Veteran angler Todd Auten opted to bypass the FLW Tour this year in favor of a triple-A schedule. He had fished the Tour each of the past four seasons and before that, he competed in 27 Tour events between 1996-2007. He fished the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2008 and 2009.
This year, he'll focus on the Bassmaster Southern and Northern Opens as well as the Southeast and Northern Rayovac Series. In addition, he plans to fish the PAA tournaments (he's qualified for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Fork in April).
"Everything seemed to fit better for me to fish the Opens this year," he told BassFan Thursday after taking the day-1 lead at the Lake Toho Southern Open. "I like the schedules better and last year I missed out on fishing some Opens I wanted to fish because they conflicted with the Tour."
Financial considerations were also a part of the decision for the South Carolina pro.
"I made the decision that it would be the most cost efficient to fish the Opens and Rayovacs and PAA," he said.