UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

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 

Lake Eufaula Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Eufaula Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

It’s not like we didn’t already know it, but today the top 10 anglers drove home the point: To win at Lake Eufaula right now, you have to be fishing offshore. Among the ledge anglers this week is Michael Smith, who maintains his lead at the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event with a two-day total of 50 pounds. Here’s how the rest of the top performers made it to Saturday. READ MORE »

Smith Leads at Eufaula with 50 Pounds

Smith Leads at Eufaula with 50 Pounds

Competing in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event at Lake Eufaula this week, Michael Smith weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday to take the lead and backed it up with 24-9 today. His 50-pound two-day total has Smith ahead of second-place pro Scott Montgomery by 5 pounds, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Lake Eufaula Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Eufaula Midday Update – Day 2

Fishing is good, but it’s not easy today at Lake Eufaula on the second day of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event. Well, that’s only part of the story. READ MORE »

Lake Eufaula Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Eufaula Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Michael Smith established the pace at the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Eufaula with a five-bass first-day limit that weighed 25 pounds, 7 ounces. He leads a crew of mostly offshore sticks that are mining Eufaula’s brush piles and ledges for some seriously big bass. Though, it’s worth pointing out that several in the top 10 did catch some or all of their keepers up shallow today. Here’s a rundown of the top five after one day of fishing. READ MORE »

Smith Smacks 25-7 at Eufaula

Smith Smacks 25-7 at Eufaula

It’s a 90-minute drive from Michael Smith’s Andalusia, Ala., home to Lakepoint Resort State Park where the Toyota Series Southeastern Division kicked off its season today on Lake Eufaula. That’s just close enough, says Smith, that he fishes here more than anywhere else. His understanding of how Eufaula’s bass transition from the bank to postspawn ares to the main lake really showed today while Smith put together an impressive 25-pound, 7-ounce limit to gain the day-one tournament lead. READ MORE »

Lake Eufaula Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Eufaula Midday Update – Day 1

It’s pretty clear from what went down on Lake Eufaula this morning that this lake is plumb full of fish. Almost everybody we pulled up on was catching bass. Yet, the consensus was that the bite isn’t quite as good today as it was during practice. No one reported the kind of mega-weights everyone expects to see. But there’s still some time. READ MORE »

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

For the second week in a row, FLW’s Toyota Series is visiting one of Alabama’s premier bass fisheries at the perfect time of year for pros to hammer on big bags of postspawn largemouths. 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 »

A New Outlook on AOY

A New Outlook on AOY

As the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season looks to start back up in June on Lake Chickamauga, there are some new factors to consider in the Angler of the Year race.   READ MORE »

6 Super Tournament Story Lines

6 Super Tournament Story Lines

The expanded field list for the new Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournaments brings with it some very fun matchups and the potential for some record chases to reignite. Because many of the newly added Major League Fishing anglers have had longer careers than those at the top of the Pro Circuit, they’re in a unique position to chase down some records that otherwise may not have been touched this year. In other cases, it’s simply going to be a pleasure to watch the best of the best duel on some epic bodies of water. READ MORE »

Be a Super Tournament Marshal

Be a Super Tournament Marshal

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit is professional bass fishing’s premier five-fish-limit tournament trail, and it’s about to get a whole lot more exciting for the remainder of 2020. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Roster Set

Super Tournament Roster Set

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, released the expanded 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit roster, which now includes top Major League Fishing (MLF) pros like Jacob Wheeler and reigning REDCREST Champion Edwin Evers. When the season restarts June 23 on Lake Chickamauga, the final three regular-season Pro Circuit events will feature 209 boats and nearly $4 million in prize money. As previously announced, FLW extended invitations to all MLF anglers to compete in three “Super Tournaments” after MLF announced an abbreviated schedule due to the mid-season pause in response to the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE »

The BFL Returns on May 30

The BFL Returns on May 30

After a nearly two-and-a-half-month hiatus from fishing tournaments, FLW is excited to get back to business with the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League season. The action kicks off again on May 30 with the Volunteer Division on South Holston. From there, the BFL season will waste no time getting back in the swing of things with a full slate of tournaments scheduled nearly every weekend from the beginning of June through October. READ MORE »

2020 FLW TV Schedule

2020 FLW TV Schedule

Beginning on July 3 and running through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. New this season, episodes have been expanded to two hours long. Each show goes in depth to break down the final rounds of competition, with six unique episodes covering each day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Championship. READ MORE »

2020 FLW TV Schedule

2020 FLW TV Schedule

READ MORE »

Pros’ Favorite Shad Spawn Baits

Pros’ Favorite Shad Spawn Baits

With the bass spawn winding down across the South, it’s time to capitalize on the shad-spawn bite. Shad spawn patterns usually don’t last long into the day, but fishing the shad spawn can be a fantastic way to catch a pile of fish and some big ones to boot. READ MORE »

Mark Rose’s Greatest Hits

Mark Rose’s Greatest Hits

FLW is looking forward to getting back on the water once it’s safe to come together and fish tournaments again. In the meantime, we’ll be offering a little retrospective on some of the all-time greats who’ve fished with FLW through the years. This time around we’re shining the spotlight on Mark Rose. From his Angler of the Year title to winning multiple FLW Tour events and even joining the bass-fishing millionaire club, it’s easy to see why the Arkansas pro is one of the best to have ever fished with FLW. READ MORE »

FLW Adds Free High School Minicamps

FLW Adds Free High School Minicamps

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Murray State University announced that it will not host any summer camps this year. As a result, FLW is replacing its traditional High School Fishing Camp, scheduled for July 22-24, with a series of FREE minicamps held in conjunction with three Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit tournaments. Campers already registered will receive a full refund and are invited to participate in any of the FREE minicamps.  READ MORE »

FLW Classics – Week 4

FLW Classics – Week 4

This week’s shows cover some old FLW Series Western Division events, Steve Clapper's 2007 FLW Tour Open win on the Detroit River and more high-level tournament action.  READ MORE »