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

ALL IN for the Invitationals

ALL IN for the Invitationals
Luke Dunkin

(The writer's opinions and observations expressed here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views, policies or positions of FLW.)


FLW to Tour pros: “Want more tournaments to fish?”

Tour pros: “YES!!!”

FLW to Tour pros: “Want to fish an event without co-anglers?”

Tour pros: “YES!!!”

FLW to Tour pros: “We are going to have two events this fall, with no co-anglers, and the winner of each event will receive a 2017 Forrest Wood Cup berth!”

We asked, and we received. FLW made it happen. If you’re a Tour-level pro, you want and need to fish as many events as you can in a given year. This gives you more opportunities to cash checks and promote your sponsors. Not to mention there are 2017 Forrest Wood Cup berths on the line. That in itself is a huge prize. Knowing that you have a Cup berth locked up before the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour season kicks off at Guntersville in February would be an amazing feeling. It would certainly help you sleep a little easier after a rough day on the water, and allow you to take a few chances along the way.

From a fishing fan’s perspective the Invitationals offer a little bit of everything. In a normal year, after the dust and confetti settle from the Forrest Wood Cup, fans have to wait a few months before the FLW Tour fires up again. Not this year. A little more than a month will separate the Cup from the first Invitational at Lake Norman in North Carolina, and that will be followed up a month later by the Norris Lake event in Tennessee.

The regular Tour schedule usually takes place during the prespawn, spawn and postspawn phases. We rarely get to fish a fall event on Tour. That means totally different tactics and techniques will come into play to do well in these events. We will trade sight-fishing, oversized spoons and crankbaits for schooling fish and topwater blowups. Fans will have a front-row seat for all of it during these two events. Each pro will be paired with a marshal who will be there to observe every move the pro makes. During the regular-season Tour events this only happens on days three and four because we fish with co-anglers the first two days. At the Invitationals, the marshals will be able to provide up-to-the-minute updates every single day of the event. This should lead to some incredible coverage from the FLWFishing.com crew.

Not only will the FLW pros be front and center at the Invitationals, but I feel like the lakes themselves will be the stars of the show. These two bodies of water are VERY different than a lot of lakes around the country. Norman is nestled right outside of Charlotte, N.C., and is very well developed. That means lots of boat docks, brush piles and sea walls.

Norris is a typical east Tennessee clear-water highland lake that will have rock, rock, gravel and more rock. Word on the water is the lake level could be drawn down as much as 30 feet when we get there. That should be interesting, to say the very least. Both lakes are full of a variety of bass. We could certainly see a mix of spotted bass and largemouths win at Norman, and it could take a grand slam of smallies, largemouths and spots to win the Norris event. That’s something to get fired up about. Any time you start talking spots and smallies I get weak in the knees. I know a lot of people in the bass world are the exact same way.

The win-and-you’re-in-the-Cup nature of these events, mixed with no points and a smaller field, will make them very exciting to be a part of. I can’t wait to roll the dice at Norman and Norris. Hopefully I can net a big paycheck, a bigger trophy and a Forrest Wood Cup berth all at the same time. With all those opportunities combined with fall fishing on some great fisheries, there’s no reason to not be all in with the FLW Tour Invitationals.

Tags: luke-dunkin  blog 

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