UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

An Elbow Bump for Tournament Directors

An Elbow Bump for Tournament Directors

(Editor’s note: Curtis Niedermier is FLW’s editor-in-chief. Though he does work alongside FLW’s tournament operations staff on site at events, he’s been only an attentive observer in the last few weeks as the tournament directors rebuilt the 2020 event schedule.)

While it’s still unclear how long it’ll take for the world to fully emerge from the shutdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears for now that some states are angling to start reopening businesses and other operations sometime in late May or early June if conditions allow. Whenever it happens, we know there can’t be a drop-the-floodgates type of reopening. It’ll be gradual, with the specifics varying by region and governing body based on infection rates and other factors taken into consideration by public health experts to help keep everyone safe, as that’s what’s most important.

I’m hopeful that FLW will be able to commence with relaunching the season according to plan May 28-31 at the rescheduled Lake Hartwell Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event. Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournaments are scheduled to start up the following weekend.

Whether or not things go as planned depends on a lot of factors that are out of the control of everyone at FLW. It also depends on a lot of hard-working people to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. I’m talking about our healthcare workers, grocery store employees, folks working to manufacture and distribute essential goods, public safety officials, law enforcement officers, and all the small business owners and managers that have braved the storm to keep us safe, keep us healthy and to keep people employed, despite incredible hurdles. Yeah, it stinks that we aren’t fishing tournaments, but those worries are small potatoes compared with what many people have been dealing with, and what they’ll continue to deal with in the coming weeks and months. To all those groups of people I mentioned, thank you.

On a more personal note, I also want to offer a public thank you to FLW’s tournament directors and operations staff. Like much of the country, our full-time staff has been working hard from home for several weeks now. It’s really amazing what the tournament directors have accomplished, too. They’ve managed to reschedule 57 of 61 postponed tournaments as of April 20. Fifty-seven events is more than most tournament organizations host in several seasons combined, and FLW’s tournament staff has figured out how to weave them into the rest of the regularly scheduled events without meeting in person, while taking into consideration holidays, other tournament schedules, fisheries regulations, permits, travel logistics and more. And they’ve been doing the work while fully aware that it’s possible they’ll have to redo some of it again later if the country doesn’t reopen as projected. That’s one big example of why they’re the best tournament directors in the business.

Tournament planning and organization are not simple. It’s a complex project that usually takes place over the course of several months. What they’ve done in just a few weeks is remarkable. Because of their hard work, once we finally get to start hosting tournaments again, we'll be able to get rolling right away, and I expect things to run as smooth as ever. Sure, there will probably be some new safety protocols in place to keep everyone safe, but it’ll be the same FLW that you knew before the break. 

Times are tough. That’s an understatement. Everyone at FLW is praying for folks who are suffering. If you’re in the position to help out a neighbor or friend in need, I hope you’ll do so. If you can afford to make a donation to a charitable organization that’s supporting the less fortunate, I hope you’ll consider it. And when you finally get to see your tournament director and staff again, please offer them a friendly wave or elbow bump (we probably won’t be shaking hands just yet), because they all deserve it.

Thanks for your patience and, as always, for supporting FLW.

Tags: curtis-niedermier  article 

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

It is the final day here at the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake and another beautiful day with the top 10 pros and co-anglers trying their best to take home the title. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

The second day of the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake began with slightly cooler weather, but it has turned into a beautiful day here in the Golden State. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The first day of the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake started with calm conditions and pleasant weather. Some of the anglers surveyed today were struggling to get bites and others seem to have the fishing dialed in. It appears to be feast or famine so far, but there will be some solid bags crossing the stage starting at 3 p.m. PT this afternoon. READ MORE »

TITLE Coming to the Mississippi

TITLE Coming to the Mississippi

FLW and Explore La Crosse announced Thursday that the 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship, will be held Aug. 17-22, 2021, on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Although FLW’s top championship has been held on the Mississippi River once before – in Moline, Illinois in 1998 – this event marks the first time that FLW has hosted its premier event in La Crosse. READ MORE »

Fish Northern Rivers for Smallmouth

Fish Northern Rivers for Smallmouth

From the Mississippi River to the Peshtigo River, Wisconsin and the surrounding region has miles of flowing water chock full of smallmouth bass. In the recent Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota, Matt Stefan targeted rivers flowing into Green Bay for the majority of his catch, and in doing so, he was able to tap into a skillset that he’s groomed for years on the Wisconsin River and other flowages near him. READ MORE »

2021 Toyota Series Championship Hits Pickwick

2021 Toyota Series Championship Hits Pickwick

FLW and the Hardin County Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Wednesday that Counce, Tennessee, will host the prestigious 2021 Toyota Series Championship, Oct. 28-30, 2021, on Pickwick Lake. READ MORE »

Annual Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Auction Goes Digital

Annual Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Auction Goes Digital

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is excited to announce its first Digital Hall of Fame Week, which will be anchored by a massive online auction offering up an incredible selection of fishing-related items not available elsewhere. READ MORE »

2021 All-American Heads to Douglas

2021 All-American Heads to Douglas

FLW announced Tuesday that the 38th annual Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held on Tennessee’s Douglas Lake in 2021. READ MORE »

2021 National Championship set for Grand

2021 National Championship set for Grand

FLW announced Monday that the 12th annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship will be held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in 2021. The tournament, slated for March 3-5, showcases the nation’s best collegiate anglers and awards the winners a $33,500 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Toyota Series Championship where they will compete for a top prize of up to $235,000. READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 3

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 3

Championship Saturday of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel followed its pattern of the week with anglers failing to capitalize on sparse opportunities. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 3

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 3

With the wind laying down a bit, the top 10 anglers in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River have been able to go wherever they pleased today. With crisp morning temperatures, plenty of sun and a north wind, the conditions have largely been quite good, with mixed results from the anglers. READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 2

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 2

Anglers said Thursday that current didn’t matter during the first round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel at Lake Dardanelle, but apparently it matters more than they thought. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 2

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 2

With strong wind from the north again, the Toyota Series Northern Division field was again confined to the actual Detroit River. On day one, the fishing was quite good, and several pros crossed the 20-pound mark and plenty of limits hit the scales. Today, things seem a little tougher. READ MORE »

Tommy Skarlis, 1965-2020

Tommy Skarlis, 1965-2020

FLW learned today that former FLW Walleye pro Tommy Skarlis of Denver, Iowa, passed away after a battle with brain cancer. He was 55. READ MORE »

Smith Wins Southeastern AOY

Smith Wins Southeastern AOY

Originally from Wisconsin and sometimes wearing a Green Bay Packers hoodie on stage, Dustin Smith doesn’t fit the mold of Toyota Series Southeastern Division Strike King Angler of the Year. Still, Smith hammered out a pair of top 10s and a 27th-place showing en route to the title, and his style of fishing was simply perfect for this season in the Southeastern Division. READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 3

Potomac Midday Update – Day 3

Clouds have lingered throughout the morning, which most of the top 10 were thankful for as the bite has been better than it was during practice when conditions were calm and sunny. READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 2

Potomac Midday Update – Day 2

Clouds once again greeted the field for day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River and the fish were biting this morning. With low tide this morning around 8:40 a.m. ET – about an hour and a half later than yesterday – more anglers had time to capitalize on the strong bite revolving around that window today. READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 1

Potomac Midday Update – Day 1

It was a gloomy start to the first day of competition for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River, and though it seems like a fishy day, so far the fish don’t seem to think so. READ MORE »

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule

The 26th season of FLW’s top professional circuit will feature six regular-season tournaments showcasing the best 150 anglers in the world competing for as much as $135,000 in a five-biggest-fish format on top bass fisheries at peak times. The 2020 season culminates in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Toyota, where the top 50 pros will compete for as much as $235,000 in a catch, weigh, immediate-release format. READ MORE »

Wheeler's Wheelhouse

Wheeler's Wheelhouse

The past 20 months of Jacob Wheeler’s fishing career have been nothing less than incredible. In 2020 alone, the MLF pro notched a Bass Pro Tour win on Lake Eufaula, an FLW Toyota Series victory on Pickwick Lake, and dominated the first-ever FLW Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. READ MORE »