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  • Rob Dixon of Lewistown, PA writes:

    RE: BASSFest 2015 B.A.S.S. should be ashamed of itself charging $6,000 to enter a tournament you have to qualify for. That's almost so absurd I didn't believe it at first. It will be full of more Skylar Hamilton types (young rich kids whose parents bought them $50,000 rigs and pay their entry fees) or ex-NFL players. The average Open angler won't be paying that unless they've won a big tournament recently. Really shocking and truly sad.

  • Roy Wiley of Toronto, OH writes:

    RE: Ehrler to the Elites This is your 2015 Elite series Rookie of the Year! Been waiting to see him step up to the Elites for quite some time now! Get 'em, Brent!

  • Harold Sharp of Hixson, TN writes:

    RE: B.A.S.S. Brawl Watching paint dry.
    Watching grass grow.
    Watching leaves turn.
    Twelve casts per minute equals 720 per hour.
    No fish.
    No strikes.
    No picture.
    Sanders wins jaw-jacking contest.
    Get real, B.A.S.S.

  • Dave Fuerst of Saint Charles, IL writes:

    RE: Classic exemptions The Classic rewards in-year performance for anglers who remain active in the sport and should reward not only those anglers by giving them the best chance at the sport's top prize, it should also reward those sponsors who committed themselves and their dollars to the sport. An alternative like the Masters golf event might be to allow former winners to compete in an adjacent one-day competition.

  • Robert Chapin of Osakis, MN writes:

    RE: Classic exemptions Absolutely not, you should have to earn your way into the Classic every time.

  • Alex Posey of Cumming, GA writes:

    I bet Brent Ehrler will win AOY in his first year, especially with the western swing.

  • Rodger Timmons of Thomasville, GA writes:

    RE: Classic exemptions If KVD is the best ever, then he should have qualified for the Classic. He had the same opportunities as everyone else.

  • Jeff Parker of St. Louis, MO writes:

    Brent Ehrler will dominate on the Elites. Nearly everyone who fishes the FLW tour and qualifies for the Elites seems to do well. Even some of the guys who couldn't compete in FLW have done well in the Elites. FLW fishermen seem to be better than the Elite fishermen for the most part.

  • Ric Riles of Lafayette, LA writes:

    Very happy to see Brent Ehler qualify for the Elites. If you read between the lines he was under great pressure to fish the Elites to keep his sponsors. Not surprising considering the difference in perception of the two tours. I really would like to see the Thrifts, Dudleys and Morgans take the same tack and try and qualify to get all the best on the one tour that's recognized by the industry as the leader.

  • Richard Bowers of St. Louis, MO writes:

    RE: Ehrler to the Elites: People are wondering how he would do fishing the Elite Series? Considering the success the FLW converts have shown the past couple of years after changing tours, I think we should begin to wonder of the Elite Series is actually just that. Just look at the current top 10 angler rankings, it's dominated by FLW anglers, or anglers who have recently switched over. Sorry, but fishing against the likes of Hartley, Velvick, Smith and a score of others hardly makes the Elite series "elite."

  • John A. Argese of Sayreville, NJ writes:

    RE: Classic exemptions: One more time: KVD did not qualify for the Classic! You must earn your juice box and nap blankey!

  • Paul Ryan of Naples, FL writes:

    Six thousand bucks to fish BASSFest? I thought I was seeing double. Congrats to all Open anglers who qualify, now refinance your house so you can fish it.

  • Harold Sharp of Hixson, TN writes:

    FLW is increasing entry fees. FLW is cutting the field from 180 to 150.

    B.A.S.S. and FLW are using marshals and co-anglers, furnishing them a boat and driver at lower entry fees, which raises the pro entry fees. The marshals can't fish so they do not need to buy tackle. The co-anglers do not need to buy a boat, motor, trailer or vehicle to pull it.

    Bans on new lures. Canceling tournament days that anglers paid to fish for qualifying points and money.
    Classic qualifiers using bass caught in team events by other anglers and they are not required to be B.A.S.S. members.

    No more "win and you're in." Three-day entry fees at $6,000. Higher entry fees and fewer entries available.

    Where are we heading?

  • Jason Houchins of Clarksville, VA writes:

    RE: 2015 BASSFest format -- Congratulations Open anglers, you have qualified for BASSFest ... that will be $6,000! This blows my mind.

  • Dave LeVene of Manitowoc, WI writes:

    RE: Classic exemptions -- Similar to NASCAR's "champion's provisional," there should be a ranking order and an opportunity for an established, past champion to be in the Classic. While I understand that current performance is everything, isn't it really a shame that KVD is not in the 2015 Classic? Really? The best bass angler of a generation not able to participate? It simply seems that having this type of "provisional' opportunity should be available. Refined, and created to be fair and yet recognizing the past Classic champs.

  • James Smith of Lorain, OH writes:

    RE: Elite Series changes -- Please don't mess up the Opens and take qualifications for the Classic from them. They will become empty and interest would be greatly reduced. FLW thinks it would be a good idea because it would bring customers back to them.

  • Terry Bonsell of Keyser writes:

    RE: Elite Series changes -- Good changes. Reducing field even further would have been better. Create a true top tier and cut the field to 100.

  • Curtis Richardson of Belleville, ON writes:

    I have two questions regarding the recent FLW changes. First, why? Second, who does it benefit?

    It doesn't benefit the anglers who will now be spending more to fish for less. Cutting it back by 30 boats means there's $120,000 less per event in the pot and increasing the entries by $300 only adds $45,000 per event to the pot eaning that there's $75,000 less on the table per event.

    Will more sponsor money be added to pot to make up this difference?

    This sport is hard enough for guys to make a living as it is. I don't see this change been good for the sport.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to increase entries by $1,000 instead of $300? This would add $150,000 to the pot (per event), meaning the pot would grow by $30,000 (per event) even after cutting the field size by 30. Now there is more money and better odds of cashing a check.

    As for the changes with final-day sponsor boats, how does allowing guys to fish from FLW boats instead of FLW sponsor boats help anyone? It's not helping the pros because they are not able to showcase their sponsors and it doesn't help FLW because without guys running the FLW sponsor boats these sponsorships are worthless.

    Perhaps I am missing something and with further clarification these questions will be answered. Maybe there is more to this and in the end these will be changes for the better.

    Here's hoping ...

  • Harold Sharp of Hixson, TN. writes:

    RE: Elite Series changes -- Years ago, long before the invention of Elites, B.A.S.S. Invitationals were limited by the number of contestants that the B.A.S.S. staff could handle during weigh-in, plus the size of the fishing waters and the available housing around it.

    The entries were first entered and we always had a waiting list. We also had a list of anglers that were automatically entered in all events. Then along came the Elites and marshals. This gave the pro total control of the boat and fishing waters and it also raised his entry fee because the marshal was not paying the same as the pro. This cut the incoming entry fee money that everyone was fishing for in half, so those controlling the boat had to pay more.

    Here's a suggestion to B.A.S.S. on how to change the Elites: Do away with the marshals, go back to two pros paying the same entry fee and fishing for the same money. Install the old B.A.S.S. rules that stated the two contestants had to agree on which boat to use and each could select the fishing waters and control the boat half the time, if that's what they wanted. The two anglers had to agree on this or flip a coin to settle it. This rule worked for over 20 years, we never had a problem with it and many friendship were created that have lasted for over 40 years. This would lower the entry fees as everyone would be paying the same. It would also allow more than 108 or 110 pros to fish, as everyone would be a pro paying the same entry fee.

  • mike kozub of vernon writes:

    RE: Balog on big water readiness -- I am continually amazed when I see in real life, and particularly on TV, anglers remove their vests after a run. What makes them believe they can survive a fall off the front deck is beyond me? Chilled water or even a hit on the head going overboard and it is all over, let alone the boat drifting away in the current.

    A friend related a story where his brother drowned on a beautiful Fall day with no breeze when he fell out of the 14' boat he was in. His PFD was on the seat. Personally, I have used an inflatable vest religiously since they received the Coast Guard's blessing. I figure at the least, if I go over and drown my wife will have a body to bury. I think it is insane to not use the inflatable vest at all times on the water and I'm glad to see a professional angler of Balog's stature is getting the word out.

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