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  • Hank Snow of Orlando, FL writes:

    FLW did a great service to B.A.S.S. by remaining status quo. Wouldn't suprise me at all to see some of their top talent fish with B.A.S.S. next season. It would make better business sense to do that than to stay with "status quo."

  • Michael E. Nolan of Gross Ile, MI writes:

    I've been a fan of national tournament fishing since the '70s (yeah, I'm old!). I support all three circuits and as a fan I'm excited about these recent "advancements" in the sport. That being said, many of these anglers are not being realistic about what being a "professional bass tournament pro" really is.

    The first thing people need to realize is the real "job", that pays the bills, is establishing yourself as an expert through your tournament results so you can sell tackle to consumers. Very few anglers make a decent living on their tournament winnings alone. The second thing anglers need to realize is tournament bass fishing doesn't lend itself to being a "spectator sport". MLF has made tremendous advancements in this area but the key is small fields (10 anglers at a time) in small areas. Up until now, B.A.S.S. and FLW have counted on large fields with large entry fees on large playing fields to financially support a majority of the payouts. Basically the same business model as a casino – people play for each other's money while the casino (in this case B.A.S.S. or FLW) takes a cut for supplying a stage for the event.

    The main thing anglers who keep trying to compare bass fishing to other sports need to realize is there is no way you are going to sell a ticket to a fan. The events are not held in privately owned stadiums, they are held on public water. In so doing the organization doesn't have control of many factors that can affect the outcome of the contest. Of course, I don't know the exact economics of how profitable organizations like B.A.S.S. and FLW are, but certainly if there was a lot of money to be made from running a tournament organization there would be more of them and they would not change hands as much as B.A.S.S. has.

  • Jason Reid of Orange County, CA writes:

    No, I’m not a pro, but I’ve been in the military for 22 years and I have this to say: All of the FLW guys crying about FLW not stepping up with the money ... do something about it. Go qualify for the Elites through the Opens. Be less of a whiner and stand out more and get invited to the MLF deal. FLW doesn’t need to change just because you want them to. Be the professional you say you are and adjust. Your cheese has moved. Move with it or die.

  • Chad Keogh of Penticton, BC, Canada writes:

    RE: Angler reaction to FLW letter – I don't think any of the current organizations will create a true pro league where anglers who qualify pay no entry fee. I thought BPT would be the ones, but by the looks of what was revealed here on BassFan, they want to to pay-to-play, too.

    It may take a third party with the desire to make a true professional tour that is less concerned about taking money from the anglers as part of their business model.

    I don't think that FLW anglers should be mad at FLW for staying the course. They have created a business model that works for them and a large group of anglers.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    My opinion of the way I’m reading everything that’s going on is, you should be grateful for what you have. The Elites may have brought more to the table only after finding out their ship was sinking. A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.

  • Patrick Bone of Cleveland, GA writes:

    My main concern, is what is the world of bass fishing going to be when the generation as we know it are done? MLF doesn't seem to have a qualification process. I did make the Classic by winning a tournament that some may say is equivalent or not. Point being, the Classic may take the hind seat. Most fishermen, including myself, worked hard to get to a specific place. Not to say that if they run an invitees program, it would not be wrong. Those guys worked hard.

    I am all about growth, but it looks to me that the money dragon has reared its head. I would like to see a more structured format for up and coming anglers for MLF. Maybe they have it. B.A.S.S. has their work cut out for them. I won't say anything about FLW.

    In the meantime, I'm gonna fish at home and take some butt whoopings and occasionally give one!

    BassFan says: The Bass Pro Tour has revealed that it does have plans to launch a qualification circuit.

  • Darrell Williams of Weaver, AL writes:

    Think about this with the moves that B.A.S.S. made to only having 80 anglers. That will give FLW more anglers to fish the circuit and that's where FLW is probably seeing more money to come in and to pay out more money.

  • Warren Wolk of Yardley, PA writes:

    RE: Bass Pro Tour – Well, it's no doubt an exciting time in the top ranks of pro bass fishing with the formation of the Bass Pro Tour. With the excitement comes great changes in the topography of the sport, and these changes bring about a level of disappointment to this BassFan. It's an angle that seems profound, and one that I haven't seen covered in the usual bass fishing sites and pages.

    It seems an exodus is forthcoming and inevitable. Almost profound to me are the many stars of the B.A.S.S. Elite Series and the FLW Tour who are about to jump ship.

    What does this mean? It means that a lot of significant historical bass fishing records and feats are about to be finalized. This, to me, is actually kind of sad.

    I looked forward to seeing where KVD's career numbers would wind up. Is it possible that Kevin's next Classic will be his last Classic? It's quite possible. Is it possible that his amazing 25th career B.A.S.S. win last year was his last? It's quite possible.

    Argh. I didn't see this coming.

    Is it possible that my buddy Mike Iaconelli's amazing streak of 19 straight Classic qualifications is over? That his amazing win on the Delaware River was his last with B.A.S.S.? Yup, quite possible.

    Is it possible that great young stars like the Lee brothers, Jacob Wheeler, Josh Bertrand and Justin Lucas are never going to chase the records of guys like KVD, Clunn, Martin, etc.? Sadly, yes, it is possible.

    Is it possible that great fishermen like Aaron Martens, Greg Hackney, Jason Christie, Brandon Palaniuk and (lots of) others will never hoist the Classic Trophy? That their amazing careers are going to morph into the greatest catchers of 12-inch bass in the history of the sport? Possible.

    And finally, what will winning a Classic or FLW Cup mean when the fields are considered "watered down" by many fans?

    From this BassFan's view, the future isn't entirely bright.

  • Martin D. Lamb of Albia, IA writes:

    RE: FLW angler reactions – Oh my, the cry babies have come out. There are companies hiring if you are not happy with your position as a professional fisherman. I am sure with your profound communication skills you can say, "Welcome to Walmart! How may I help you?"

  • Rueben Breaux of Westwego, LA writes:

    RE: Western swing canceled – So much for the fans on the West Coast who wont get that experience. I find this extremely unprofessional and would be surprised if B.A.S.S. ever gets the opportunity again. Hopefully BPT will recognize the opportunity to cash in on B.A.S.S.' incompetency. Also, shout out to the FLW for being fully invested in the Western states.

  • Matthew Shutta of Chicopee, MA writes:

    RE: Bass Pro Tour – I feel for the Elite Series anglers who got invites, or who think they might be getting one. It's got to be a confusing time for them. Maybe both MLF and B.A.S.S. have all of their details ironed out and the public are the only ones confused, but every few days B.A.S.S. announces another change. First they say its an 80-man field, but now all Elites are invited back. Add in your qualifying new Elites and you've got a chance at more than 80.

    The Elites thought they would have to weigh the MLF format against what they've been doing for years, but now the landscape of what they've been doing is going to change as well. Throw in the fact that they've got deadlines to make these career-changing decisions, and some are still fishing tournaments! I foresee changes happening to both organizations throughout the course of the next 12 months before it all settles.

    Both organizations say the anglers will have votes on different scenarios, so I expect that before the new season, and at the end of the next, there will be angler-influenced changes as well. It's not going to be free of stress, or anger, or resentment in the coming weeks/months, but it's all going to be good in the end, especially for the fans.

  • Zeth Kinnett of Edmonds, WA writes:

    RE: Western swing canceled – Complete B.S. Whaa, whaa, whaa. If you don't want to come to the West to fish, then don't and lose your points. Simple as that. The cancellation is ridiculous. Oh well, the fishing is better out here than in the Southeast anyways. We have larger fish. Have fun catching 2-pounders when you could have been catching giant smallies and 10-plus largies.

  • Ed Thayer of New Castle, PA writes:

    RE: West Coast swing canceled – I sure hope B.A.S.S. fills one of the two spots with a Chesapeake Bay event.

  • Chad Keogh of Penticton, BC, Canada writes:

    RE: FLW letter – FLW is a class act. They feel they were offering a great tour/series for a reasonable cost.

    B.A.S.S. reacted like they got caught charging "idiot tax." "Oh well, you caught me, so obviously you are not an idiot, and are therefore exempt!" Sad.

  • Jaxon Wyatt of Lexington, KY writes:

    Is B.A.S.S. going to change the rules everyday? Yesterday it was only 80 anglers, today it's everyone is invited back. I guess they're being proactive, but I can't keep up. I'm still not convinced the new tour is going to launch. Getting 80 guys to go all in is going a challenge.

  • Ken Olver of Little Rock, AR writes:

    RE: Bass Pro Tour – What an ego. Pretty soon Johnny Morris will want to own everything and put people out of work, just like he did at Cabela's.

  • Jacob Cunnigan of Tampa, FL writes:

    RE: Bass Pro Tour – I think a whole tour of 1-pound fish is going to get old quick. While I do watch MLF, it gets boring watching a dink-fest episode. I watch almost every B.A.S.S. and FLW weigh-in on my computer, but what am I supposed to watch on MLF tour? I'll give it a try.

  • Riles Rick of Baton Rouge LA writes:

    Another nugget gleamed from the BPT announcement is the schedule. All tournaments done by June. In my opinion, this was created by the old guard to cater to the shallow-water power fisherman that they are. Just look at the leaderboards of the summer Elite events and see the youngsters dominate in the “video game” events. Now no West Coast swing. The fishermen are running both asylums. The way it should be.

  • Ron Russell of Corydon, IA writes:

    MLF doesn't want the average fisherman. It's all about who can give them the most television exposure. Call Kevin VanDam or Boyd Duckett and see what response you get when you ask to fish the MLF.

  • Martin Lamb of Albia, IA writes:

    B.A.S.S. isn't even attempting to hide that they are in panic mode.

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