Joe Cagle

For those of you who may or may not know, I’m no longer a full-time writer at the Advertiser-Gleam, although I am still working sports for the newspaper.

I officially left my position with the Gleam back in early July to wort with the Major League Fishing Anglers Association, which is located right here in Guntersville. I am now the Membership Director for the Association and so far, I’m enjoying it very much.

Regardless, I’m still planning to continue as a contributor to the Gleam in my new role. After nearly six years of reporting, it’s a hard habit to give up. I’ll focus most of my attention on sports coverage for the Gleam like Guntersville football, basketball and other sports from around the county.

I’ll also provide updates on what we’ve got going on at the MLFAA. I know there might be a good portion of Gleam readers who don’t know exactly what the MLFAA is or does. I’m happy to use this column to fill you in just a little bit.

The MLFAA was created in 2018 by professional anglers Boyd Duckett and Gary Klein. Most people are aware that Duckett lives in Guntersville where he operates Duckett Marine and Duckett Fishing. Duckett is also President and CEO of the national tournament organization Major League Fishing, which is based out of Tulsa, OK.

According to Duckett, the goal of MLFAA is to provide a mechanism for pro anglers to give back to the industry and the community.

“The MLFAA works just like the players association does for the NFL, NBA, and so on,” he said. “Along with the MLF Foundation, the anglers have an organized structure to give back to the community. Pros in fishing didn’t have that until we created the MLFAA and MLF Foundation.”

Former Alabama Rep. Wes Long is the executive director of the MLFAA along with a board made up of professional anglers. They are Gary Klein (President), Boyd Duckett (Vice President), Kevin VanDam (Secretary), Kelly Jordan (Treasurer), Mike McClelland (Bass Pro Tour Liaison), Russ Lane, Ott Defoe, Brandon Coulter, Chris Lane, Josh Bertrand, Michael Neal, Brent Chapman and David Walker. Kathy Lang is Communications Director and Steve Bardin works as the biologist and conservationist for the MLFAA.

“The big thing is, we want to grow the sport of fishing from the top down,” Long said. “We want the anglers in MLF to not have to bear so much of the financial burden and give them the opportunity to give back. Through the MLFAA and the MLF Foundation we can work to make sure the sport continues growing and future generations are exposed to fishing.”

The MLFAA isn’t an exclusive club just for those who fish or those who follow the sport. Businesses small and large along with individuals are eligible to join the association. By joining, you have access to health benefits along with other benefits, which include helping to preserve our natural resources.

We’re proud that Lake Guntersville is the home of MLFAA and look forward to bringing more charity events in the near future. Back on Memorial Day weekend, MLFAA hosted the Kickoff to the Summer event, which will be held once again in May 2021.

For more information about the association, visit www.mlfaa.org or shoot me an email at joecagle@mlfaa.org.

I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity to come and work at MLFAA and will always be appreciative of the folks at the Gleam. MLFAA has several great events coming up soon and in the coming year. Stay tuned.

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