SWBA and SBS Combine Forces

The SWBA and SBS are constantly trying to plan each seasons schedule to keep anglers excited about each other’s event.

Unity and willingness to work together promises a bright future for saltwater bass fishing!

As the 2015 SWBA Season wound down at the Abu Garcia Championship last September, anticipation for the 2016 schedule release was already building.

After some unreal record setting performances, the well-received formats and popular venues, bass anglers were anxious to see what was in store for 2016.

With 2 established circuits already holding court from San Diego to Ventura, it seemed a perfect time to mix things up, but how?

After approximately 12 years and 75 saltwater bass tournaments under the SWBA’s belt, being ‘creative’ with a schedule can come at the cost of fringing on ‘corny’ if you’re not careful. While not all of the venues have knocked it out of the park over the years, the old saying, “No Risk, No Reward” has always been a factor when planning out the year.

We decided to take that risk and sat down with Gerry and Maria Mahieu of the SBS to put our collective heads together, which opened up a whole new set of possibilities.

If you could have heard some of the ideas tossed around initially, you would have thought we were going nuts! It actually got pretty comical there for a while, but after a few months, a few dinners, and countless conversations and emails, we finally carved out a plan that we felt accomplished the goals of making our fishing tournaments more fun, competitive, and angler friendly, while continuing to grow the sport of inshore bass fishing even further in California.

While many fisheries across the country see new tournament circuits pop-up and share the same bodies of water, it often dilutes the pool of competitors, while vying for supremacy.

The SWBA and SBS have combined with common interests and goals in mind, which we is a good thing! One of the cool by-products to come out of these meetings was the ideas left on the table for future consideration. And while the SWBA and SBS will remain independent organizations, the unity and willingness to work together promises a bright future for the entire sport of saltwater bass fishing!

The simple concept behind the 2016 collaboration was ‘cross-participation’. By offering anglers the ability to pick, choose, and ‘throw-out’ events, both series have become more user friendly, creating a dynamic that will push anglers to create strategies well before the season even begins!

Here is a brief explanation of how things will play out for 2016 on the SWBA side.

  • There will be 5 open SWBA events offered, with a Tournament of Champions for the top 20 points earning teams.
  • A ‘Standardized’ points system has been adopted between the SWBA and SBS. 100 points will be awarded for 1st place, 99 points for second and so on. 20 ‘Show-Up’ points will awarded for competing teams not weighing fish
  • To qualify for the TOC, teams must fish a minimum of 4 SWBA and 1 SBS event of your choice. (Teams may fish all 5 SWBA events, but must fish a minimum of 1 SBS event to qualify for the TOC)
  • If team(s) wish to fish all ‘5’ SWBA events and the required ‘1’ SBS event, you may use your best ‘Top 5’ scores towards Anglers of the Year / Tournament of Champions.
  • Teams are allowed to fish as many SBS events to better their score, but may only carry over ‘1’ score into the SWBA points standings. SBS teams competing in SWBA will not be required to pay membership dues for their first ‘2’ events. At the 3rd event, they will be required to pay the annual $40 membership per angler.
  • The Anglers of the Year award will require a minimum of 4 SWBA events and 1 SBS event. As an incentive, SWBA will ‘randomly’ select 5 teams to fish the SBS Championship! To qualify for this selection, teams must fish a minimum of 4 SWBA events and ‘2’ SBS events. This draw will take place at the last SWBA ‘open’ event of the 2016 season. In the event a team(s) qualify for both Championships through the points race, and is also ‘randomly’ drawn at the final event, we will re-draw for the next qualifying team.
  • And finally, if teams wish to fish in both circuits with different partners, and would like to compete ‘1 man down’ for the required 1 SWBA event, they must identify their scoring intentions prior to the start of that event. For any clarification on this, please contact us.

The SBS will be offering a VERY similar format, however, with the 3-region format there is a slightly different dynamic. To read all about those click this link. ‘SBS Fishing’

We hope look forward to seeing all our dedicated anglers, as well as new ones and some that might have been m.i.a and are ready to come back.

SWBA Staff



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