When we started this site back in March, 2012 Pete Robbins and I set out to document the history of the sport, as written in the original How BFA Started. We wanted to document the anglers, the lures, equipment, boats, organizations etcetera. What started out as a fun gig talking about history quickly developed into a never-ending rabbit hole that I got sucked into.
My background on the subject was pretty deep, or so I thought, and I never imagined what others reading this site might bring to the table as far as historical knowledge. After writing over 1,000 pieces for the site, it occurred to me that my original knowledge of the sport was maybe equivalent to the first 3 layers of a yellow onion. I was just at the surface but, thankfully, many readers offered their knowledge and an opportunity for me to learn from them.
Unfortunately, life has a strange way of redirecting your energy, either willingly or non-willingly, and I had to stop writing. In roughly July, 2015, I made an announcement on the site that I wouldn’t be adding any new content except for the occasional piece by other writers and went to deal with life in general. By 2017 the site was in such disrepair – patches had not been updated, software updates had not been downloaded and atrophy – I ended up taking down the entire site in its whole. It was a tough decision but I hoped that someday I would have the time to bring it back to life. Today is that time.
So why the change? Well, for the last two years I’d been mulling the thought of bringing the site back on my own. Then a few months back, former BFA writer Pete Robbins, who is also on the board of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame (BFHOF), contacted me asking if I was interested in resurrecting the site and maybe coordinating with the BFHOF. That put a fire under my ample rear and gave me the initiative to get the ball rolling.
But it wasn’t as easy as it should/could have been.
Over the last five years I’d let the BFA domain expire and in that someone else got the URL. So, instead of being able to jump back into it with the same URL, I had to purchase a new URL – something that was close to the old one. The other obstacle was I had let my hosting account lapse, and therefore my website was no longer in the ether. Thankfully I had saved nearly everything we had done over the years as Word files.
So, here we are, a new URL, a newly designed website, and most all of the old articles and information are back online.
Things have changed here a bit at the Bass Fishing Archives since July, 2015. Mainly I have a job that no longer frowns on a social media presence and my work travel schedule no longer has me away from home for 80 percent of the year (pre-COVID shutdowns). Another change is Pete Robbins will probably not be contributing as much as he did in the past. He’s become one of the premier writers for a number of rags as well as starting his own blog and various other responsibilities.
Something that won’t change is Brian Waldman’s contributions to the site. In fact, Brian has been keeping the BFA brand on life support for the last five years through the BFA Facebook page I forgot to take down when I took down my personal Facebook page. Small miracles do exist and I’d like to thank Brian for his efforts, especially over the last year.
Regarding the future, Brian and I hope to bring you all some interesting history as we revamp and rekindle the pages of the Bass Fishing Archives. As usual, there will be the old historical pieces you became acquainted with during version-1 of the Bass Fishing Archives. In version-2, though, we are going to include a lot of contemporary history, stuff that may have only taken place a couple years ago, to ensure that it’s properly documented and pontificated on. Finally, we welcome comments on each post, suggestions on subjects to write about, and even freelance authored pieces that fit the theme of the site.
This second time around we are going to try to monetize the site. The reasons for this are twofold. First, we would like to be in the position to pay freelance writers for their work and two, the site should be able to pay for itself rather than out of my personal bank account. In order to accomplish this goal, we need you as readers to help. First off, please share this site and its content as much as possible. We are in an age where social media can make or break a business. More eyeballs that see our site the better position we are in to approach advertisers. Secondly, if you see affiliate links on the site to shop at Bass Pro, Tackle Warehouse, or any other fishing related business, please use them to make your purchases. When you do, we get a little kickback that will help defer the cost of running this site.
Thank you all for taking the time to read about our journey and for stepping back on the train with us. We look forward to rekindling old relationships as well as making new ones.
May you always have a tight line,
Terry Battisti and Brian Waldman