UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

The next FLW star rises in the West

Originally from Florida, Todd Kline was a professional surfer with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).

The West has produced some of the biggest stars on the Walmart FLW Tour. The list includes pros Brent Ehrler, Ish Monroe, Brett Hite, Luke Clausen, Cody Meyer and others who have already made their journey to the top. For the most part, these anglers started with the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division and the former Western Division of the FLW Series - the perfect training grounds for a full-time Tour career.
This year, the next group of rising Western stars is busy planning for careers at the highest level in professional bass fishing. Here are a few members of that group. Look for them in action at this week's Rayovac FLW Series event on the California Delta.
Todd Kline trades surfboard for rods and reels
Co-angler Todd Kline of San Clemente, Calif., shows off his whopping 9-plus-pound largemouth shortly before winning the Rayovac FLW Series tournament title on Lake Havasu.
Winning as a Rayovac FLW Series Western Division co-angler requires the ability to quickly adapt and a little bit of luck, but to win consistently, it's skill that is most important.
California's Todd Kline is an example of a skilled co-angler whose career is on the rise. He won the co-angler division of the Rayovac FLW Series at Roosevelt Lake in 2013 and Lake Havasu in 2014, and along the way also took home the 2013 Western Division Co-Angler of the Year title. His excellent 2013 season qualified him for a trip to the upcoming 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.
Kline's FLW career began in 2013, and the instant success he has experienced is indicative of his abilities, but also his experience in major competition. Originally from Florida, Kline was a professional surfer with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP). He still has a connection to the surfing world as the full-time television commentator for ASP events around the world (he actually gave this interview from Australia, where he was on-site for a surfing event).

"Surfing and fishing are very similar in a lot of ways," he says. "The mental aspect in both sports is crucial. Surfing is also a lot like bass fishing in that each surfer and each angler has a different style for how he likes to approach the water."
Now that he has tasted success as a co-angler, Kline is patiently waiting to take his next step in the fishing world.
"I am still learning with fishing, but absolutely my goal is to fish as a professional on the FLW Tour," Kline says. "It's like being a musician; of course you would rather sell out huge concerts than to keep playing at local bars."
Jason Borofka is refocused, ready
Borofka hopes he can carry his West Coast momentum to the Southeast next season on the Walmart FLW Tour.
California's Jason Borofka has twice competed in both the Forrest Wood Cup and the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. Although he took a short break from fishing FLW events from 2010 to 2012, he has come back strong in Rayovac FLW Series Western Division competition the last two seasons. In the final event of the 2013 season at Clear Lake, he finished second, then followed that up with another runner-up finish at the division's 2014 season-opener on Lake Havasu. He has won smaller local and regional tournaments, but is still looking for that first win with FLW - if he continues his successful ways, that day will come soon.
Jason Borofka is a jumbo swimbait fan, but he
"If you look back at my finishes, there is a gap of a few years where I took some time off to refocus and prepare for my run at the FLW Tour," Borofka says. "I really don't think I was ready, both mentally and financially, but now it's my biggest goal for next year."
Borofka has learned to be versatile by fishing the diverse selection of waters visited by the Western Division. Like many Western anglers, he loves to throw big swimbaits, but his willingness to use whatever technique is necessary will earn paychecks at the next level of bass fishing.
And according to Borofka, he has already learned a lot of the difficult lessons that accompany professional fishing.
"I realized that I am going to have to work hard to get to the Tour, and nothing is going to be handed to me," he says. "I'm now in the right position financially and have the support of my wife, Tara, my job, and my sponsors. So there is nothing that is going to get in the way of fishing the FLW Tour."
Borofka works as a bellman at a luxury resort near his home in Salinas, and it allows him to have the flexibility to travel to all of the Rayovac events, have as much time for practice as he needs and still have a job to return to when he comes home.
"If you are fishing and worrying about money or something else, you can't fish how you want to, and it can really affect how you do," Borofka says.
Joe Uribe Jr. says family first, then the Tour
Joe Uribe Jr. has been one of the most consistently successful pros in the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division the last three years.
Joe Uribe Jr. has consistently been one of the top Rayovac FLW Series Western Division pros, finishing second, fourth and fifth in the Angler of the Year standings over the past three years. His success leads to the question of when he is going to take the next step and fish the Walmart FLW Tour. Uribe is sponsored by Bridgford Foods, an FLW sponsor, and also works in the fishing industry selling Ranger Boats at Cabela's in Surprise, Ariz. - two things that would seem to make him a great fit for the life as a pro. But for Uribe, the Tour can wait until he is completely ready.
"I have a wife and two kids under 10 years old, so I am going to wait for them to get a little older and maybe in high school before I take the next step," he says. "Fishing the Tour requires a total commitment, and I really want to make sure I am successful when I go for it. It's definitely a cost and time commitment, and I really don't want to be worrying about money or my family when I am on the road across the country."
Uribe has talked with other Western pros who have made the journey to fish the Tour and noted that it usually takes more than just one year to get established, build a network and learn to compete on lakes that are often nothing like those in the West. So for now, he's sticking with the Western circuit.
"The FLW events out here are the best, and it's a great opportunity for us to fish for big money without having to travel too far," he says. "I was lucky enough to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup [in 2009], and that is something I would have never had the chance to qualify for if it weren't for FLW."

Tags: tyler-brinks  article 

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-bfl-choo-choo-division-postponed

BFL Choo Choo Division Postponed

The FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 has been postponed due to impending inclement weather. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-tigerodz-aligns-with-auburn-team

TIGERODZ Aligns With Auburn Team

Custom fishing rod manufacturer TIGERODZ of Scottsboro, Ala., has signed an agreement to become the official rod brand for the Auburn University Bass Sports Club. Scott Dobbins, president of TIGERODZ, is an Auburn alum, and he says the pairing involved a natural progression of involvement. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-becoming-aware-of-your-angler-strengths

Becoming Aware of Your Angler Strengths

The ongoing sentiment among fishermen is that versatility is the key to becoming a successful professional angler. While I’m certain that statement holds some weight, I think there is an alternate perspective that is worth entertaining. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-18-pundits-picks-for-aoy

Pundits Picks for AOY

Winning the Angler of the Year title is a tremendous feat. It can solidify a budding career or affirm a veteran’s status among the best. It also comes with a hefty reward – $100,000 and early entry into the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup. READ MORE »