Washington Fishing

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Please find a copy of the most recent Northwest Bass newsletter.  As stated feel free to call with questions or additional concerns.



Welcome Northwest Bass Anglers!

Lisa and I would like to wish you all a belated Happy New Year!  While we realize that this communication is a bit later than usual, our reason for being tardy is VERY GOOD.  Drum roll please!!!!!!

Good News for All!

You may have heard the rumors, now here are the facts.  In December, the Washington State Department of Revenue issued a letter stating that Northwest Bass Events (and for that matter, ALL fishing tournaments) did not fall under the tax classification of “services and other activities,” but were instead “retail sales.”  Imagine our surprise, and the surprise of everyone we spoke with in the industry!  Needless to say, we disagreed with the DOR and have spent the last several months appealing their decision… and the $60,000.00 plus bill for back retail sales tax.  Should our appeal fail every organization that conducts fishing tournaments, big or small, for profit or non-profit, would be required to collect and pay retail sales tax.  For an industry that operates on a very narrow margin, paying out nearly 90% of income directly back to the anglers, this would be devastating! 

Fortunately for Northwest Bass and all fishing tournaments in the State of Washington and around the country, our sleepless nights and  determination, aided by a realistic administrative law judge and a knowledgeable (albeit very expensive) lawyer, insured that sanity won out over the ridiculous, and the DOR has verbally agreed that fishing tournaments do NOT qualify as “retail sales.”  The season is on!!!  The DOR is still “debating” internally as to where exactly we fall under the classification of “services and other activities” and the status of our current deduction for “cash and prize payouts,” but the biggest potential devastation has been averted.  In the coming weeks, I will provide you a detailed account of our efforts, as well as the final outcome.  For now, all of us, be it the small club, a private organization running an open event, a circuit or yes, even salmon derbies, can rest easy.  No new taxes!  (Please note that I did not say Read My Lips)

Ox Update

Most already know that Chase Heaton “The Ox” was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma shortly after the championship last year, and that anglers from Northwest Bass, teaming with B.A.S.S., Wave Away and anglers from the greater Pacific Northwest and throughout the country, spearheaded a fund raising effort  to send Chase to the Bassmaster Classic.  Thanks to your generous contributions, we were able to give Chase the experience of a lifetime.  I know that he and his family are grateful beyond words for how our community stepped up to support their family and their son.  I too would like to thank you for the heart, generosity and love you bestowed to the Heaton family.  I have said this before but it warrants to be said again… bass anglers as a whole are truly the best of the best. 

(As of today, Chase has just one more chemo session left.  After a short break, he will start up to 20 sessions of radiation.  The good news is that the cancer is in partial remission and the prognosis is very good----Good job OX, and keep fighting!!!)

2012 Northwest Bass Challenge Circuit

We look forward to one heck of a great year!  The 2012 Challenge Championship takes us to Banks Lake in September and we are pleased to announce that we will be awarding the winners of this year’s championship with a new Skeeter ZX 190 / Yamaha ZZ 150 HP boat package, presented by our primary alliance partner Nixon’s Marine.  This alone is unbelievable given the state of the bass boat industry and speaks volumes about the strength and creditability of Nixon’s Marine, their maintenance and operation staff, and most importantly, their ongoing dedication to the anglers of the Pacific Northwest.  Thank you, Jeff and Kathy. 

Circuit Format

As in the past, it will take four qualifiers to be eligible to fish in this year’s championship.  As a new twist, however, we will hold six qualifiers, thus allowing two drops.  AOY points and ROTY points will still be based on your teams highest five finishes.  This change is driven by the addition of a new body of water.  For the first time ever, Northwest Bass will be visiting the beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene!!!  My personal feeling is that ‘CDA’ will reap the heaviest weights of the year.  Typically, bags of 30 pounds are the norm in May and given the winter we had here in the Inland Northwest, I see no reason for this trend to disappoint.  I just love this lake and I know you will too!!!  Spicing up the schedule further, will be an August event on Lake Roosevelt.  And as you know, the River is always great, as is Lake Washington.  Potholes in early June… what more can I say?  More to come on these great contests as the year presses on.  You guys wanted new water to test your skills---well here ya go!!!!  

So everyone… welcome to Northwest Bass, or in many cases welcome back!!!.  The 2012 season is just around the corner.  I look forward to seeing you all very, very soon!!!!

Take good care and feel free to call me with questions or additional considerations.  Yes, I am actually answering my telephone again (especially if you are a lawyer or appellate court judge)!


Gary a.k.a. Stilen

(509) 499-8797


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Comment by Josh Potter on March 22, 2012 at 10:55am

Thanks Gary for all you do to allow us the priveledge to fish such an awesome circuit.

I saw the Ox last week and he looked great.

Comment by BigBass Dez on March 22, 2012 at 9:26am

One word sums up all your efforts regarding this matter gary ..."Heroic"  IMHO !!

See ya at banks brother :)

Comment by Chad Simon on March 21, 2012 at 5:46am

God Bless you guys!

Comment by D.J. LaRoche on March 20, 2012 at 8:49pm

Thanks Gary and Lisa.  Your hard work for all of us is greatly appreciated!  Now let's fish!!!!!!

Comment by Jordan Doucet on March 20, 2012 at 7:17pm

Thanks again for taking this on Stilen and Lisa. You have set a precedent not just for Washington Bass Anglers, but also for bass fishermen across the nation. I really appreciate all you do. 

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