Named at this year`s American Fishing Tour National Championship, ABA Hall of Famer, Bob Medeiros earned the “King of the Hill” title for the eleventh year! Started around 1993, the “King of the Hill” is presented to the director with the highest average number of participants during each season. The award is presented each year at the Director`s meeting at the National Championship.
Medeiros joined MBAA – Military Bass Anglers, in 1985. He became the director of his local division 5, in Massachusetts, to attempt to build the numbers of anglers in that division. In the early years, the division only averaged about 22 anglers and found it hard to add to that number due to so many other tournament organizations in the area. For some, the draw format looked interesting, and they came on board a few at a time.
“For me, the compelling reason I continue to be involved is the camaraderie I have with not only my anglers here in Massachusetts, but with friends I have made at National Championships for these past 27 years, from divisions all across the US”, said Medeiros. “I enjoy the traditions that have carried over from the former MBAA trail to hold our military personnel in highest regard and recognize them every time possible”, continued Medeiros.
“I think my anglers enjoy fishing our division because they too want to come to a tournament, sign in, get on the water, and have fun… but at the same time, they see that we are organized & we never forget it`s their tournament trail… we just run it for them. Constantly putting the anglers in the spotlight is what I believe helps to maintain our success as a one of the most well-attended divisions in the ABA. We prove this out because many of our anglers that joined us in 1985, still fish with us today”, he said.
“I know every tournament division across the US has their own set of limitations they have to deal with in regards to their particular location. Living in the northeast is a challenge when it comes to fishing. Although we don`t have a closed fishing season, we have a smaller window
when it comes to tournament scheduling. So, with that being said, I always schedule two early birds in the fall, and start up again in April and end the tournament year with seven one day events and a 2-day division championship. Fishing some of the smallest waters in the USA, coordination with the other trail organizers is critical in order to prevent scheduling conflicts. We all know, we`re drawing from the same angler pool and making their lives easier with tournament scheduling is one of our goals”, he said.
“Depending on the Championship location, I`ve had as many as 10 anglers, along with their significant other, attend the event. Long hours behind the windshield is never a deterrent
& after a day or two of rest, they`re raring to fish. Most of the time, an average of 6 to 7 will be attend”, said Medeiros.
“I won our first King of the Hill Award in 1998 with the MBAA. I didn`t set this as a goal my 1st year because I didn`t even know it existed until I was awarded it that year and since then,
we have won it 11 times with the ABA. However, I do set goals and although the King of the Hill award is in the back of my mind, my main goal is to conduct the best trail for my anglers and whatever comes after that is gravy. Competing for this award against some of the best directors the ABA has to offer, is not an easy task at the age of 72, but I still love to compete for it. I`ve often said, without entirely plagiarizing the film "Field of Dreams," if you build it, they will come. Although, I`ve been recognized as the King of the Hill, it`s my anglers` award--- I just represent them by receiving it in their honor”, he said.
“The last note I`d like to leave with the each ABA Director and their assistant, is a creed that I live by and it`s these 3 words… Communicate, Commit & Dedicate. By keeping these words first and foremost during each tournament year, who knows, the King of the Hill may be yours one day. Good luck to you all & God bless the USA, our troops, and the American Bass Anglers family”, Medeiros concluded.