites are issued by number of members or participants.
BobB(MI) - Chris, MWT - looks good as "We're In" or is there something that still needs to be done?
Chris Bahl - We are going to announce the qualifying events for 2003 soon. I think the RCL at Redwing is great! Will Dean defend?!
Bad Finger - How many teams does Cabela's expect at Mille Lacs in May? Total with MWC?
Chris Bahl - We need MWT to send in their application!
fishJB - What about slot limits at Mille Lacs? Cull, no cull?
bob g - What did you have to do in the USFA to qualify??????
Chris Bahl - We are still trying to gauge the Mille Lacs event. We have expanded our staff for that event. It will be big.
Chris Bahl - 1st or 2nd in each of the regions for the USFA.
bob g - Is that 1st or 2nd in points or 1st or 2nd in place?????
Chris Bahl - Does everyone understand how the Mille Lacs events will work with the MWC?
fishJB - No.
Chris Bahl - First or second in points.
MURFA - No.
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - Not really.
Swat1 - No.
Bad Finger - Help?
BobB(MI) - Running concurrent, right?
Backwater Eddy..(ND) - Biggest gun?
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - How does it work, Chris?
Chris Bahl - The National Championship and the MWC tournament will remain two separate tournaments. They will just be running simultaneously. If you qualified for the National Championship, you may also fish the MWC event. Your weight will count for both tournaments.
Chris Bahl - We have a solid plan in place to give both tournaments the recognition they deserve.
Swat1 - Do you weigh in once or twice Chris?
fishJB - Weigh in at the same launch?
Chris Bahl - I believe you will be pleased.
BobB(MI) - How many teams qualify for the National Championship?
fishJB - Take off at same time?
Chris Bahl - Weigh once.
fishJB - Return at same time?
Chatman - It sounds like it could be a logistics challenge Chris..
Chris Bahl - Different launch sites, very close in proximity.
Chris Bahl - We have a former LT. Col in the Army taking care of logistics for this one.
Chris Bahl - He says we can do it!
fishJB - So the fish will be weighed on two different scales?
Chatman - Communications? Or Logistics in the Military?
Swat1 - Military Organization...... Look out...LOL!!
Chris Bahl - Return staggered, same locations. Flights will be grouped.
SUPERTROLLER - Couldn't you get a Navy guy? LOL!
Bad Finger - Why Mille Lacs and not Big Stone?
Chris Bahl - Logistics.
fishJB - Or is the National Championship scale weight transferable to the MWC weight for the day?
Chris Bahl - One scale.
Chris Bahl - Big Stone didn't work for both. I am a Big Stone fan and we will be there in 2003.
Chris Bahl - Yes.
BobB(MI) - Is MWC going to a "new" location causing problems with the regular tournament anglers?
Eye Guy - How many teams are you expecting?
fishJB - What about slot limits...have you heard?
Chris Bahl - We were bombarded by you anglers concerned about the two tournaments being on the same date.
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - Has the slot changed in 2002?
Chris Bahl - We are trying to accommodate the masses. The core of this sport.
Backwater Eddy..(ND) - A lot of anglers in my region will miss the Big Stone event.
Eye Guy - How many teams Chris?
Chris Bahl - The current slot limit is 14"-18", and 1 fish over 28 inches.
Chris Bahl - We will have 250 teams for our tournament. We are hoping for a good turn out for the MWC.
Chris Bahl - I want to be a part of the landmark event.
Eye Guy - And one scale?
Swat1 - There are getting to be so many circuits and tourneys now that anglers will have to figure out which ones they really want to fish.
Bad Finger - That slot is just for the winter. It is continually changing...any concerns?
Chris Bahl - Our tournament pays $200 for last place.
Chris Bahl - One scale.
SUPERTROLLER - Can you cull in these tournaments?
Chatman - Theoretically, you will have several, or many crossover teams though. Is there a cap o how many can fish?
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - I will be there, but only have two days to pre-fish, any suggestions Chris?
Chris Bahl - Mille Lacs is a cull lake right now.
BobB(MI) - It is going to be on ESPN, right?
SUPERTROLLER - Ok.
Chris Bahl - The permits say 450 teams total, combined.
Eye Guy - If you get 110 MWC plus your 250 that means weighing in one team a Minute, that's a 6-hour weigh-in!!
Chatman - Okay, thanks.
fishJB - Great point!
Chris Bahl - You'll have to come see how we do it. Forget the status quo!!
Eye Guy - What's first place pay and down how far?
fishJB - Even one every 30 seconds is three hours.
Chris Bahl - 1st for the NC is $25K plus two boats. We will pay through 250th place.
Chatman - Golden Walleye Classic in Canada is 300 (plus) teams, and the MWC has done some 300 team tourneys. It can be done. But I am curious too.
Eye Guy - What's the entry fee?
Chris Bahl - There is no entry fee for the Cabela's National Championship.
fishJB - Bill Guerini isn't handling the weigh-in!! LOL!!
Chatman - LOL!!!
BobB(MI) - Is there a website to check out the details of the National Championship?
Eye Guy - Chatman, so has Otter street and the Merc. Nationals. But look at the time it takes and the size of the locations!
Chris Bahl - Go to cabelas.com, links section.
Eye Guy - Eddy's is a great spot but I can't see 350 teams or more!!
fishJB - But we're talking at last 350 here!
BobB(MI) - Thanks.
Chatman - The Otter street in 1989 was also the MWC tourney and it did take a while, but not as long as I thought it would.
Chris Bahl - Think BIG!!! Don't get myopic on me. This is your event.
Eye Guy - We are thinking big.
Chris Bahl - Did I mention we are constructing a stadium on the banks of Mille Lacs with a Jumbotron?
BobB(MI) - If the bass guys can do them...why can't we walleye folks? Lolol!! I'm sure it will be done well and be a great event.
Chatman - Actually, with staggered flights, and maybe 4 scales, the weigh in can be cut to about an hour and a half to two hours. Not much longer than any other weigh in.
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - Chris, is Mille Lacs Lake like any Ohio Lakes?
Chris Bahl - How about the MWC Championship being at Prairie du Chien?
Chatman - We can also assume, then, that you and the MWC are working closely with the DNR to take steps to keep the release rate high?
Chatman - Barring another flood wrought year, it should be a good tourney at Prairie du Chien.
Chris Bahl - Mille Lacs is a natural lake, and a great place to fish. A lot of different techniques could be used to win!
Chris Bahl - Yes, we have a state-of-the-art live release system!
Chatman - Just a note, we are going to go as long as Chris can, or until 8:30, whichever comes first, as we started late tonight.
Chris Bahl - We plan to have a similar set-up for the World Championship!
Chris Bahl - I will stay all night if needed. I was late!
Bad Finger - Chris, the current slot of 14-18 with one over 28 will be reviewed before the opener in May. Any concerns? Historically, it has changed.
Chris Bahl - Of course we are concerned. However, we believe Mille Lacs is a great place for this event.
Chris Bahl - I believe the DNR will think of you folks.
SUPERTROLLER - Cross that bridge when you get to it. You make your tournament plans and go with what DNR says.
Chris Bahl - Great point.
Chairman - I don't think the DNR cares what tournaments are going on.
BobB(MI) - Chris, thinking way ahead, is the 2003 National Championship site picked yet?
Chris Bahl - Cabela's is very excited about the future of the MWC.
Chris Bahl - No, on the 2003 site.
Chris Bahl - What do you folks think about the current landscape of walleye tournament fishing?
Chairman - It is growing fast.
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - It's growing real fast in Ohio!
Bad Finger - I think there are a good mix of small, medium and large tournaments to choose from here in Minnesota. A great opportunity to "Work you way up!"
Chris Bahl - What do you like, not like? Next we will crown a National Champion and a World Champion Team in the same year.
Chairman - I think a lower priced pro-am would be nice too!
BobB(MI) - Hope the growth is sustainable - a la FLW, Ever start, and B.A.S.S.!
BobB(MI) - I agree, Chairman, like the bass Ever start.
bob g - Yes, priced right pro-am!
Chris Bahl - I think Operation Bass/Walleye is doing a great job on the pro side.
Chairman - Yes, give the guys a transition from a team to a Pro-am circuit.
Swat1 - Would the pros come for less money though?
Chris Bahl - Right now a professional golfer doesn't pay an entry fee.
Eye Guy - How will you name a National Champion?
Chairman - Sure, the earlier level. It takes several years to understand that format.
Chris Bahl - Through the National Team Championship.
ETT - Chris, they need to give the fishermen more opportunity to promote non-tournament sponsors products!
Chairman - And I think some run out of money before they understand it!
Chris Bahl - Great point Jim. However, they have created a tremendous circuit for us. The toughest competition, in my opinion.
Eye Guy - But what's the difference between the National Championship and the World Championship if they are the same event?
Chatman - I think some of the anglers that have a shot, do not effectively promote themselves, or get side tracked!
Chris Bahl - They are not the same event. We will crown a National Champion in the spring and a World Champion in the fall.
BobB(MI) - National is just USA...World invites Canadians! LOLOL sorry, couldn't help it.
Stacker - Champs of what? 
Swat1 - Unfortunately Fishing as a "Pro" doesn't necessarily mean you are the best fisherman!
Chatman - The MWC has always been the World Walleye Championship.
Stacker - Sorry, champs of what division?
Eye Guy - That's right Swat!!
Chairman - No, not in the early stages of the new walleye popularity.
Chris Bahl - Team Walleye Angling. Yes, the MWC has crowned World Champions for years.
Chris Bahl - It would be nice if we could get the Dutch in the World Championship.
Chatman - No Zander here though.....LOL!!
BobB(MI) - Zander-Man!
Chris Bahl - Same species. Stizostedion.
Stacker - Walleyes need better organization, similar to the bass circuits.
Chatman - Walleyes are big, Zander are bigger!!
Chris Bahl - I wish we had zander here. I could have used one at Green Bay!!!
Swat1 - How do you see it (walleye angling) ever changing when today's boats for competition are priced too high for the normal guy to afford? Even if they are one of the best fishermen/women?
Stacker - That's a good point Swat!
Den - True Swat!
Chairman - That is where the regional Pro-Am events would help.
Stacker - Yes, Chairman!
Chris Bahl - I agree. I hope that works itself out. The team series allows for a vast variety of boats to be used.
Chairman - You can earn the reputation there, and move up with sponsor help!
Chairman - Right now, I get resumes from anyone that ever fished!!
Den - LOL!
BobB(MI) - Swat, Bass is the same way. Only they're marketed more towards the grass roots. With lots of people in a "development" stage. A wider audience, too.
Chairman - And some that just talk fishing.
Stacker - Or move up because you deserve to!
Bad Finger - Swat, don't let that stop you. I fished the MWC in a 17 foot lunker with a 40 hp tiller when I started.
Chris Bahl - I believe the pro-am will weed themselves out. The cream is rising.
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - Chris, how do I get lake info and maps? I live like 18 hours away, this is a once in a lifetime trip for my partner and I. Would like to have something before I get to Minnesota.
Chairman - That is where the sponsors will come in.
ETT - Better organization must start with better(less selfish) directors.
Chairman - They will move the deserving guy/gal up on merit not on what they say.
Eye Guy - The National Championship leaves out the PWT and RCL Pros, right?
Chris Bahl - Cabela's sells them (maps), at cabelas.com. Also call Eddy's on Mille Lacs, I don't have their number in front of me.
Chatman - You were like me then Bad Finger, I fished from my partners 17 foot Four Winns fish 'n' ski or my 16 foot Tuffy Esox in my first MWC season....
Chris Bahl - NO, we will have several RCL pro's and PWT pro's who have qualified.
Bad Finger - Get the new Walleye Whiffer Map and punch in all the GPS coordinates.
Eye Guy - But how, if it's a team event?
Chris Bahl - We want to find out who is the best team.
Stacker - That was a king boat then Chatman!
Chris Bahl - They qualified as a team with a partner.
Eye Guy - In what event?
Stacker - It worked fine then and it will now!
Chris Bahl - Through several events around the country, we sanctioned 23 associations and organizations last year.
Eye Guy - If they only fish the big events, they can't get in.
Waterbug - I think that we will see a "stepping stone " effect in the Walleye game, state events, etc. That will grow the sport. Give anglers a place to step up to, just like the bass guy's.
Chairman - Yep, a boat is only a platform for us to do our thing from.
Chris Bahl - State events are doing great! That was our strategy with the National Championship. To give those anglers a place to compete on a national level.
Chairman - Some platforms are more comfortable than others though!
Stacker - I have fished against guys in bigger, fancier boats and beat them!
Chris Bahl - It is our hope that teams will use that to vault into the MWC and fish a national schedule.
Stacker - It's about commitment!
Chairman - A good experience for them too. Like the RCL at Green Bay.
Chairman - The boat is not the object. The angler catches the fish
Stacker - Yes.
Chatman - But, a good boat helps and a great boat is a joy to fish from!
Driftr - Chairman, I liked the platform you had at Huron! :)
Chris Bahl - The key is beating someone on water you are not familiar!
Chatman - Much the same as a good rod vs. a great rod.
Chairman - Especially when you get older! :-)
Driftr - Yep :)
Chatman - But you are right, all the best equipment won't help if an angler doesn't have a clue.
Stacker - Also, commitment and time in the game helps.
Chairman - Commitment is the key to the whole thing!
Chris Bahl - Fishing is no different than any other sport.
Bad Finger - Chris, will members of the MWC get any special discounts from Cabela's?
Chatman - A good wife is essential too!
Chairman - If you have to worry about finances and such, you won't fish as well.
Stacker - In the game today, there are to many anglers focusing on money not the Fish!
Chris Bahl - We haven't discussed that! ( :
Chris Bahl - Amen Stacker!!!
Stacker - Most directors are in that game now Chris.
WalleyeAngler - You are right Chatman. A supportive wife is very important!
Chatman - We have about 8 minutes to go. Has Chris Missed any questions?
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - My partner and I love to jig fish, and they say that Mille Lacs is set up well for this presentation.
Chris Bahl - Yes, great jig bite at Mille Lacs.
Chris Bahl - Chatman, can you give them some more time?
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - Fireball all the way!
Chris Bahl - Doing all right Sonny?
Chatman - Sure we can Chris...
Chris Bahl - Thanks for the time.
SonnyR - Been fine and busyyyyyyy!!
Chairman - Bay City did not sign because the River Roar is that weekend. Roger signed the contract himself!
Chris Bahl - I am glad to hear you have been busy!
Stacker - Chairman isn't it better from Au Gres anyhow?
SonnyR - Almost to busy, but things are working out.
Bad Finger - Chris, I assume Kaz will be up on stage like the old days???
Chris Bahl - I don't know on Kaz? He is in a business role I know. He is very important to us for what he knows.
Chatman - Oh, didn't think of that before. Say there is a long weigh in. It means many more bad Kaz jokes....... ;-)
Chris Bahl - Any other questions on the two tournaments? Any other concerns?
Chris Bahl - How about Cabela's questions?
Den - Chris can we get a list of rules and dates anywhere?
bob g - Where do you qualify for 2003 Chris?
Chris Bahl - That info will be posted on cabelas.com by Jan. 1, 2002.
Chris Bahl - Everyone will be at Detroit for the first RCL right?!!!
Chris Bahl - Any other questions about anything. I am hard to reach, you got me.
Chatman - Let's officially wrap this up, but please feel free to stay as long as you'd like chris
Chatman - If someone needs to get hold of you Chris, how do they go about it?
Chris Bahl - cbahl@cabelas.com or 308-254-5505.
Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm round of applause for Chris Bahl!!!
Bad Finger - Thanks Chris and Good Luck !!
Chairman - Thanks chris.
Chatman - Thanks Chris.
Bigfoot - Great job Chris!
Driftr - Cap, clap, clap!!
BobB Den - Thank you Chris!
(MI) - Thanks, Chris.
Chairman - Thanks, Chris!
Swat1 - Thanks Chris!
Den. - Thanks Chris, sorry I missed some of it!
Chris Bahl - Thanks Everyone!!! Friends!!!
EasyMoney_Ohio1 - Good night all, and God Bless!
Backwater Eddy..(ND) - Thanks Chris!
Den. - Clap, clap, clap!
SonnyR - Thanks Chris!
Chatman - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!
slickster - Clap, clap, clap!