In 2022 SFL sent a Canadian record 13 teams to the Bassmaster TeamTrail championships on Lake Hartswell, in 2021 they sent 10 Teams to Lake Eufaula. With the long travel, extra growing costs of fuel and everything else associated with a 16 or more hour commute to fish, SFL CEO Cory Banford said it was looking doubtful for a return in 2023. Thanks To American Baitworks (the maker of BaitFuel) who sponsors the team with lodging cost, the excitement of a selection on a Florida city hosting, and probably the biggest boost with the Recent Classic win by Canadian Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson. All of that not only changed SFL’s status from doubtful to in, but in with major excitement overnight.
SFL has rapidly became Canada’s largest organization with over 24 annual events, a championship awarding 2 Nissan Cars. Still growing from a recent expansion in divisions, SFL has grown from 500 anglers to a projected over 800 anglers in just 2 years which would again see the SFL Team Canada grow for the 3rd consecutive year from 10, to 13, to 15 or better giving Alabama Bass Trail a run for the money on highest representing contingent at the Bass TeamTrail championship who brought 18 in 2022.
Cory adds “ there is a buzz in Canada with tournament fishing again, especially at Shootout Fishing. Thanks to Gussy who did a podcast with SFL just a week before his big classic win, the excitement with Cooper gallant being an elite rookie who’s last event he fished with SFL in 2022 was a win with his Team event partner Danny McGarry, (Bass Open angler 2023 season). Not to mention in 2021 Cooper had a dominating 5+Lb win fishing SOLO against a Stacked field on one of Ontario’s premier lakes, at the SFL Rice Lake Open”.