UPCOMING EVENT: HIGH SCHOOL FISHING - 2020 - California Delta

FLW Revamps Pro Circuit

FLW Revamps Pro Circuit

Though the 2020 tournament season will surely be remembered for the weeks that anglers spent off the water while waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic, today FLW is rolling out major changes to the remainder of this season’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit that will result in some of the most memorable professional bass tournaments in history once everyone returns to competition. 

Among the changes, the organization has extended an invitation to Major League Fishing’s pro anglers to join the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit for three newly created “Super Tournaments” that include an expanded roster and higher payouts. The Super Tournaments are made possible by the abbreviated schedules announced recently by MLF and FLW.

Because both organizations’ seasons have been cut short due to the timing of television production schedules and COVID-19-related schedule interruptions, FLW’s invitation to join together provides additional opportunities for pros who choose to participate.

All Pro Circuit anglers will retain their spots on the roster, but the field size will be expanded to include any MLF pros that commit to competing in all three events. MLF Pros have been given until May 15 to indicate their intent to fish, which means the roster could be final as soon as May 16.

While the total number of anglers is yet to be determined, the boost in entry fees paid by the MLF pros, plus an extra investment from the League, could result in tournament payouts of approximately $3.8 million through three events (a $1.37 million increase), depending on field size. Assuming a 200-boat field, 50 percent of the anglers will earn at least $10,000 at every tournament. Along with increased payouts, FLW will deliver an expanded four-day FLW Live on-the-water broadcast. 

These changes aid anglers as they look to not only overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19, but to create even greater interest in the tournaments among fans. Without question, the 2020 Super Tournaments will feature the most accomplished roster of anglers currently competing in a five-bass-limit tournament format. 

“It’s an understatement to say that these are historic times in professional bass fishing, but that’s exactly what we’re dealing with – a situation our industry has never faced before,” says FLW Executive Vice President and General Manager Kathy Fennel. “As we discussed how FLW should emerge from the quarantine period, we realized that we could work together with MLF to give both organizations’ anglers even better opportunities to earn money and represent their sponsors.

“The League is injecting a substantial sum of money into the Pro Circuit to make this possible, as well as adding additional live-streaming content. We’re going to give fans an incredible show, with the best anglers in the world fishing for five-bass limits. FLW and MLF will come out of quarantine even stronger.”

 

The new schedule

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit regular-season schedule has been shortened from seven events to six, with three Super Tournament events remaining to contest. The Super Tournaments have been scheduled on bodies of water at times of year that will allow an approximate 200-boat field to enjoy the best quality of fishing possible. FLW spaced out the tournament dates to make it easier for anglers to participate in every event, while also eliminating the off day between practice and the tournament to reduce time away from home and overall expenses.

The remaining schedule is as follows:

 

Regular-season Super Tournaments

June 23-26 – Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tenn.

July 29-Aug. 1 – Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis.

Aug. 11-14 – Detroit River in Trenton, Mich.

 

Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the FLW Pro Circuit Championship

Aug. 24-29 – St. Lawrence River in Massena, N.Y.

 

AOY stays the same

Only the original Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will continue to compete for the Angler of the Year title throughout the remainder of the season. AOY points in the final events will be awarded based on where Pro Circuit anglers finish among one another (e.g. the top-finishing FLW pro will receive “first-place points” regardless of where he finishes in the overall standings, etc.), and they’ll be added to points previously earned this season. 

Qualification into the Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the FLW Pro Circuit Championship, is also open only to the original Pro Circuit field based on where anglers finish in the season-long point standings. The TITLE will remain a six-day, MLF-style catch-weigh-release tournament. 

MLF pros that choose to compete in the final three Pro Circuit Super Tournaments will fish for prize money only. They’ll receive no points toward any championship or other title.

 

Entry fees and payouts

In the early 2000s, FLW changed the tournament-fishing landscape, in part by injecting major cash payouts into its championships and select regular-season tournaments. Those special events, such as the Opens and M1 Millennium, drew massive attention from media and fans and helped launch some of bass fishing’s most successful professional careers.

The new Super Tournaments now on tap for 2020 harken back to the special events of those formative years, as anglers will compete for huge stakes. 

Assuming a 200-boat field, the total purse in each tournament will expand from $820,000 to $1,279,000, for an increase of $1,377,000 over three events. The first-place prize will increase from $100,000 to $125,000, and FLW will pay out $10,000 through 100th place. Contingency prizes will also remain in effect, meaning qualified FLW PHOENIX BONUS pros will be fishing for a top award of $160,000 in each tournament.

For comparison, prior to the expansion, a Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro competing in a 150-boat field had a 33 percent chance of earning at least $10,000. Assuming an expansion to 200 boats, that chance will go up to 50 percent. 

“I think as professional anglers, our goal is to fish for the most money possible,” says Matt Stefan, a 10-year veteran of the Pro Circuit. “That’s what puts food on the table and pays our bills. In this case, the top 10 spots are getting more of an increase than the mid-level spots, but the fact is we could be adding $10,000 down to 100th place, which is 50 percent of the field. That’s something we’ve been striving for ever since I’ve been fishing with FLW. In my 10 years fishing, I have never fished when there was a substantial increase in payouts without having any increase in entry fees until now.”

Here’s how the payouts break down for a 200-boat field Super Tournament compared to the original 150-boat field:

 

Place: 150-Boat FLW Field / 200-Boat FLW+MLF Field

1: $100,000 / $125,000

2: $30,000 / $35,000

3: $25,000 / $30,000

4: $20,000 / $25,000

5: $19,000 / $22,000

6: $18,000 / $21,000

7: $17,000 / $19,000

8: $16,000 / $18,000

9: $15,000 / $17,000

10: $14,000 / $16,000

11-20: $11,000 / $14,000

21-30: $10,500 / $11,000

31-50: $10,000 / $10,000

51-60: $5,500 / $10,000

61-75: $5,000 / $10,000

76-100: $0 / $10,000 

 

Expanded FLW Live broadcast

For fans, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournaments will offer the chance to see major stars from MLF competing in the traditional five-bass format against FLW’s top pros. It’s a huge opportunity, and FLW plans to deliver some serious media coverage through an expanded live on-the-water broadcast. FLW will stream all four days of the Super Tournaments, instead of only the final two days. The on-the-water camera crew will also be expanded to help capture more of the action. 

 

Making history with Super Tournaments

Ultimately, the point of joining forces to finish the season is to not only bring professional tournament fishing back after quarantine, but to deliver a level of excitement that supersedes what we all enjoyed before. 

“We’re working together, and if this solves a problem and makes MLF and FLW stronger, that’s only going to do better things for everyone, from the high school level up,” says Stefan. “The other huge benefit, in my opinion, is this is what I think the fans want. They want to see the biggest names of the sport all competing in one circuit, and that hasn’t happened in a while. I also think there are a lot of fans out there that want to see the big-name superstars come and fish five-fish tournaments again and see how they hold up. As a pro angler, I look at it as a huge opportunity.”

Tags: curtis-niedermier  article 

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 »

FLW Making Final Preparations for Restart

FLW Making Final Preparations for Restart

FLW is looking forward to restarting the tournament season May 28-30 with the Toyota Series stop on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. There may be a few more schedule changes as states ease restrictions and reopen their economies at different rates, but FLW is optimistic that most of the schedule changes are behind us.      READ MORE »

Anglers React to Super Tournaments

Anglers React to Super Tournaments

When the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season picks back up, it will be with a new schedule, some new anglers and a lot more money in the pot than originally planned. READ MORE »

Pros’ Favorite Baits for May

Pros’ Favorite Baits for May

Across the country, May is a great time for fishing, with tons of bass in and around the spawn and a lot of baitfish species spawning as well. With warming water, it’s a great chance to throw a topwater for the first time, or really to do just about whatever you want in some parts of the country. READ MORE »

2020 MLF College Faceoffs Canceled

2020 MLF College Faceoffs Canceled

Originally announced in early March, the four-tournament series featuring the MLF-style catch-weigh-immediately-release format was set to feature 20 College Fishing teams that qualified through the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI circuit. MLF officials are hopeful that the Faceoff events will return in 2021. READ MORE »

How to Make a Buzzbait Squeak

How to Make a Buzzbait Squeak

One of the key aspects of buzzbait fishing is the sound, and Bradley Dortch modifies his with a file and some pliers to get the most squeak he can. READ MORE »

Q&A: Winnipeg Jets Goalie Connor Hellebuyck

Q&A: Winnipeg Jets Goalie Connor Hellebuyck

The Michigan native, who now spends plenty of time on the ice in Winnipeg – both playing hockey and chasing after walleyes – grew up fishing, and bass fishing has become one of his favorite fair-weather hobbies. We got a chance to chat with Hellebuyck about his background in fishing, his future on the water and his present on the ice. READ MORE »

Throw Bigger Swimbaits in Tournaments

Throw Bigger Swimbaits in Tournaments

Fitting larger swimbaits into a tournament arsenal is a goal that a lot of anglers never hit. Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Kurt Mitchell has gotten it done, and actually earned a lot of money with some of the more specialized and larger swimbaits over the past few years. READ MORE »

Bryan Thrift’s Greatest Hits

Bryan Thrift’s Greatest Hits

Thrift had a superlative career while climbing the ranks in FLW and competing on the FLW Tour. With more than $3 million in earnings in basically 15 years, Thrift has been on the leading edge of the technical side of fishing and an overpowering competitor since the start. READ MORE »