UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Old Hickory Lake

Thrift, Dudley Join 2020 Bass Pro Tour

Thrift, Dudley Join 2020 Bass Pro Tour

Bryan Thrift and David Dudley will be joining the 2020 Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour.

Dudley joins the Bass Pro Tour following an exceptional 2019 as the FLW Tour Angler of the Year. Dudley, who has earned just over $4 million in his 25-year professional career ($3.8 million at FLW, which makes him the league’s all-time highest earner) – became the only angler in FLW history to win four AOY trophies when he finished the 2019 season with 1,250 points.

Dudley has accumulated 53 career Top 10s and nine tour-level wins. Two of those wins came on fisheries on which he will compete in the 2020 Bass Pro Tour: Lake Champlain and Lake Okeechobee.

2020 will mark his 26th year as a professional angler and he said the opportunity to push himself to new levels drove his decision to make the move.

“I’m motivated to start a new chapter and set new goals for myself on the Bass Pro Tour,” reflectes Dudley. “This format will present some new challenges and opportunities for me to grow as an angler; I will have to practice hard this winter to compete, which makes me both nervous and excited - feelings on which I thrive as a competitor.”

Thrift enters the Bass Pro Tour after what some consider to be the five most successful years for a professional bass angler. In 2019 he filled out his already impressive trophy case with one piece of hardware he was missing: the 2019 Forrest Wood Cup. That August win brought Thrift’s tour-level career win total to 12, boosted his list of Top 10s to 68 (the most in FLW history), and pushed him over the $3 million in career winnings.

Thrift has put together 25 Top 10s since 2013, including 18 Top 5s. He owns four wins on fisheries where he will compete on the 2020 Bass Pro Tour (Lake Champlain, Lake Okeechobee and Lake Eufaula x 2).

“Moving to the Bass Pro Tour is an exciting opportunity that I feel grateful to have earned,” says Thrift. “Featuring the top pros in the world and no entry fee, this is THE professional league, akin to other pro sports leagues like NFL and Major League Baseball; those athletes don’t pay entry fees. I’m excited and nervous to see what I can accomplish on the (MLF) Bass Pro Tour.”

Gerald Swindle resigned his position on the Bass Pro Tour in an effort to take a different direction and focus his time on his family. “I’m looking forward to finding personal happiness as I compete with my nephew at the beginning of his career,” comments Swindle. “It’s a promise that I made to my brother and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to spend this last quarter of my career fulfilling that promise.”

Brandon Palaniuk resigned from the Bass Pro Tour in hopes of pursuing lifelong career goals. “These types of decisions are never easy,” reflects Palaniuk. “I want to thank the entire MLF staff, boat officials, and especially the anglers for 2019. I have learned a ton about many things, mostly myself, and the reality is that I have some goals outside of the Bass Pro Tour.”

“On behalf of all the anglers on the Bass Pro Tour, we wish Gerald and Brandon great success in their careers,” comments Boyd Duckett, Board Chair of the MLF Anglers Association, the non-profit players association for Bass Pro Tour anglers. “Roster changes are commonplace in professional sports and bass fishing is no exception. We’re thrilled to welcome Bryan and David to our ranks and look forward to a competitive and exciting 2020 Bass Pro Tour.”

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 »

"FLW Fishing" Premieres Friday

"FLW Fishing" Premieres Friday

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today the 2020 season of “FLW Fishing” will debut on the Outdoor Channel, Friday, July 3 (7 to 9 p.m. EDT). READ MORE »

Wrapping Practice with Jon Canada

Wrapping Practice with Jon Canada

Second-year Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Jon Canada enters the first of three Super Tournaments down the stretch run of the season ranked third in Angler of the Year points. After a 10th-place finish at Sam Rayburn to start the season, he tacked on a 20th at the Harris Chain and 21st at Martin, and he’s looking to keep that consistency rolling on Chickamauga this week. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Chickamauga

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Chickamauga

On the schedule this week is 24 hours of streaming on-the-water tournament action with hosts Travis Moran, Todd Hollowell and Marty Stone, who joins the crew for the first time ever. Daily weigh-ins will also stream live from Dayton, Tenn. READ MORE »

Birge Back on Track After Boat Fire

Birge Back on Track After Boat Fire

Major League Fishing pro Zack Birge is back on the water for day two of practice for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga after scrambling overnight to deal with a boat fire. READ MORE »

Roaming Chick with Cole Floyd

Roaming Chick with Cole Floyd

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit rookie Cole Floyd is a rookie by definition only. Despite living in Ohio until joining the Bethel University fishing team, it hasn’t taken long for the young phenom to make his mark on the Tennessee River, from Kentucky Lake to Guntersville, Pickwick to Chickamauga. Floyd was gracious enough to allow me to ride along with him for the first day of practice on Chickamauga for a firsthand look at how he’s preparing to get the job done. READ MORE »

Inside Bass Fishing Magazine’s June-July Issue

Inside Bass Fishing Magazine’s June-July Issue

With fishing tournaments back in full swing and the summer bite starting to heat up, now’s a good time to pick up a copy of Bass Fishing magazine for tips, tricks, gear reviews and all the bass fishing content our readers have come to expect from within its pages. READ MORE »

BFL Winning Patterns – June 13-14

BFL Winning Patterns – June 13-14

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine season is in full swing again with six more divisions holding competition the weekend of June 13, including three double-headers. READ MORE »

48-Pound Limit Weighed at FLW Zimbabwe Event

48-Pound Limit Weighed at FLW Zimbabwe Event

From the moment registration opened for the second year of FLW Zimbabwe competition, it was obvious that FLW was here to stay. With Zimbabweans Roger Cousens and Denis Todd winning the International Division titles at the Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in November 2019, and Roger having been awarded a pro berth to compete on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit in the USA in 2021, every aspiring angler was out to be the next in line. READ MORE »

John Cox’s Greatest Hits

John Cox’s Greatest Hits

FLW is looking forward to getting back on the water for the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit in a few weeks. In the meantime, we’re offering a little retrospective on some of the all-time greats who’ve fished with FLW through the years. READ MORE »

FLW Cancels High School Minicamps

FLW Cancels High School Minicamps

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today the cancellation of the three High School Fishing minicamps that were to be held in conjunction with three 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit events. READ MORE »

Video: Niggemeyer's Carolina Rig Setup 

Video: Niggemeyer's Carolina Rig Setup 

James Niggemeyer recently shared a good video on the basics of Carolina rig fishing. From how he rigs one to what baits he likes, the Texas pro covered all the essentials.  READ MORE »

BFL Winning Patterns – June 6-7

BFL Winning Patterns – June 6-7

The weekend of June 6 featured six different Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine events spread across four different divisions. With a pair of double-headers mixed in, it was an action-packed weekend on the water. READ MORE »

The Top 5 Limits of All Time

The Top 5 Limits of All Time

Catching 25 pounds in a single tournament day is a pretty rare feat, and catching five bass for 30 pounds in a tournament has been done fewer than 200 times in FLW history. Knowing just how special those giant limits are, we decided to dig into some of the top bags from years past. READ MORE »

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 2

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 2

The red-hot shad spawn bite that fueled the big catches on day one of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick has fizzled this morning. READ MORE »