UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

FLW Tour season opener canceled

FLW Tour season opener canceled
FLW Tour

SHREVEPORT, La. - FLW Outdoors officially canceled the first FLW Tour event for 2010 on the Red River due to unsafe river conditions. The announcement came late Tuesday afternoon at the pre-tournament meeting.

The cancellation stemmed from a growing concern among pros who felt that the Red River was becoming more dangerous by the day with rising water levels, which were forecasted to continuing rising through Saturday.

The river was already high and rolling when anglers arrived for the event before the weekend. In fact, several of the popular ramps along the river were closed due to high water. And as the three-day practice period progressed, it continued to rise.

Increasingly, pros began to notice that structures and objects such as wing dams and buoy markers were slowly disappearing from view, hiding dangerously just under the water's turbulent surface. Several pros reported actually hitting marker buoys that were totally submerged.

When more rain dumped on the Red River Basin on day three of practice, river levels continued to increase and current velocity reached the point where boats idling forward under power were actually drifting backwards.

Folgers pro Scott Suggs voiced concern that a boat having any kind of motor trouble within the vicinity of a lock and dam was doomed due to the sheer velocity of water going over the spillway.

"If you had an engine problem either coming to a lock or leaving one, it was going to be major trouble," Suggs said. "A trolling motor is useless in that current. And even if an engine would just idle, it was not enough to escape the massive pull of that current towards those spillways.

"I left BASS because I respect FLW as an organization," Suggs continued. "After the decision yesterday, my respect for FLW shot out the roof. And it wasn't because I wasn't on fish. I was on fish. But it was a safety issue. The right call was made for everyone involved and I can't say enough good things right now about this organization."

Compounding the problem was that water temperatures were in the low 40s. Given the Red River's remoteness, especially way south where many anglers were planning to run during the event, an inadvertent man overboard situation would become instantly life-threatening due to both the current, water temperature and the threat of hypothermia.

The upcoming forecast did not bode well for the event either. Increasing water levels would have submerged more dangerous objects and forecasted rain would have limited navigation visibility even more.

"Things were only going to get worse during the tournament," said pro Chad Morgenthaler. "There were just too many dangerous factors coming together - it was a potential recipe for disaster."

At the pre-tournament meeting Tuesday afternoon, pros verbalized their dire concern to Charlie Evans, FLW Outdoors President and CEO. Evans then conferred with other FLW officials for two hours before rendering a decision to cancel the event.

"This was a tough, tough decision," said Evans. "After consulting with local authorities and FLW Outdoors staff members, we feel this was the best decision for the safety of the anglers. Unfortunately there is not a winning formula and we apologize for any hardships resulting from this decision. The weather in Shreveport has been a little cold, but the hospitality shown to our staff, partners and anglers has been very warm."

The decision was received with a round of applause and general sense of relief among anglers.

Evans also made it clear that the Red River FLW Tour event would not be rescheduled or made up for in the 2010 schedule. Now the 2010 FLW Tour schedule will consist of the five remaining tournaments and the Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta.

Also of note is that this is only the second time in the history of FLW Outdoors that a FLW Tour event has been cancelled. The first was the cancellation of the 2001 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Champlain due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The next FLW Tour event will be held on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., March 3-6.

To see video and pros' reactions to the cancellation,click the "Tour Updates" tab in the FLW On Demand page.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2010-02-10-red-river 

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

The Bowling Green State University team of Jamesen Simion of Saline, Mich., and Cameron Wilt of Alvada, Ohio, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Erie event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Bowling Green bass club $2,000 and qualified them to compete in the 2021 College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Bishop Hartley wins Erie Open

Bishop Hartley wins Erie Open

Ohio’s Bishop Hartley High School duo of Braden McNamara and Mike Abbott brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Erie Open. READ MORE »

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Boater Buck Mallory of Lawton, Michigan, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township, Michigan. For his victory, Mallory earned a total of $4,652. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

As promised, Wheeler Lake turned out to be the stingiest of the two stops on the Toyota Series Southeastern Division so far this season. The dog days of summer put the kibosh on the main-lake bite, leaving Wheeler’s many shallow creeks and tributaries to supply the pounds and ounces at weigh-in. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

The Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake was a shallow-water power-fishing showdown in tough summertime conditions. Almost all the fish the top 10 pros caught came from 5 feet of water or less, and a fair amount of those were caught in 3 feet or less. READ MORE »

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, Tom Monsoor totaled 54-10 to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River. Leading the final three days, the win is Monsoor’s second at the top level and earned him $125,000.   READ MORE »

Culpepper Captures Co-Angler Win

Culpepper Captures Co-Angler Win

Cal Culpepper of Hamilton, Ga., won the co-angler side of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake in impressive fashion. In three days of a tough tournament, Culpepper sacked up limits of 11-11, 5-11 and 11-7 from the back of the boat for a three-day total of 28 pounds, 13 ounces. For his win, he takes home a fully rigged Phoenix bass boat. READ MORE »

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Anglers who have fished the Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine in the southeast any length of time know the name Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga. For years, Carter has pocketed plenty of checks from both leagues with a career total of 50 top 10s. This year, Carter decided to jump back into regional competition with the Southeastern Division of the Toyota Series, and in just his second event back, he found his way to the winner’s circle at Wheeler Lake.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

The fish were biting pretty well for the top 10 on the final morning of Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Overcast skies and a steady south wind put a perfect buzzbait ripple on the water back in the shallow flats in creeks – and the anglers were taking advantage of it.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

After day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are stacked as tightly as they were on the first two days. With the lead, Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces to stay in the lead with an even 42 pounds. Behind him, Zack Birge, David Walker and Scott Wiley have all crossed the 40-pound mark and are hot on his heels. READ MORE »

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga., may not have the nicest, shiniest boat in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event this week, but it sure gets him where he needs to go. His beater aluminum tunnel hull craft has plenty of nicks and dings in it and for good reason: Getting into the places he has fished on Wheeler Lake the last two days has required enduring some scratches and dents. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Fishing creek ends continued to be the theme on day two of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Although the current was not running as much in the creeks as yesterday, the cooler shadier waters in the back of creeks were still producing for top anglers once again.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

After two days of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are as tight as can be. Moving into the lead on day two is Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., who weighed a second 14-pound bag for a 28-11 total. In second, Scott Wiley is one of seven anglers with 27 pounds and some ounces in the top 10, making the tournament anyone’s game in the final two days. READ MORE »

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Wheeler Lake doled out some lumps today in the second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division season. Only 14 pros managed to crack the 10-pound mark and six pros took a zero on the day. Leading the way is Jesse Millsaps of Jasper, Ga., with five fish weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. His biggest bass weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which was certainly the difference maker in nudging him to nearly 15 pounds in a challenging summertime grinder. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake has turned out to be beyond stingy to the anglers fishing the second event in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division today. After visiting with some 20 pros this morning, the most fish reported caught by a pro was just two keepers. The rest either had just one bass or an empty livewell. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

The second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division is off and running this morning on Wheeler Lake out of Ingalls Harbor. Many pros fishing the Southeastern Division this season agree that Wheeler will be the most challenging of the three events in 2020 due to the timing of the tournament. READ MORE »

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

As expected on the river, the weights are bunched together after the first day of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries. More than a quarter of the field are in the 11-12-pound range, and 10 pounds marked the exact halfway point of the field. That means leader Scott Wiley only has a 5-pound, 3-ounce lead over half the field after weighing in 15-3. READ MORE »