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 

/tips/2015-05-19-blog-what-might-have-been-at-eufaula

Blog: What Might Have Been at Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is in the books, but ever since the tournament I haven’t slept very well. If you know me, you know I just “love” losing fish, but I think this latest event was the worst of my career. I finished 12th, which isn’t so bad, but the “what could have beens” got me again. On the last day of practice, I caught nearly 30 pounds, including one around 10 pounds and a 7 1/2-pounder, making it a day I’ll never forget. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-blog-frogging-of-a-different-kind

Blog: Frogging of a Different Kind

As a bass fisherman, I have a special feeling for that time of year when I can start fishing a frog again. I’m not sure if the rush of adrenaline I feel is from that first explosion when a bass crashes the frog, or the anticipation of it. Whatever it is, I love it! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-06-blog-make-a-plan-and-work-the-plan-

Blog: Make a Plan and Work the Plan

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I’m bombarded with an array of emotions and a new to-do list every day. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. Make a Facebook post. Call mom. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I’ll be treated poorly. Rig rods. Do sponsor work. People won’t like me. My son will miss me. I’ll miss my family. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-24-blog-east-vs-west

Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-blog-the-bucket-list

Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-blog-back-in-the-groove

Blog: Back in the Groove

It feels good to be in full swing of the tournament season again. We just finished the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake, and it was an excellent event. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-5-pivotal-moments-in-my-career

5 Pivotal Moments in my Career

The FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake marked the beginning of my senior campaign. While it was great to get on some open water for the first time in months (though we didn’t finish very well), it also had me looking back at five events that, more than any others, led me to this point. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-a-year-of-new-firsts

A Year of New Firsts

There are a lot of firsts in my life now: my first full year on the Walmart FLW Tour, the first time not to fish any full B.A.S.S. circuit in many years, the first time to fish with co-anglers in a long while, the first time to compete at Beaver Lake, and so on. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-10-up-then-down-again

Up, Then Down Again

The highs and lows in this sport are amazing. They are amazing and sometimes hard to deal with. Sometimes you just have to test yourself on how thick your skin really is. For example, consider my highs and lows in the last few months. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-07-sweet-home-alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

Hey everyone, I'm just getting back and caught up from the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake. The lake was fishing like never before, and all the fish have grown up quickly on those blueback herring. Now that I've been back home a week and watched all the videos and read all the articles about the top 10 anglers I can say I have zero regrets! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-02-when-everything-comes-together

When Everything Comes Together

Dave Lefebre describes what baits and techniques he used to win the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake in this week's blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-18-expect-change-and-adapt-to-it

Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-so-you-want-to-be-a-co-angler-

So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-a-30-piece-puzzle-with-four-pieces-missing

A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-a-clean-slate

A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-toho-bound

Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-3-thoughts-on-toho

3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-20-east-to-west

East to West

As a tournament angler, I realize that a primary aspect of my job is to be able to catch fish anywhere, in all types of fisheries, under a variety of conditions. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-12-from-swamp-pro-to-bass-pro

From Swamp Pro to Bass Pro

When most people hear the name “T-Roy Broussard,” they think of me as the Texan in the big green airboat on the reality television show Swamp People. Three years ago I was introduced to households across the world as a burly alligator hunter that made a living off of the land. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-29-here-we-go

Here We Go

The 2015 bass tournament season is officially underway and I am super-excited about the changing dynamics. There is no doubt that the economy is improving and the 250-boat field that fished the first Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee is testament to that. READ MORE »