A Major League “Shot”
A Complete UNFILTERED opinion from the baitman
BAD MEDICINE IS WHAT I NEED…
This is my opinion, it may stink but if you dont want to smell what I’m about to rip, I suggest you click the X in the top right of your screen. If you’re on a phone, probably just close this tab.
TOURNAMENT BASS FISHING HAS BEEN DEAD
For a long time the pro tournament scene has been dead, dare I say it. I’m sorry if you disagree with me, but that is just like my opinion, man. Seriously, the sport is pretty much the same as it always has been. Guys pony up entry fees, they go in debt, they chase their dreams, and they try to catch the 5 biggest bass. End of Story. You have two major pro tours; FLW and B.A.S.S. One you qualify for their “Elite Series” the other if you buy a Ranger boat and have cash or credit, you get to play and slap “Pro” beside your name on a Facebook Page. (You can also do this without fishing ANY Pro-Event BTW). The Pro Tours have been watered down for quite sometime. Maybe they change the total purse of their Super Bowl like events here and there, maybe they kick co-anglers to the curb, or maybe you can now watch a live stream. But the overall product hasn’t changed one bit. With the announcement of the new MLF Tour, the “Sport” is about to change, for better or for worse. I’m leaning on the better part though. This is the “Shot in the Arm” Bass Fishing has needed for quite sometime.
With all respect to both FLW and B.A.S.S. neither organization can hold a candle to the TV Ratings and viewership that MILF, excuse me MLF, draws weekly, monthly, or however you want to cut the cake. Sponsors simply dont want to advertise when fewer and fewer eyes are on a product. (BTW: I’m seeking advertisers, hit that contact form up) B.A.S.S. has cut their television show into 30 minute segments from each event. Now they put two events into a one hour show. Nothing wrong with 30 minute Bassmaster shows on TV, Bob Cobb days were BY FAR the best thing on TNN. The other guys, wait almost a WHOLE Month to put a TV show together. By the time an FLW event airs the pattern, or bait the top pros caught their fish on are TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to most anglers. It has seemed almost inevitable that another Pro Tour was on the brink of starting up. With more and more anglers concerned about fish care and conservation than ever before, MLF offers the best catch and release format in tournament fishing. Neither B.A,S,S, nor FLW can say they have the live release rate success of MLF. I dont mean ALIVE at weigh-in. I mean, swims off and you know that fish is going to swim to the nearest brush pile to see another football jig. I know they (B.A.S.S. and FLW) have claimed some absurd figures of up to 97% percent success rate, but I’m here to tell you if you believe that I have beach front land in Kansas to sell you. If you paid ANY attention to Bass fishing in the last 15 years, you knew that the MLF format was surely to be adopted by someone after the HUGE (yyyuuuggggeeeeee) success of the first Toyota Texas Bass Classic held on Lake Fork, Tex?as. I was there, it was awesome. And wouldn’t you know that a couple of the major players of that event helped form MLF with Boyd Duckett (Kelly Jordon and Gary Klein)
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN BAITMAN?
Simple. MONEY. The almighty greenback. The Benjamins,. Big Faced Franklins. It is 100% about the money. And in this case it is a GOOD THING. Can you imagine being a Professional in ANY sport such as the NFL, MLB, or PGA Tour, where you had to go in DEBT just for a CHANCE to say you’re one of the best? Because that is the cold hard TRUTH. Many, and I’m not saying all, FLW or BASS Pros make below the poverty line. How is his fair? It’s not, and its even more ABSURD that it’s even ACCEPTED. And the tournament organizations and fishing industry laughs all the way to the damn bank. Now, I’m not saying the MLF Pro Tour isn’t a non-profit organization, because it absolutely is. Buti it has been way over due for an organization to line the pockets of the stars and upcoming stars of “Professional Bass Fishing”. I’ve said it for a while now. For the MAIN STREAM audience to accept professional bass fishing as a sport there has to be one main governing body that separates the Pros from the Joes.
BUT I’M JUST CHASING MUH D REAM
I get it, I totally get it. I also wanted to be the starting tailback at the University of Tennessee, but I’m 5’5’ and white as paper so I had to give that up. Its super sad knowing that some absolute hammers are out there tweeting their ass off for 20% off their next purchase of their depth finder, while Jimmy WhistleNut from Browntown, WV is getting two depth finders at 50% off because he’s on the local community college fishing team. EXPLAIN TO ME, HOW THAT GROWS THE SPORT. I have no problems with high-school and college fishing, in fact I think it’s awesome. I do blame Luke Bryan quite a bit for the explosion of Country Hip-Hop at the boat ramp. Too bad it wasn’t the “cool thing” when I was in high-school. It’s really simple, tournament payouts have been lacking for quite a while now. There are NFL Kickers sitting on the BENCH that make more than the top touring pro,. EVERY. SINGLE .YEAR. The MLF Tour is trying to change that..
WHAT ABOUT THE TOURS …LANE?!
B.A.S.S. and FLW will both be FINE.. If the rumors are true, and the MLF Pro Tour does take 80 guys, its not crippling either tour at all. I dont know if you have been paying attention the last few years, but what spots are available will be filled immediately. There are more than enough people willing to pony up and get their shot at the top of FLW or B.A.S.S. whether they actually have top tier talent or not. The Bassmaster Opens andFLW Costa series are packed to the gills for almost every tournament. These two organizations will have ZERO problem filling their tour level spots. Can an Angler fish both the MLF Tour and FLW or B.A.S.S.? We have yet to see the schedule, and see if their are any conflicts. But my question is WHY would they? If everything about the new league pans out, which I have no reason to believe its wont knowing the power players involved, then you would be silly to want to fish anything else. Unless, you dont qualify for it…
Let’s also face the fact that not every angler out their is cut out for the MLF format. The GRINDERS who just plunk away catching a decent keeper every our or so, usually dont fair to well in an MFL style event, but during a B.A.S.S. or FLW Tour event over 4 days they usually rise to the top. The guys that seem to excel at MLF are what I call the VACUUMS of fishing. When they figure out the pattern, they leave nothing behind extracting every bass willing or not willing to bite an area has.
ALL THEM MLF GUYS DO IS CATCH DINKS
Ugh yeah, because the format is different. To the guys that discredit the “dink fests”, have you ever fished in the middle of august in 101 degree heat and had ONE bite in 8 hours? Was that FUN?
If you said yes, I’m going to assume you’re a closet Tennessee Football fan and enjoy self humiliation. We have to remember that just because people watch Bass Fishing on TV, 90% of the audience cant or wont go replicate the same things these anglers do. I don’t care if its the 5 biggest bass or 100 smallest bass in an 8 hour period. If you can catch em, you can catch em. I seem to REMEMBER a certain classic in Pittsburgh, PA where a guy named KVD had a WHOPPING 3 day total weight of 12lbs 5oz…MEGAS. Oh and the same guy has caught several 4 day stringers that total over 90lbs to take home a win. Of course its more fun to watch guys catch Big Uns. It’s also a whole lot LESS fun to watch a guy fish for 5,6, or maybe 7 bites a day. I’ll be honest the B.A.S.S. event on Cherokee Lake, TN was one of the WORST tournaments I’ve ever witnessed on B.A.S.S. live. It set the sport back years. If a guy who had NEVER bass fished in his life saw that, he would think that those guys were on the front of their boat staring at their depth finder and playing with their pecker all day. Sorry. BORING.
Oh, and lets not forget FLW continuing to fish notorious GAR HOLES for the Forest Wood Cup, their “Super Bowl” has been notoriously the “Slow Bowl”. Again, if you’re going to have a rat fest at least do it a place where guys aren’t struggling to catch 5.
THIS IS MY FINAL THOUGHTS
You can Agree or Disagree with the idea or premise of MLF PRO Tour , but that’s totally up to you. This thing is happening whether you like it or not. Personally, I want to embrace it. I have no reason to be biased. But, there are PLENTY reasons for anglers to be biased. There will be guys that are loyal to B.A.S.S. and FLW Outdoors. Perfectly fine and I respect that. Some great even AMAZING anglers may never fish the MLF Tour., and THAT’S OK. I dont want anyone to fail especially ANY organization that is trying to better the anglers or the future of our sport. Reality Show? You Damn Right it is and I cant wait to see the BAITS these guys are using, because at the end of the day the people that are really watching these things, just care about the baits.