UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend 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.”

Forrest Wood’s Legacy

Forrest Wood’s Legacy

Surrounded by his family, Forrest Wood passed away in a Mountain Home, Ark., hospital just after 9 a.m. Saturday, four days after suffering a heart attack in his home. Wood, who was 87 at the time of his death, was the founder of Ranger Boats of Flippin, Ark. A pioneer of bass tournament fishing, he helped launch the careers of hundreds of aspiring tournament anglers through sponsorships. During his 20-year span at the helm of the company he founded with his wife, Nina, Forrest is credited with laying the groundwork for the modern bass boat through his innovative designs and engineering advancements. READ MORE »

Forrest L. Wood, 1932-2020

Forrest L. Wood, 1932-2020

FLW is saddened to report that Forrest L. Wood, the namesake of our organization and a longtime member of the FLW family, passed away today at age 87. He spent his final days surrounded by his family, including his wife of 68 years, Nina. READ MORE »

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

At the registration meeting for this week’s Pro Circuit season opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, FLW announced that Daniel had been promoted to senior director of tournament operations for the Pro Circuit, FLW Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League, with responsibilities to include directing the Pro Circuit. Bill Taylor, who served as tournament director for the FLW Tour from 2001 through 2019, has been promoted to senior director of operations, where he’ll lend his expertise acquired through more than two decades as a tournament director toward logistics, angler relations and event planning for all FLW circuits. READ MORE »

2020 Pro Circuit Predictions

2020 Pro Circuit Predictions

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit is at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, this week to kick off what promises to be another great season of professional bass fishing for FLW. In anticipation of great things to come during the inaugural Pro Circuit season, a few FLW staff members and one Pro Circuit pro decided to play pundit and make a few predictions.  READ MORE »

John Cox Making Most of Opportunities

John Cox Making Most of Opportunities

In addition to finishing second in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit standings last season, John Cox finished runner-up in the Bassmaster Central Open standings and fourth in the Eastern Open standings, qualifying him to fish the Pro Circuit and Bassmaster Elite Series this year. While many pros were faced with some either-or decisions this offseason, Cox chose both – fishing the Pro Circuit and Elite Series – and he’s not even a bit nervous about doing both. READ MORE »

Tackle Warehouse Teams with FLW

Tackle Warehouse Teams with FLW

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today that it has reached a sponsorship agreement with Tackle Warehouse, the sport’s leading online retailer that offers the guaranteed lowest prices on bass fishing tackle from every top brand. Effective immediately, Tackle Warehouse becomes the official tackle retailer of FLW and assumes title sponsorship of the FLW Pro Circuit, professional bass fishing’s premier five-fish-limit tournament series. READ MORE »

Rookie Profile: Laramy Strickland

Rookie Profile: Laramy Strickland

Being a rookie on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit can be daunting no matter what age you are. This year, there are 28 newcomers eager to prove themselves against some of the best in the game. And while the bulk of them have been chasing the dream for a while, 22-year-old Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Fla., will be one of the younger pros looking to make a name in the industry. READ MORE »

How to Prep Like a Pro

How to Prep Like a Pro

When it comes to getting ready for a season of tournaments, there are plenty of ways to do it. But, there’s no denying that for most people, being prepared will lead to better performance on the water. READ MORE »

Previewing the 2020 Pro Circuit

Previewing the 2020 Pro Circuit

With the kickoff of the 2020 FLW Pro Circuit coming up January 23 on Sam Rayburn, we've put together previews of every stop of the regular season. Below you'll find an overload of information on the fisheries, prospective patterns and anglers to watch throughout every minute of the season.  READ MORE »

Silver Carp Found In Chickamauga

Silver Carp Found In Chickamauga

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources received a report on Jan. 10 that a silver carp was captured on Chickamauga Lake in October. READ MORE »

The Importance of Having a Mentor

The Importance of Having a Mentor

If you want a chance to have a pro as your personal coach and mentor for 2020, keep reading. READ MORE »

Florida Spawn: Key on Bottom Hardness

Florida Spawn: Key on Bottom Hardness

According to FLW Pro Circuit angler Tim Frederick, who’s lived in Florida since he was 4 years old, one of the most important factors for successfully locating both spawning and staging bass in the coming weeks is bottom hardness. In most situations, the harder the bottom the better, but there’s more to it than that. READ MORE »

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Matt Becker.  READ MORE »

FLW Series Championship Returns to Cumberland

FLW Series Championship Returns to Cumberland

FLW (Fishing League Worldwide), in conjunction with the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission, announced today that the 2020 FLW Series Championship will be held at Lake Cumberland in Burnside and Somerset, Kentucky, Nov. 5-7, 2020. READ MORE »

FLW PHOENIX BONUS Announced for 2020

FLW PHOENIX BONUS Announced for 2020

Phoenix Boats has announced the creation and details of the brand new FLW PHOENIX BONUS for the 2020 FLW tournament season. READ MORE »

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

From the beginning, 2019 was a good year of fishing. The FLW Tour got off to a rollicking start on Sam Rayburn, and it really stayed pretty great from there, with a lot of good fishing and a killer Angler of the Year race. Beyond the Tour, all the other circuits had plenty of highlights, too. We saw impressive feats accomplished at all levels and some very exciting individual events. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 6 Airs Tuesday

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 6 Airs Tuesday

Join FLW for a watch party for the premiere of Episode 6 of Rapala Varsity Bass presented by General Tire. The episode will air Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. CT. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

With a home base of Clear Lake in California, FLW Pro Circuit pro Jimmy Reese is pretty used to phenomenal fishing. But, until Thanksgiving, he’d never sampled the bass fishing in Mexico. Now he has, thanks to a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits trip to Lake Baccarac Lodge that turned into the trip of a lifetime and produced some truly outstanding fishing. READ MORE »