UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

To Tweet or not to Tweet: That is the question

FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell stands in the front of the camera.

(Editor's note: Starting immediately, FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell has agreed to make regular blog contributions approximately once a month on FLWOutdoors.com. Going forward, bass-fishing fans will be treated to a wide array of blogs from a host of different FLW Tour pros on FLWOutdoors.com leading up to the 2014 season and beyond.) We're just a few anxious weeks away from the Walmart FLW Tour season opener on Lake Okeechobee. Thanks to a new and innovative rule change from FLW, there is one question that seems to be on a lot of minds. It has nothing to do with the umbrella rig, or the new 30-day restricted access period, or even some of the Elite Series anglers crossing over to fish the FLW Tour this year. But rather, the question that many are asking is: How will FLW's new social media rule impact the 2014 season? If you have not been made aware yet, FLW implemented a new, never-seen before rule that now allows the use of cell phones "for pros to post social media updates." Up until this point in time, pros have only been able to use cell phones to communicate with lockmasters on certain river systems where locking is allowed or in emergency situations, such as an equipment failure. FLW has taken an aggressive step forward in trying to bring the sport closer to the fans by implementing this new rule. Now, it's up to the anglers to turn this into a positive rule change. Anglers can now access Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites while the tournament is going on. So I'm anxious to see how it plays out this season. Are you? FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell is still debating how heUnlike many sports that are televised where fans can watch the game unfold, there is no possible way to logistically film 180 anglers during the course of a tournament day. One of the most popular online features from FLW over the past few years has been the "On the Water Updates," which has included Twitter updates as well. These updates have kept fans informed on how anglers are doing as the tournament day progresses, and arguably has brought the fans closer to the tournament without actually being there. However, there is a finite number of FLW reporters to do the updates and they can only reach a select few anglers that are in the area of the lake that they are covering. There is a constant challenge in trying to bring the fans to the sport, as fishing is a uniquely and predominantly a participant sport - one where people enjoy fishing more than they do watching someone else fish. I think FLW is on the right track with allowing social media updates for people to follow their favorite angler and get updates throughout the day. And it's these types of progressive-thinking ideas that will continue to drive the sport's future and expand its reach to its fans. There are a lot of FLW Tour anglers who have a loyal following of fans and that have a strong social media presence. Guys like Tom Redington, Wesley Strader, and Travis Fox all have a strong online following and are from different regions of the country - and there is no doubt that their fans will appreciate getting updates from them during tournament days. The pros who embrace the new rule stand to gain new fans from this platform that FLW has created. Does that mean that pros who don't embrace social media will lose out on something? Not necessarily. But it's hard to argue the power of social media for those that use and understand it. Now, the real question is: How will anglers use this new rule change to bring updates to their fans? Will there be any negative repercussions from the rule? Will anyone abuse the rule and how so? These are questions that have been on my mind the last few weeks, and I certainly don't have the answers. In fact, I'm not even sure how I'm going to use this new rule change during the course of my day. I've tried to take time to learn Facebook and Twitter over the past few years and have become somewhat efficient with it. However, I'm on the fence on how much time I will actually spend using it during an eight-hour tournament day - after all, each minute spent updating a social media status is a minute that could be used to make a few casts. I'm guessing you can count on one to two updates from me during the course of the day. But I'll be interested to see how much others send updates. Will you see my top secret bait of choice? Probably not. Will I give away my location for where I'm fishing and catching fish? Probably not. Will this take away from people watching the weigh-ins on FLW Live? Probably not. I think this will be a good change and one that helps fans connect with anglers during a tournament - but only time will tell. What do you think about it? Todd Hollowell has fished as a pro on the FLW Tour since the 2012 season and is currently the host of the Bass Dr. television show on the World Fishing Network (WFN). To read more about Todd Hollowell and his latest exploits, check out his website toddhollowell.com.

Tags: blog  todd-hollowell 


Fishing Through the Stress

For some of us, the Forrest Woods Cup’s memories are still fresh. They come back again and again to give us moments of satisfaction and joy as we’re reminded of the great times we had during those hot summer days at Hot Springs. READ MORE »


True Sportsmanship

In recent years it seems I’ve read an increasing number of stories about bass anglers and their lack of common courtesy: hole-jumping, waypoint-stealing, cutting off other anglers – you get the picture. With that in mind, I want to relate an incident that happened to me during the 2015 BFL Regional on the Potomac River. READ MORE »


6 Rules for Fishing Safely in a Kayak

There will never be a replacement for the almighty bass boat. It has secured its place as the tool for the trade on so many types of waters. But there are also places where the fishing kayak reigns supreme, and many of the “who’s who” of bass fishing are discovering that a kayak is a great addition to their fishing and fun tools. READ MORE »


Mom’s Fishing Lessons

I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great fishing friends and mentors who helped me become a better angler. However, the best inspiration for my fishing career was my mother, Cheryl, and she also gave me the best advice regarding it. She was a mother who only fished a handful of times in her life, and who was always sure she was going to fly out of my bass boat anytime I got it over 35 mph. But, boy, did she help guide me. READ MORE »


An Unexpected Gift

What a year it has been! As I begin my very first blog post, I am thankful, humbled and extremely proud to call myself a breast cancer survivor. Not necessarily the club one expects or wants to be part of, but I am here to tell you that it has been a gift in so many ways. I know, many of you are thinking a "gift" to be diagnosed with cancer? The answer is yes. READ MORE »


How to Catch Big Fall Smallmouths

What's the best time of year to catch lots of big smallmouth bass in the northern United States? Well, get ready, because it's going to happen in the next couple of weeks and continue until the lakes freeze solid. And the best part about it is that often times you will have entire lakes to yourself since most anglers switch gears and start their hunting seasons, leaving the lakes almost completely void of pressure. READ MORE »


Weekend Angler: Off the Water Practice

Of all the excuses I hear fisherman use when it comes to fishing tournaments, the one that intrigues me the most is, "I haven't been out that much, so I couldn't practice." There is no substitute for time on the water – that is not debatable – but there are things that can be done to assist you in your weekend efforts if you can’t spend every free moment on the water. Below you’ll find just a few tips to hopefully help you become a more efficient angler. READ MORE »


The Good Ol' Days

It’s hard to believe that the dog days of summer will soon be coming to an end, seen in the shortening of days and frigid mornings. For some, fall means hanging up the rods and picking up the bow or shotgun in preparation for the upcoming hunting seasons – for others, falling water temps signify hungry bass stocking up for the descending metabolism of winter. READ MORE »


Frog fishing 101

People often ask me about what frog I use and when. It’s a good question, because there are many, many frogs available to anglers these days. The answer depends on the situation you expect to encounter. READ MORE »


A Fisherman or Fisher of Men?

It was a series of ups, downs and way downs, though I ended my season with a nice check at the Potomac River. I thought squaring off against a prehistoric reptile in its own backyard was tough, but I have to tell you that fishing against these FLW guys was tougher than dealing with alligators back home. READ MORE »


Rhinos, Bass and Great White Sharks

Tournament fishing in South Africa is pretty solid, with about 500 serious tournament anglers in the country. There are many more recreational anglers in the region too. READ MORE »


Getting Whipped by the Young Bucks

It really goes against all logic, but logic flew out the window again at the recent Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Take the example of Brandon Cobb and Dion Hibdon. Cobb, at the tender age of 25, not only qualified for the Cup (the most difficult championship in the world to qualify for, much less win), but he finished in the top five. READ MORE »


SOAR Derby a Success

Be it children or adults, we all want others to be able to experience the pure joy that we feel when hooked up and battling a fish that we have worked so hard for. READ MORE »


Central Division AOY Race Concludes on Dardanelle

Currently, Quaker State pro Matt Arey is in the driver’s seat, but the field behind him is close and pretty stacked. READ MORE »


Shifting Gears

I am stripping the big line off the Halos and re-spooling with 6- and 8-pound-test Berkley flouro, and reflecting on how much fun it was catching all those fish with all these relatively new baits, how hard some of the strikes were and how easy it was catching fish on baits that they haven't seen before. Well, that's all over now – back to smallmouth fishing. READ MORE »


Do You Really Need So Much Stuff?

Lures and clothes have a lot in common. Just like clothing evolves and new styles come out and old styles come back, so goes fishing lures. The difference between the two, however, is that you can outgrow your old jeans, but you can never get rid of your old baits. READ MORE »


Never Miss a Bass Again

Do you ever listen at the weigh-in at how many guys talk about all the fish they missed? I can’t accept that it’s part of the job at hand. It’s one of my pet peeves. Most of us would do much better if we would just ask the simple question “why?” In prefishing we have already done most of the hard work. During the tournament, a missed fish can’t be accepted. I consider it a good tournament when I come back to the ramp with no missed fish, regardless of my finish. How does that happen? It starts way before the tournament. READ MORE »


A Bass is a Bass, But Not Always

Amigos, as you may remember, we left the past blog with a big question mark on the well-known saying, “A bass is a bass, no matter what.” Well, it’s time to give you a different point of view. A lot of you, while reading these lines, might start questioning my ideas. READ MORE »


From Kayak to Bass Boat

Like many anglers, I am a fanatic about my equipment for the things I do. For example, I’m a four-time world champion whitewater kayaker and have won three of them in a boat of my design. I started Jackson Kayak to take kayak design to the next level and to do things that the bigger company I was working for wasn’t willing to do. I am also a long-time bass fisherman, which led me to fishing 2015 Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler. READ MORE »


More Than a Fisherman

The competitive fishing world is a small one, and when narrowed down to the competitive bass fishing world, it is even smaller in the grand scheme of things. This, of course, isn’t to say that this small group doesn’t have an absolutely huge impact. It does. READ MORE »