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

How the MLF Acquisition will Affect Me

How the MLF Acquisition will Affect Me

The Thursday announcement of Major League Fishing’s acquisition of FLW signifies a historic shift in the landscape of competitive bass fishing. 

Read official release here

As tournament anglers from the ranks of FLW High School Fishing to the FLW Tour begin to decipher how the acquisition directly affects them (and the nearly 300 tournaments that FLW currently operates), MLF co-founder Boyd Duckett refers back to his own tournament-fishing roots for a hint at both immediate and long-term plans for FLW competitions.

“Most of us grew up and came up through FLW,” Duckett says. “Their culture has always been pro-angler, and that’s our culture [at MLF] as well. We started MLF to make competitive bass fishing better for competitive anglers. That’s the driving structure of all we do at MLF, and that same driving force will exist [with FLW]. We’re angler owned. We’re fishing guys. We’re tournament guys. We’re working daily to make it better, and I couldn’t think of a better opportunity for FLW anglers at all levels.” 

Here’s an overview of how the competitive circuits of FLW will operate: 

 

2019 FLW schedule continues

All remaining 2019 events on the FLW tournament schedule will be contested as previously organized, with no changes to competition days/times, venues, payouts, etc. 

That includes the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks and the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland; five remaining T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regionals that range from the Potomac River to Grand Lake; the Nov. 8 BFL Wild Card; and a handful of High School Fishing and College Fishing events scheduled for October and November.

 

Looking ahead to 2020 FLW circuits

FLW High School Fishing, YETI FLW College Fishing, T-H Marine BFL and Costa FLW Series circuits will continue in 2020 and beyond, with the addition of three regions in the Costa FLW Series and reduced entry fees for both BFL and FLW Series boaters and co-anglers. The most significant alteration will occur at the top of the FLW professional tournament ladder. 

 

Bryan Thrift

The new FLW Pro Circuit

The 2020 season will see the birth of the FLW Pro Circuit, replacing the 24-year-old FLW Tour. The Pro Circuit will feature a 150-angler field, and will be contested over a seven-event regular season that leads to the FLW Angler of the Year Championship event. All anglers who qualified for the 2020 FLW Tour will be eligible to compete in the Pro Circuit.

The Pro Circuit will operate on a six-day competition schedule that features FLW’s traditional five-fish-limit format on days one through three, transitioning to the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release/every-scoreable-bass-counts format on days four through six (which include two 10-angler Knockout Rounds and a final 10-angler Championship Round). As is the case in all rounds of the MLF Bass Pro Tour, MLF-appointed in-boat officials will manage the competition and weighing of fish on the final three days of the FLW Pro Circuit. 

Payouts for the Pro Circuit will extend down to 75th place, representing a payday for half the field (a 12-percent increase in the number of anglers earning a check).

The new Angler of the Year Championship will serve as the signature final event of the FLW Pro Circuit, taking the place of the FLW Cup.

The most successful anglers (based on competition results) in the FLW Pro Circuit will qualify to compete in the MLF Bass Pro Tour. Details on qualification standards will be released in the coming weeks.

 

Jason Borofka

FLW Series expands 

Costa FLW Series anglers will see an expansion of regions from five to eight in 2020, to make the Series geographically available to more anglers. The schedule will include three events per region, and an FLW Series Championship. 

Entry fees for both boaters and co-anglers will be reduced: Boaters will pay $1,700, and co-anglers will pay $550 (down from $1,900 and $650 in 2019). 

 

Brennon McCord

BFL reduces entry fees

The BFL competition structure will continue as-is in 2020, with the same number of regions, tournaments and Super Tournaments as in 2019, all competing under the traditional five-fish-limit format. Entry fees will be reduced to $200 for boaters and $100 for co-anglers for single-day events, and $300/$150 for the two-day Super Tournaments.

The same group of BFL tournament directors will continue to manage BFL competitions.

 

High School Fishing and College Fishing

FLW’s High School Fishing and YETI FLW College Fishing schedules will continue without change for the remainder of 2019 and beyond. Anglers and teams that qualified for 2020 events in 2019 can expect to proceed as planned.

“As time goes on, we’ll accomplish a lot for those FLW anglers. They should be assured that times are continuing to get better,” Duckett says. “Not that it wasn’t good already. FLW has done a great job in building a pro-angler culture that’s the strongest I’ve ever participated in, but if there is anything that MLF can do, we intend to make it better. That’s what I get up for every day – to make it better for the anglers.”

FLW Live Schedule for the Mississippi River

FLW Live Schedule for the Mississippi River

With just two events left in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season, it’s time to turn attention to the northern part of the country. Presented by OPTIMA Batteries, the Pro Circuit Super Tournament on the Mississippi River out of Stoddard, Wis., will not only crown a winner with a $125,000 payday but also shape the Angler of the Year race. READ MORE »

Alvin Shaw Withdraws from Remaining Super Tournaments

Alvin Shaw Withdraws from Remaining Super Tournaments

Citing emergency surgery to remove his gall bladder, pro Alvin Shaw announced today that he is withdrawing from the remaining two 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit events. Shaw, a 16-year FLW pro, has 15 top-10 finishes and two career victories in FLW competition. READ MORE »

MLF Analyst Marty Stone Joins "FLW Live"

MLF Analyst Marty Stone Joins "FLW Live"

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, and Major League Fishing (MLF) announced the addition of veteran MLF NOW! analyst Marty Stone to the FLW Live broadcast team. READ MORE »

2nd Place Earns MDJ Bonus Bucks

2nd Place Earns MDJ Bonus Bucks

Major League Fishing pro Mark Daniels Jr. took home $3,000 of Toyota Bonus Bucks thanks to his second-place finish in the final Bass Pro Tour event of the 2020 season. “MDJ” had an extremely close, back-and-forth battle with eventual winner Justin Lucas on Sturgeon Bay before finishing the Championship Round as the runner-up. READ MORE »

Northern Division Returns to Sandusky

Northern Division Returns to Sandusky

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today that the organization will shift its Aug. 18-20 Toyota Series Northern Division event from Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, New York, to Lake Erie and Sandusky, Ohio. The move was made in response to New York’s expanded travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE »

Under the Cap: Look Inside Justin Lucas’ Truck

Under the Cap: Look Inside Justin Lucas’ Truck

Although he makes his living fishing on the front deck of his Phoenix boat, MLF pro Justin Lucas spends as much (or more!) time in between competition rounds and Bass Pro Tour events working out of a four-wheeled tackle garage that includes an A.R.E. Z Series truck cap. READ MORE »

BFL Winning Patterns – July 18-19

BFL Winning Patterns – July 18-19

The weekend of July 18 featured eight Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine events spread across six different divisions. With a pair of double-headers mixed in, it was an action-packed weekend on the water. READ MORE »

Assessing the ROY Race

Assessing the ROY Race

With the final two events of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit regular season slated for the Mississippi River and Sandusky Bay, on Lake Erie, there’s really no candidate that is perfectly suited for both. Because of that, the final two events set up well to test true fishing talent, and it won’t be easy for someone to get on a roll to close it out. READ MORE »

Pro Circuit Events Move to Great Lakes

Pro Circuit Events Move to Great Lakes

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today that the final two Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit events of 2020 have been moved. The final Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament scheduled for Aug. 11-14 has been moved to Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio, while the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota, scheduled for Aug. 24-29, has been moved to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. READ MORE »

Lake Martin TV Show Premieres Tonight

Lake Martin TV Show Premieres Tonight

The 2020 season of “FLW Fishing” features 13 two-hour episodes, showcasing competition during each of the six regular-season Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit events, plus all six days of the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit Championship. This week, the Pro Circuit event at Lake Martin is on tap.  READ MORE »

Cifuentes’ Chickamauga Mayfly Pattern

Cifuentes’ Chickamauga Mayfly Pattern

Adult mayflies only live for about 24 hours out of the water, but during that brief window, they can dramatically affect the prospects of catching a bunch of fish. At the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga, Miles Burghoff based a lot of his success on schools of bass that were related to the mayfly hatch. Joey Cifuentes also keyed on the mayfly hatch, and his strategy provides a great playbook for responding to mayfly hatches in a variety of situations. READ MORE »

Apex Watercraft Funding Next Kayak Venture

Apex Watercraft Funding Next Kayak Venture

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler Eric Jackson’s new company Apex Watercraft is setting out to build carbon fiber fishing kayaks that are faster, lighter and just as stable as the competition. Apex Watercraft is currently offering fans the opportunity to back the groundbreaking kayak-building venture on Kickstarter and via their website at apexwatercraft.com.  READ MORE »

ICAST Cup Winners Announced

ICAST Cup Winners Announced

The ICAST Cup presented by FLW, a popular part of the ICAST tradeshow for the last five years, kicked off ICAST Online as a fish, photograph and release tournament Saturday and Sunday with 50 anglers across the country fishing their local waters to raise money for Keep America Fishing. READ MORE »

BFL Winning Patterns – July 11-12

BFL Winning Patterns – July 11-12

The weekend of July 11 featured seven Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine events spread across six different divisions. With a pair of double-headers mixed in, it was an action-packed weekend on the water. READ MORE »

Erie Midday Update – Day 1

Erie Midday Update – Day 1

From a weather standpoint, day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie has been almost too perfect. Slick and hot from the start, anglers have been able to go wherever they want and fish however they want. READ MORE »

FLW Classics – Week 5

FLW Classics – Week 5

Even though tournament action is back in full swing, we decided to keep dipping into the archives for some tournament highlights from yesteryear. Below is a batch of classic FLW TV shows from 2008 to 2010, with more on the way.  READ MORE »

Virtual FLW Tournament to Benefit Keep America Fishing

Virtual FLW Tournament to Benefit Keep America Fishing

As part of the American Sportfishing Association’s first-ever ICAST Online fishing tackle tradeshow later this month, FLW is partnering with Keep America Fishing to host a special virtual ICAST Cup fishing tournament.  READ MORE »

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

On June 27, 16-year-old Noah Crogan’s big wish came to fruition at the Apple Island Marina on Lake Champlain when he became the owner of a brand-new Tracker aluminum bass boat. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Vermont, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and local anglers – including Phoenix Bass Fishing League and Toyota Series angler Cole Harris – Crogan was surprised at the marina with the boat, along with plenty of rods and tackle to get him on the water. READ MORE »

BFL Winning Patterns – June 27-28

BFL Winning Patterns – June 27-28

Wrapping up competition for the month of June, the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine saw four divisions compete this past weekend, which included a pair of double-headers. Due to the heat and a desire for the best fish care possible, one of the tournaments took place with a three-bass limit instead of the usual five-bass limit. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

Though Jacob Wheeler won the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga in grand style, his win didn’t impact the Angler of the Year standings. Only the original Pro Circuit anglers were competing for AOY points. That means the AOY focus is still on Ron Nelson, who slipped off his blazing pace a bit, but still holds the lead heading into the final two regular-season events in July and August on the Mississippi River and the Detroit River, respectively. READ MORE »