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  • Ron Moses of Cedar Hill, MO. writes:

    RE: Balog on regional opportunities – Amen, Joe, amen. Well put.

  • Kenny Covington of West Monroe, LA writes:

    RE: Balog on regional opportunities – I agree with what you are saying but you also fail to mention how many anglers will sell their souls for product sponsorship. These companies see no need to invest dollars to help an established local or regional fisherman when all they have to do is dangle a pack of worms and a shirt in the face of a young unknown. And while they may not get the quality of exposure, the exposure they get is still for free.

  • Martin D. Lamb of Albia, IA writes:

    RE: Texas Fest – I see two huge issues right out of the gate that will have to be cleaned up if this weigh in procedure is utilized.

    First, more than one angler noticed inconsistency in the scales/judges' opinion. This will be critical when a tourney comes down to ounces. How about the cut line for this event? Would a couple of ounces have made the difference there?

    Next, just in this article two anglers mention releasing deep-hooked fish that would have likely died. Now according to B.A.S.S. rules, an angler cannot cull a dead fish, and I feel they certainly shouldn't release one they feel may die. This takes some of the responsibility away from the angler concerning fish care. If a fish is deep-hooked to the point it may expire, the judge should require that fish be retained until the end of the fishing day. Then if it does die, it should be included in the creel regardless of size. Otherwise it could be released and "culled" as normal.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, Arkansas writes:

    RE: Balog on regional opportunities – Good article, Joe, you know Randy Blaukat and Ron Shuffield have alluded to this in some fairly recent articles. Who would have ever thought that you would have to be young, good-looking and loaded to make it as a professional bass fisherman. Some of the B.A.S.S. photos nowadays are pretty funny – I am not sure if I am looking at a fisherman or a mannequin.

  • Terry L Bonsell of Fruitland Park, FL writes:

    RE: Texas Fest – This is the way to go. The next step from Ray Scott's original catch and release.

  • Bernie House of Lebanon, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on regional opportunities – Well stated, Joe. I have personally seen the decline in high-paying regional tournaments. In my area of middle Tennessee, we used to have three or four circuits where you could win $3,000 to $5,000 dollars every weekend from March to October. These 150- to 250-boat tournaments have been replaced by small regional events of 15 to 20 boats all fishing the same lake week after week.

    Tournament anglers bear some responsibility for their hesitancy to travel to a variety of lakes – most would rather fish at home. I was always excited to fish new lakes and learn new things.

  • Johnny McLean of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Texas Fest – I commend B.A.S.S. for this move of weigh and release. If you are truly a conservation organization, you have to practice what you preach.

  • Scott McDonald of Huber Heights, OH writes:

    RE: Balog on Texas Fest – Joe, I love your articles, but I've got to disagree with on one point in the following paragraph: "Without question, the MLF model has caught on, but it probably wouldn't have without the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, a yearly one-off tournament that utilized the catch-weigh-release format in conjunction with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Many organizations are considering adopting the system and now, it appears B.A.S.S. is dipping its toe into the water."

    It seemed obvious to me MLF was standing very well on its own before B.A.S.S. chose to utilize its format during the Texas Fest. MLF is made for TV and does it better than any before it. B.A.S.S. was just being smart to get on board with it.

    I do agree with the rest of the article though. It seems like there's a fine line B.A.S.S. and FLW will need to walk to keep their tournament weigh-ins as an attraction to fans and sponsors.

  • Robert G. Blake of Locust Grove, GA writes:

    RE: Bassmaster Texas Fest – With the advantage of cell phones, tablets, laptops and streaming, why continue with live weigh-ins? Personally, the weigh and release is what I do. As far as tournaments go, I want to know weights and winners. I like reading each participant's final numerical position, too. What I really want is which baits were used and by whom, and what patterns were found successful. Match that to the lake and I am one happy viewer/reader. The after-tournament interviews are far more important than watching a pro hold up a fish or two. Give me the video of catch and release, please.

  • Robert G. Blake of Locust Grove, GA writes:

    I have been using Hayabusa hooks since 2015. I am totally confident in these hooks. For 35 years I used the other hooks. Before Hayabusa, the hooks were solid, sharp and I was confident using them. However, Hayabusa has improved hooks. Their hooks are simply better.

    I am glad pros are now wanting to be included in the name Hayabusa. I truly endorse Hayabusa to any serious bass fisherman. I do not fish tournaments. I am a self-taught and energetic bass fisherman. Now at 63, bass fishing has proven to be a worthwhile passion and physically and emotionally healing. Enjoying quality fishing products makes it even better.

  • Tim Cook of New Braunfels, TX writes:

    RE: Balog on Texas Fest – It is dissapointing to read your article about catch, weigh and immediate release tournaments and completely miss the fact the format was developed and first implemented by the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. The viability of the format is proven and accepted by the anglers, as proven by MLF's adoption of the TTBC's format, not the other way around. Having been intimately involved with that first event, as well as this week's event, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have for your correction.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    The problem I see for weigh-and-release is I do not believe the fans will show up at the Classic and Elite events if they cannot see the fish weighed in. It is fine for TV and live on the Internet, but B.A.S.S. depends on people showing up for their events and I think it will keep fans away.

  • Bob Rippy of New Albany, IN writes:

    RE: Classic champion – Jordan and our granddaughter Kristen Agnew are a very nice couple. We (my wife Sandra and I ) got to follow this tournment for the first time on TV. The way Jordan handled himself throughout the entire tournment makes us extremely proud to know him. We wish him the best in representing the Bassmaster Clacic and all other tournments in the future. We hope to meet his family also, at tournments or other events. We taped the Classic and so much enjoy replaying it for ourselves and our friends.

  • Robert Lewiston of Ocala,Fl. writes:

    RE: Bassmaster Texas Fest – Having 109 different scales on the water sounds like a recipe for trouble. Between wave action, human error and scale error, I think it would lead to some major problems. I, for one, enjoy the traditional weigh-in. I like seeing the anglers holding up multiple fish. In a sport where every ounce is crucial, it just seems wiser to have everyone use the same scale with the same guy calling the weight.

  • Randy Brandenburg of Frisco, TX writes:

    RE: Balog on Texas Fest – I don't know if traditional weigh-ins will become a thing of the past or not. However, it should be noted that weighing the fish on the water with a judge and releasing them originated with the original Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork (Kelly Jordon) due to the slot limit. This was years ago, way before merging the event with B.A.S.S. and before the creation of MLF. I think the TTBC was probably a major contributing factor for coming up with the MLF format. I was a little surprised it did not get used on the major tours sooner. I do think MLF is why you're seeing B.A.S.S. dipping its toe in it now. It started last season with the bracket format tournament KVD won on the Niagara River.

  • Jeff Mitchell of Walkerton, IN writes:

    I would love to see you do a report comparing your "watch list " before the tournament to placing after for the past couple of years.

  • Randy Brandenburg of Frisco, TX writes:

    So, I'm sitting here on Saturday morning wishing I was fishing. Instead, my wife and two daughters are watching a recording of Dancing with the Stars. David Ross from the Cubs just finished a dance. The host says something like for the first MLB player on Dancing with the Stars, Major League Baseball could not have sent a better representative. So, naturally I think what if a pro angler did Dancing with the Stars. Think of the exposure B.A.S.S. or FLW would get. Without a doubt, I think Gerald Swindle would be the one to do it. What do you think?

  • Steve Kirby of Columbus, OH writes:

    RE: B.A.S.S. no-info rule – All such rules are unenforceable and my instinct tells me you never adopt a rule that you can't enforce unilaterally.

  • Burton Bosley of Sutton, WV writes:

    RE: Balog on pioneers – Thanks for the Hibdon story. It brings me back to my friend, the great Chuck Woods, who invented the beetle and died in poverty.

  • Terry L Bonsell of Fruitland Park writes:

    RE: Blaylock got hacked – This is humorous. This is not "news." Countless people have had their Facebook page hacked. No big deal. Change the password.

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