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chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome our guest tonight! John Brett of the USFA
chatman - John, can you briefly tell us a little about the USFA?
John Brett - Well, I'll try. I started it eight years ago for walleye fishing because there were not any reasonable cost tournaments for weekend fishermen. The only thing that existed was PWT and MWC. It has grown and expanded since
chatman - Can you tell us a little about the structure of a USFA circuit?
Dan(MI) - Why can't the USFA compete with the Michigan Walleye Tour?
river king - are you considering dropping the entry fee for the PTW down a little???
John Brett - No we are anticipating keeping it the same for the time being. The payout is excellent.
Dan(MI) - John when there are only 8 teams in championship for Mich. the payout stinks
river king - yes but participants are quite low
John Brett - Dan we were there well before the MI Walleye Tour, but a series of two bad directors got us to be low man instead of leader.
LS(nd) - John, are there any boundaries for the PTW championship at Sakakawea
dennis - JOHN BRETT LETS KEEP THE BOUNDARIES FOR THE UPCOMING PTW CHAMP. THE SAME AS THE QUALIFYING TOUR. WE HAD 2 WEEKS AGO AT FORT STEVENS ND.
Dan(MI) - John I love fishing, but may only do Lake Erie circuit next year and skip Mi. all together
river king - I think a lot more guys would fish the PTW if entry fee was around 400 dollars or so
John Brett - We are looking for a new director in MI and that will help greatly, Dave Kidd was just a stop gap this year and since you are all coming so fast I can only answer one at a time
John Brett - No boundaries on the championship. NO need you all have big boats.
chatman - Good point, let's try not to swamp our guest
The Truth - I didn't fish the PTW, but I like the $650
Dan(MI) - Why do you leave it to your directors to advertise, can't you put it in Cabelas, or Bass Pros catalogs
The Truth - I will fish next year
river king - let us know when you want another question then chatman
Sheila - I like the high entry, higher payout for PTW
chatman - We can self police it I think, but thanks king
river king - how many did you fish this year Sheila???
John Brett - $650 offers an excellent structured payout and if you are fishing mid week you need that. $400 level would be good for an upscale weekend tournament
Sheila - just one PTW, but I liked it
river king - yes john but 20 teams is not very good
John Brett - Cabela's and Bass Pro don't cooperate because they have their own or sponsor PWT. We do advertise in In Fishermen Walleye mag and local pub.'s
The Truth - Brett still in the house?
LS(nd) - John, the whole lake is off limits until next Tues. then? Sakakawea I mean
Dan(MI) - Could you advertise in Michigan out of doors, or Woods n water news, a lot of readers!!!
John Brett - 20 to 30 teams the first year of any high dollar circuit is very good. Not what we expected but I think next year will grow.
river king - lets hope it does
chatman - Will having a familiar core of directors help a little John?
John Brett - Yes the lake is off limits until 7 am Tuesday.
LS(nd) - OK
Sheila - How many teams will be in this Year's Championship at Sakakawea?
John Brett - We are trying to stabilize our directors in the East as we have in the west after the spring fiasco. I believe we are on our way to a good group. But remember there are a lot less walleye fishermen in the east.
river king - are you mailing invitations to the PWT championship john???
John Brett - Right now I believe 30 to 35. We had 5 boats go down at Lake Erie last week.
Eyez - evening folks.
Reefer - what?
John Brett - All the invitations are out and we have called most of the qualifiers.
The Truth - Are you going to change PTW next year.
chatman - For those who may be unfamiliar, can you explain the steps to qualify for the PTW Championship?
dennis - 5 BOATS WENT DOWN AT LAKE ERIE. THE SAME THING COULD HAPPEN HERE WITHOUT BOUNDARIES.
John Brett - I will be running the championship and the Classic. Two weeks in ND
river king - what do you mean 5 boats went down
John Brett - I don't have the qualifiers here I am home. But you can e-mail in the am and I will let you know
The Truth - Any new sponsors for 2001?
dennis - THERE IS APPROX. 85 M TO 100 MILES TO RUN HERE AND WE DO GET BIG WAVES ON THIS LAKE.
Dan(MI) - John, just doing the Mi. circuit, I like the format, I just wish you could get at least 50 teams.
John Brett - We watch the weather and will not let that happen at Sak. The lake Erie thing was more of boat driving. the weather was beautiful with less then 3 mph wins and waves less than 1 foot. I ran it
John Brett - We are working on sponsors now
Reefer - sure wasn't 1 ft where I was.
John Brett - Dennis, I have been there twice before. NO boundaries unless there is a wind problem.
river king - you mean 5 boats sank at Fairport they must have been really small boats
river king - little more than 1 footers
SONARS - JOHN If money is short will you allow certain sponsors to own the tournament?
Dan(MI) - Did you fish it Reefer
John Brett - It was 1 ft according to the coast guard the rollers are not considered waves or a serious chop
John Brett - Sonars, I am not sure what you mean
Reefer - oh, ok...just like it was less than 2 sat
John Brett - The boats didn't sink. The broke motor mounts, rivets etc. But to be honest most of them showed up that way by their own admission
chatman - The Coast Guard is where you get your wave information from then? John? Do you also use the near shore Marine Forecast?
The Truth - Why did you sale the bass circuit?
John Brett - VHF forecast and I check with the coast guard.
slip-bobber(MT) - be nice river
John Brett - Not really.
river king - I was there slip there was only a few tin boats
slip-bobber(MT) - lol
John Brett - There were three aluminum's to go and two of them came from Montana PWT that way.
slip-bobber(MT) - amazing
slip-bobber(MT) - that tournament had pretty calm water
Dan(MI) - John who determines where the state circuit fishes each year?
John Brett - Being an old salt water fisherman where I grew up in Conn. It was almost flat. Just long rollers that you would have had to quarter.
chatman - I find it interesting though, that rollers are not considered as part of the wave height
slip-bobber(MT) - me too chatman
John Brett - Basically the director gives us the schedules, we only check to make sure the site is popular and it is not conflicting with anything else. We select the championship site
Dan(MI) - I've never heard that before
chatman - Rollers are much harder to run in comfortably than a chop
river king - there was some pretty good rollers there chatman
LS(nd) - Will the rangers have motors on them for the championship....1st & 2nd place ?
The Truth - Brett, Did you fish any Old Salty tournaments in Conn?
John Brett - I wasn't on the water so I don't know. Some said it was easy others said it was tough
Dan(MI) - Any prospects for Michigan Directors yet?
chatman - I am all too familiar with wave forecasts being off a bit, I cut my teeth fishing off Milwaukee
John Brett - They will be 617vs rangers and trailer only
Dan(MI) - Not me Roy, I like to fish too much.
John Brett - Yes we have two good prospects for Michigan directors
SONARS - The big tournament in GREEN BAY allows the anglers to use their own equipment the first days but then the qualifiers must use someone else's boat and equipment so those sponsors get the bragging rights
Dan(MI) - Thanks John Good Luck
river king - research them john
chatman - Are there to be any new sites in Michigan, or the same as they are this year
John Brett - I am planning to. They are both guides and PWT fishermen, but we are still interviewing.
Reefer - John: any plans of additional publicity, angler support and planning for next year?
John Brett - No Michigan will be moving inland and on the big lake. We had no choice this year it was just a stop gap measure
Reefer - on the PTW.
John Brett - We are always seeking more angler support and we are planning on local publicity.
Dan(MI) - John, the MWT cost 240 for 2 days, yours cost 115 for 1, MWT has full field of over 100 usually.
chatman - Reefer, I would think publicity is also dependent on the motivation of the tournament director
Guest - Sonar your wrong about the RCL at Green Bay If you make the cut you'll fish in the same brand boat you qualified in
Reefer - I agree chat., but they have to have resources at there disposal.
SONARS - yes that's true but what about the electronics?
John Brett - I not sure what you mean about the comparison. In MN and WI we are usually over 100. In SD and ND we are pretty much max for the population base.
Eyez - is that for
John Brett - You will fish in the same brand boat but not your boat
Eyez - TW?
Guest - I believe they will be Garmin
Dan(MI) - All I'm saying is your competing against an excellent established circuit, I'd like to do both.
Guest - that's right John
John Brett - They are talking about the RCL, not my bag
Dan(MI) - And I'm saying for the same cash in the MWT the payout is better with a bigger field
John Brett - They haven't even given me a schedule yet and we are suppose to be there
Eyez - I meant the entry numbers you mentioned John.
river king - are you going to try not to schedule tourneys at the same time as others next year
Reefer - schedule for what?
The Truth - for what?
SONARS - BINGO since we will have a lot of boats using our sonar to locate fish why should Garmin get credit
Guest - They may be paying the bills. Ever thought of that
John Brett - Yes the payout will always be bigger for a bigger field. We have no plans on raising the Team walleye entry fee. Right now it is affordable for the working people and that the way it was designed. We have the PTW for those with more resources
Sheila - there ya go
The Truth - Not even a little raise in the fee?
SONARS - Genetron
The Truth - sonars you on your own chat?
Eyez - I already pay 130 cause I always register late :)
slip-bobber(MT) - lol eyes
SONARS - not even offered
The Truth - sorry
Eyez - Maybe this is a loaded questions, but... What's the payout percentage of team walleye John?
The Truth - Brett, any plans to move up north?
John Brett - Sorry my computer went blank
The Truth - sure
SONARS - I asked john a question maybe you missed it
chatman - Please repeat your question SONARS....
The Truth - did you pay your Internet bill?
John Brett - The payout at Team Walleye is 80% plus the State awards raises it another 10% and then if you throw in the boats its way of 100%
Eyez - boats -- you mean at the championship?
John Brett - I don't know what happened I tried to send a reply and it would go. I had to erase and now I forgot what I wrote.
SONARS - if you run short of money will you allow sponsors to control equipment
John Brett - Yes
John Brett - Answer to the sponsor equipment no
The Truth - are you short of $?
Dan(MI) - John, what is the probability of having a weigh-in trailer at each tourney, that draws a crowd.
river king - that's personal
Eyez - K, I know you guys have a large operation to run, I don't fish tourney's for the paycheck. It's for the fun. but I was curious.
John Brett - I tried to say before Kalkaufen said that Team Walleye is an excellent training ground for he PWT, They pay attention to it on applicants resume.
The Truth - I joking
John Brett - The weigh in trailer is an arc, ask Wayne. He's hauling it now. It will be at selected events and we are going to a smaller trailer system next year.
Dan(MI) - Thanks
chatman - Smaller in able to be at more tourneys, or have more of the trailers available John?
Dan(MI) - John like you said about the training, it is true. Thanks to the circuit I've become more proficient
SONARS - all manufacturers expect their pros to sell product
chatman - That is the basic way being sponsored works, if a Pro does nothing to improve sales or promote their sponsors, why sponsor them
John Brett - If you want sponsors you have to learn to sell product, not win tourneys. They want people that represent them and there product. More sales more money more sponsorships.
SONARS - bingo again
John Brett - That's true I was with ABU GARCIA for 8 years and we select our pros based on their sales prowess just as much as their fishing ability
The Truth - good to know.
Dan(MI) - John, can I fish the PTW next year without sponsors?
The Truth - Is Quad Cities official?
John Brett - Presenting yourself and fishing mid field is a lot better than winning every event and being sloppy and can't talk.
John Brett - Of course you can fish without sponsors...why not
Reefer - all it takes is entry fee
chatman - I suppose the same can be said of a tournament M/C
Golden - Hi John, it's Scott Golden. I know people have been asking about the way results are put online, next year can we get weights and a short
paragraph on how the tourney was won? People like to see that stuff.
John Brett - Quad Cities is official, we signed today.
river king - most of the tourneys I've fished this year I've had people asking about my boat. my point is we might not be sponsored by a company but people see us using the equipment and have a tendency to buy that brand
Dan(MI) - I agree with Golden.
Sheila - Me 3
Eyez - me 4
John Brett - Scott, no problem as you well know we are just getting our feet wet, so to speak, this year.
Golden - I figured it wasn't a problem, just wanted to let you know what they like to see
The Truth - it looks good but the weights would be nice.
John Brett - Put a band aid over the boat name
Dan(MI) - I like the point system category though, you know who your up against!!!
chatman - The complete package, weights, placement, where and how
river king - was that a smart remark there john???
Swat1 - Hi Drift'r
John Brett - We are working on a system that will up load it to our site and you Scott, right now it is manual. We should be able to run an interface
John Brett - River King, just joking my goodness is everything that serious.
Golden - Let me know what I can do to help. I'll let you get back to the chat.
chatman - Hey Driftr
slip-bobber(MT) - I would like to talk to you later about that system John--We have same problem in Montana circuit.
John Brett - thanks Scott I'll keep you posted on how we are doing.
Dan(MI) - John, anything new for the publication?
Sheila - and when Scott's not fishing, he'll keep us posted too - -)
John Brett - Slip just let me know. My e-mail here is firstname.lastname@example.org
The Truth - Any plans for Montana, Brett?
Golden - lol Sheila
slip-bobber(MT) - Thanks John
Ness - good thing someone lets me know what's going on... I'm lost enough :-)
John Brett - If we can find a director, it is logical for us to be there. Two years ago we tried and got locked out by the club there. Kind of back doored so to speak.
slip-bobber(MT) - not all together true
Dan(MI) - John, what about USFA contributing to clubs that stock fish?
The Truth - Your too busy winning bass tournaments :)
chatman - - - John Brett - Gonna go another 10 min John, any other topics you'd like to bring up?
The Truth - I saw the post today
Ness - Hey, it was a rough tourney... hostile natives :-)
John Brett - I am not sure what bass tournaments has to do with it, I don't fish for bass if that's what you mean.
Swat1 - From what was said in recent messages here on the board I'm sure you would want to run a tourney circuit in Montana anyhow
The Truth - it was for Ness
Ness - He was talking to me.....
Swat1 - make that Wouldn't!!!
The Truth - Brett, comp. freeze again?
John Brett - We tried working with the circuit (club) up there and qualified people from their tourneys, but then they wanted us to take their people without contributing to the pot. I wasn't involved but that is the message I got from Jim that worked for
Dan(MI) - John, anything new in the publication?
Swat1 - Seemed like they were sure up in arms over what amounted to a pretty poor catch to me Slip
John Brett - Dan, what do you mean
slip-bobber(MT) - I was in the middle of that John
John Brett - the truth, what is Brett comp. freeze again?
slip-bobber(MT) - The limited amount of people that wanted to be associated did enter into pot
slip-bobber(MT) - I was one of them
John Brett - At my age my fingers aren't as nimble as yours and my answers seem longer
The Truth - never mind. I did see you writing anything.
slip-bobber(MT) - I'm with you there John
slip-bobber(MT) - Eyez - I know he doesn't. Kind of neat to watch him squirm isn't it?
chatman - We have about five minutes more, any last questions for our host tonight?
Dan(MI) - John, I like the publication, just wondering if you planned on anything additional new writers, winning tactics? etc.??
Swat1 - Who will be running the Erie Circuit next year John
The Truth - BTW it looks nice in color!
SONARS - JOHN thank you for the candid answers!
John Brett - We are trying but it gets increasing tougher to find walleye stories. We are paying good money but the supply is short.
Dan(MI) - OK.
river king - we have writers here john
Swat1 - Who runs it will determine if I as well as others decide to fish it again
John Brett - Dave Kidd is still planning to run Lake Erie, but I haven't had much time to talk with him. Red Childress will be running PA and will be venturing a few tourneys to Erie too
Dan(MI) - John, you've never had a story on Michigan waters!!!
Golden - I may be able to help you there John, drop me some e-mail before you get ready to go to print.
John Brett - If I have some writers there send a query. We need them
river king - are we due for a walleye central magazine Scott its been awhile???
chatman - What areas/waters would you like to see Dan?
John Brett - I understand that and if you feel there is a problem talk to me.
Golden - it's "under construction" I promise
Dan(MI) - John, I will e-mail you and see what we can come up with
John Brett - My goodness Scott's got enough to do.
Sheila - I'm taking off, John thanks so much for the chat!!!
The Truth - lol
Golden - LOL, sleep is a huge commodity for me
Sheila - Great job.
chatman - Well, ladies and Gentlemen, the time has come to thank our Guest, John Brett of the USFA
John Brett - We send them out and if we don't get them back, they are delivered
The Truth - thanks Brett
Dan(MI) - Chatman, I'd like to see Detroit Rvr, Lk Erie, then maybe BaydeNoc, and a western lake, like maybe Lake Macatawa, or Houghton Lake
river king - if you sell the subscription then you should have time to print it
Golden - Thanks for your time John, if I can be of any help in the future just let me know.
Dan(MI) - Thanks John
John Brett - Anytime you want me up again just ask, I really had fun and I enjoy laying it on the table
river king - thanks john
Eyez - Thanks for the chat John.
John Brett - anytime enjoyed it
slip-bobber(MT) - Thanks John
Dan(MI) - John, what's your e-mail again?
John Brett - during the day it is email@example.com at night it is firstname.lastname@example.org
Driftr - RK , how did you do
Dan(MI) - Oh OK, so many tourneys not enough time, or money lol
John Brett - Good-bye all and thanks for the opportunity to talk