Andrew Upshaw, winner of the Cherokee Lake FLW Tour and the FLW Series Championship this year, announced today that he will decline his 2020 FLW Pro Circuit invitation to compete in the Bassmaster Opens.
Upshaw made the news public in a video posted to his social media pages. He said the sale of FLW to Major League Fishing and the pursuit of an Elite Series invitation is what drew him to the Opens.
"What I've had to look at on making the decision for what I want to do for next year is Ive had to look and say, 'Where do I want to be in three years?' Not where do I want to be tomorrow," Upshaw said. "That's something I've had to sit down with my family and sponsors to figure out what I can do. Can I fish both tours? Yeah, probably. It works out that the schedules don't conflict that bad, but I'd be gone all the time. You're talking months at a time without seeing my son or seeing my wife, and I'm just not okay with that.
"FLW, as we know it, is not there anymore. It's going to be run differently and it's going to have different owners and that's just what it is. What that did was it allowed me to re-evaluate where I want to be," he added. "This decision doesn't come lightly. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but I think it's the right time. In business, you look at times where you can make adjustments, whether you decide to leave a job or decide to go down another career path. In this case, with the sale of FLW to MLF, the FLW that I knew before is gone, to me. ... It's just not the same to me."
Upshaw spent the last eight seasons as an FLW Tour competitor, collecting a pair of top-10 finishes prior to this season when he broke through to capture his first Tour victory at Cherokee. He also competed in three FLW Cups. Prior to his FLW career, Upshaw was the first collegiate angler to compete in the Bassmaster Classic in 2012 after winning the inaugural B.A.S.S. College Series national championship in 2011.
Watch Upshaw's announcement and explanation in the embedded video below: