Internet Company Buys Popular Chattanooga Fishing Forum

CFF goes from "fun project" to "business venture"
by Richard Simms
posted February 19, 2008

A company called First Light Net has purchased the well-known Chattanooga Fishing Forum, better known to many local anglers as CFF.

CFF, which came online early in 2005, was the brainchild of computer programmer David Haun. Haun, an avid angler from Chattanooga, was frustrated by difficulties he experienced in learning about local fishing opportunities. He was inspired by many Internet Fishing Forums he found in coastal areas. He started CFF on a whim, never realizing it might grow to the extent it has today.

CFF has grown to more than 2,300 registered members with thousands and thousands of "lurkers" ... folks who visit the site but have not registered. Haun began selling advertising to offset his expenses about a year ago.

Now with changes in his personal and professional life, Haun said that CFF had simply grown too large for him to administer.

First Light Net is a company that specializes in web site development specifically for "an outdoor demographic."

Based in Colorado, First Light Net says its wide network of websites provides advertisers with "over 17 million ad impressions monthly."

It's clear that CFF has gone from a homegrown "fun" fishing web site... to a professional money-making enterprise.

Mike Hodgdon, the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of First Light net, told Forum users, " During the course of the acquisition, Mr. Haun made his commitment to education, conservation, and a high quality fishing forum clear. We are committed to living up to the level of excellence you have come to know from him. Our plans for the future of ChattanoogaFishingForum.com are the same as his."

Hodgdon says his company owns a network of over 350 fishing, hunting, sports and outdoors websites.

He said, "CFF is filled with knowledgeable fishermen that are friendly and the most helpful people you'll meet online."

Simultaneous with the release of the CFF acquistion, First Light Net also announced the acquisition of Fishing.org domain name.

"This is a fundamental domain acquisition," said Hodgdon, First Light Net's Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. "Our focus is to connect outdoor retailers and manufacturers to targeted customers online. The addition of Fishing.org to our network of over 350 fishing, hunting, and outdoors websites will be another big step in connecting anglers to the products and services they are looking for."

First Light Net will develop the Fishing.org website and accompanying brand to provide an engaging online community and targeted advertising to end users. Hodgdon says "Fishing.org was targeted for acquisition due to its natural appeal to search engines and strong branding potential."

"By targeting highly relevant and broad search term domain names and web sites for acquisition we strengthen our position as the outdoor companies best choice for Internet advertising and promotion," said Hodgdon. "This transaction meets all of our key acquisition criteria, and has specific catalysts for growth."

First Light Net offers free information, free promotional giveaways, forums and social network sites to outdoor enthusiasts and monetizes this web traffic by offering clients targeted online advertising.

According to the latest "National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 82 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older fished, hunted, or wildlife watched in 2006.