UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Pickwick Lake

Facts, figures provide proof of tournament fishing’s popularity

Facts, figures provide proof of tournament fishing’s popularity
The crowd files into the Century Link Center for the final day weigh-in to begin.

I've been involved with FLW "officially" for eight years now. Lots of people ask me how I got to be the Director of Public Relations for the world's premier tournament-fishing organization, so I'll tell you. It's a career path I never could have planned.

In 1996 I graduated from college with a career in graphic design. I got a job as a graphic designer making news graphics ... pretty mundane stuff. After a few months, the editor of the paper walked up to my desk and said, "You like to hunt and fish, right?" I grew up hunting for squirrel with my grandfather in northeast Arkansas. I went to high school in Stuttgart, Ark., the "Duck Capitol of the World." I fished every chance I got. So I answered, "Yes." The editor asked me if I'd like to be the outdoor writer for the newspaper.

I instantly agreed. I liked to write, but knew nothing about journalism. I had two mentors who taught me the journalistic style. I immersed myself in the outdoor writing world. A few years later, a friend offered me a job in the outdoor industry as a public relations representative. I accepted. I learned everything I could about the industry.

Fast forward. I had been a media guest of FLW at some of the BFL All-Americans and had realized the quality organization it was. I told my wife, "This is the company I want to work for."

A few years later I answered a phone call. FLW. They had a job opening. I applied. I interviewed. I was nervous. This was the company I wanted to work for. I remember telling Dave, my interviewer, "Look no further. I can do it."

Fast forward. This is my eighth season with FLW. This is my 17th season in the industry. I've listened to pro anglers talk in forums about what they would like to see happen in the industry. I've had coffee with casual fans and listened to concerns. I've had meetings with industry bigwigs at ICAST about growing the sport. And I've had Thanksgiving dinner with anglers and their families and talked to them ... and I've listened.

Chad Gay, FLW Director of Public Relations That being said, from time to time I'm going to provide some insight into how FLW operates and how it affects anglers, fans and the industry.

In fact, I'd like to share a few facts and figures from the recent Forrest Wood Cup in Shreveport. Professional bass fishing continues to grow in popularity, and fishing fans and the media attention it garners is proof of the booming popularity.

For example, page views to FLWOutdoors.com jumped 45 percent in 2013. During the Forrest Wood Cup, FLW Live's coverage of the weigh-in jumped 20 percent, with almost half of that traffic coming from the FLW mobile app. The live camera shots from the competitors' boats proved to be wildly popular and returned 12 times the amount of traffic as the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup.

The media corps for the Forrest Wood Cup in Shreveport included members of the media from across the country. More than 50 members of the national, regional and local media were present for the Forrest Wood Cup. In addition to local television in Shreveport, other local TV outlets in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina followed and reported on their hometown anglers' progress in Shreveport. Radio shows in Seattle, Austin, Memphis and northwest Arkansas were on the ground to cover the action. Other radio coverage was garnered in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina and even Canada.

Overall, there were almost 2,000 media hits during the Forrest Wood Cup period with overall total impressions of 4.7 billion.

These numbers tell me that the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup was a success for FLW, for fishing fans and for the anglers who benefit from this kind of coverage.

And I'm looking forward to an even bigger and better 2014 season.

Do you have a topic you'd like me to discuss? Contact me at cgay@flwoutdoors.com or Twitter at @FLWChadGay.

Tags: chad-gay  blog 

Fishing with Confidence

Fishing with Confidence

This year, I’ve chosen to home in on trusting my gut, even with tough practices. I’m happy to share that I rarely have a practice that’s worth writing home about. It’s just the way it goes, and I’ve learned to not let the discouragement affect the tournament. READ MORE »

Renewed Excitement for Super Tournaments

Renewed Excitement for Super Tournaments

Like everyone else, I had concerns about when we would be able to resume our 2020 season on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. Probably a bigger concern was what the rest of the season would look like. READ MORE »

Why I’m Excited to be Back with FLW

Why I’m Excited to be Back with FLW

This year has been an interesting one, to say the least. For the first time in my pro career, I’ve been home for much of the spring, and while it was great to fish local waters and get some projects done around the house, I’m ready to get back to fishing tournaments. READ MORE »

Big Changes for the Pro Circuit

Big Changes for the Pro Circuit

Recently announced changes to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit have me extremely excited to get the season back under way. Specifically, a good number of the Major League Fishing anglers will be fishing the remaining three Pro Circuit Super Tournament events with increased payouts. This makes these truly the most lucrative five-fish-limit events in the country, with potentially half of the tournament field being paid $10,000 or more. READ MORE »

My Line-Thru Addiction

My Line-Thru Addiction

Pollen is in the air, on the water and covers my boat on a daily basis. When this happens, it means one thing to me – the bass are on the bed. Now, most people are all giddy about sight-fishing, but that’s not my deal. I can count on two hands how many fish I’ve caught truly sight-fishing. What comes to my mind during this time is swimbait fishing, but more specifically, one kind of swimbait in particular – a line-thru swimbait. READ MORE »

Making the Most of Quarantine

Making the Most of Quarantine

At the beginning of this year I was excited about the opportunity to fish the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and the Bassmaster Elite Series. I was most excited about fishing the spawn in March and April on some of my favorite lakes. When the schedules for both circuits were first released I was feeling very confident about doing some sight-fishing on Santee Cooper, Eufaula and Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »

The Real Reason I love Spring

The Real Reason I love Spring

Fishing for a living is awesome, but when spring comes it can be tough. April is always a busy month for tournaments – and the fishing is usually fantastic – but I really love to turkey hunt and tournaments can put a damper on that. READ MORE »

A Silver Lining

A Silver Lining

From spending some quality time with my wife, Katie, and my dog, Doppler, to organizing my life and fun fishing, there are numerous ways that I have been able to take advantage of our current social responsibility to participate in “social distancing.” READ MORE »

Encouraging the Next Generation

Encouraging the Next Generation

Growing up in the city of Chicago, I didn’t have the outlet to the outdoors that a lot of our youth enjoy while growing up. It often takes hours to travel out of the city due to traffic, and there were no lakes within walking distance from my house. So it’s not like I could swing by the pond after school. READ MORE »

Picking out a New Favorite Rod

Picking out a New Favorite Rod

When selecting a new rod, I consider several elements: action, power, length and components.  Different rods will fit the role, depending on the type of lure, cover and fish species you are targeting. READ MORE »

Always Go Down Swinging

Always Go Down Swinging

Greg Bohannan's late father, Kenny, taught his sons to never take a third strike looking. "If you take the pitch and don't swing, you never give yourself a chance," he'd say. With that lesson in mind, Greg took his cuts at Lake Martin and gave himself a shot to win. Even though it didn't work out, he knows that at least he went down swinging. READ MORE »

How to Catch Your New PB

How to Catch Your New PB

Out of the five biggest fish I have caught in my life, four have come on a ChatterBait, including my personal best – a 9-pounder I caught this year on Sam Rayburn during the first Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event. READ MORE »

Why You Should Reel with Both Hands

Why You Should Reel with Both Hands

Without a doubt, during a tournament day I always get a question from my Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Marshal about why I have both left- and right-handed Abu Garcia baitcast reels. I get comments about the same thing from multiple social media followers if I post a picture that shows my reels. The remarks originally surprised me, but not any longer because of how frequently I see them. READ MORE »

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Despite the solid start to the year, and the confidence that comes with overcoming adversity, Miles Burghoff knows very well how a good start to a season can either create positive momentum, or open the door to complacency, which often can result in a loss of motivation and focus. With the Harris Chain event kicking off this week, he's determined to keep that focus and motivation. READ MORE »

New Year, Same Feel

New Year, Same Feel

Ending 2019 on a bad note wasn’t how I pictured last season going. I was in contention to qualify for the FLW Cup going into the last FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, but after coming in 97th at the finale I finished the season 51st in the Angler of the Year points and missed my chance for the Cup. Not going to lie, it stung a little bit and made for a LONG drive home, but it also made me hungry for 2020. READ MORE »

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Josh Douglas and his wife, Bri, created this baller recap video from Sam Rayburn and the first Pro Circuit event of 2020. In the video, which includes footage from practice and the tournament, Josh dishes on how he used his practice time to eventually uncover a productive trap pattern that helped him earn a 42nd-place finish, which is a big improvement on the 114th he posted at Rayburn in the 2019 FLW Tour event. READ MORE »

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

In tournament fishing, you can beat yourself up for days with the “what if” scenarios that cause you to second-guess your gut. Well, in this case, I guessed wrong. I finished the Lake Champlain event in 145th place. It knocked me all the way down to 60th in points and out of Cup contention. READ MORE »

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

People talk a lot about the offseason in professional bass fishing, but when you do this for a living you pretty quickly realize there really isn’t much of an offseason anymore. READ MORE »

New Challenges, New Opportunities

New Challenges, New Opportunities

Now with 2019 in the rear-view mirror, 2020 is in the crosshairs, and I look forward to the challenges ahead. With the rebranding of the Tour to the new FLW Pro Circuit, there are some great new opportunities that both fans and competitors will benefit from. READ MORE »

Why I Chose FLW

Why I Chose FLW

My name is Richard Dunham, but most people know me as Dicky D. I currently live in Palm Harbor Florida where I work for the Folsom Corporation, one of the largest fishing distributors in the country. In 2020 I am fishing as a boater in Southern Division of the FLW Series. READ MORE »