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/2015-07-01-the-no-excuse-guide-

The "No Excuse" Guide

Chatter can be dock talk, personal abusive talk, hater talk, fan talk and everything in between. The list goes on. I truly believe tournament fishing is all a mental game. I feel that the most successful anglers know how to tune it all out and fish in the zone. It is crucial to know how to tune out all the chatter and shut up and fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-30-missed-chances-at-the-finale

Missed Chances at the Finale

The final Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River was a tough event for me. After one of the strongest practices I’ve ever had there, or anywhere, really, I drove home scratching my head. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-16-my-lost-fish-troubles-continue

My Lost-Fish Troubles Continue

Lake Chickamauga is loaded with big bass, and for the first time in three previous visits I felt really good after the practice period was over. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for me, and I ended the event after day two by missing the top-20 cut by a mere 4 ounces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-04-blaukat-on-climate-change

Blaukat on Climate Change

As many of you know, for years I’ve been an outspoken voice on environmental issues. As a result, I’ve been celebrated by some and ostracized by others. But what some think of me being the messenger is irrelevant. It’s not about the messenger – as much as detractors try to make it out to be – it’s about getting the message out. I want to start by saying that the debate of whether or not climate change is man-made is over. It’s real, and it’s right here in our faces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-28-running-a-college-club

Running a College Club

The sport of college bass fishing is growing at an incredible pace. During my freshman year (2011-2012), tournament fields were limited to 50 anglers, and boats were supplied by Rayovac FLW Series volunteer competitors. During the end of my senior year this season, field sizes grew larger at every tournament, and we saw more colleges providing boats for student anglers – signs of growth for sure. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-28-blog-i-m-hooked-

Blog: I’m Hooked

When I was 10 years old I could only dream about being a professional fisherman. I would spend all my time outdoors playing sports, hunting and fishing. Then, in high school, I competed in my first bass tournament and I was hooked. From that moment, my goal was to become a professional angler some day. Now, almost three decades later, after much hard work and dedication I’m competing in the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour. And I’m more excited than ever. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-26-blog-the-first-time

Blog: The First Time

This begins a series of blogs by Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Jaime Luengo of Mexico City. He joined the circuit in 2005 and has three top-10 finishes to his credit. Luengo is the author of La Magia de la Lobina Tecnicas Avanzadas, a book on bass fishing techniques, and is host and producer of Nuestra Pesca, a television series available on all cable stations in Mexico. READ MORE »

/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 »