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All Topics   February 2019
  • Steven Rockweiler of Luling, LA writes:

    RE: Balog's mailbag – Joe wrote that the MLF way of catching and releasing the bass ASAP is the more conservation-minded way. The boys over at MLF have even come out with a campaign of sorts, taking shots at the other circuits, even though these guys had no issues with livewells and weigh bags before going to MLF. If one looks at the B.A.S.S. Open participants, there are a lot of MLF pros fishing these Opens. Perhaps they lack principles or something.

  • Paul J. Wallace of Cambridge City, IN writes:

    The PGA has an Ike in the golf world. We call him Sergio Garcia. Sergio tore up five greens and threw a hissy fit in a sand trap ... they disqualified him. Maybe that's what Ike needs?

  • David Eldredge of Milton, NH writes:

    Disappointing that the Mustad hooks I have bought the last few years have been made in China. While there are good manufacturers in China, they pay the same as the rest of the world for high-end CNC equipment and their pricing reflects their need for return on investment. With that being said, if Mustad finds it cheaper to go to China, they are not using manufacturers that have invested in high-end machines.

  • Tom Tanner of Jonestown, PA writes:

    I would like to commend Mike Iaconelli for his honesty and courage in apologizing for some recent problems. Professional anglers are people just like the rest of us, with families and bills and the same challenges that we all have. I've had the opportunity to meet Mike and many other pros, and I can't think of many professions that are any tougher. They travel constantly, fish under all types of conditions, spend a lot of time away from family and friends and have very little financial security beyond what they can win or generate from their sponsors.

    Everyone fantasizes about being a "pro angler," but it is incredibly demanding. No matter what, they are expected to put on a happy face and talk to every fan no, matter how bad they might feel. It doesn't matter which pro you root for – try to appreciate the effort they put in and the many contributions they have made to the sport.

  • Aaron Snatic of Elizabeth, LA writes:

    I saw the World Rankings were just updated. I was wondering if the MLF Bass Pro Tour was worked into the formula along with FLW and B.A.S.S. results. I never saw any mention of it, but might have missed it also. Just curious.

    BassFan says: Yes, the Bass Pro Tour events have been incorporated into the Rankings.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    I really enjoy this new BPT and have always enjoyed MLF. I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but now with the BPT top 30 in points advancing to 1 of 4 MLF Cups has got me lost. Were do the MLF Cup anglers advance to? Does this replace the Selects? I think we need a visual bracket to understand the process.

    BassFan says: The top 3 anglers from each of the four Cup events advance to the MLF Cup Championship, along with the top 2 anglers in Cups points, the Bass Pro Tour Championship winner and the reigning MLF Cup Championship winner.

  • Mark Perkins of Flint, TX writes:

    RE: New Hall of Fame class – Well deserved, but I continue to wonder, when is Mr. Alfred Williams going to be considered?

  • Ryan Said of Wixom, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on Clunn – After offering some counterpoints to Joe’s last piece, I just wanted to say that this is one of the best ones I have read of his. Although Bassmaster Magazine was my first exposure to tournament fishing, it was “Bass Wars” and the tale of Rick Clunn that made me fall in love with this sport. I read it annually for many years. What other sport has a figure like Clunn? Loved this homage .. well said, Joe!

  • Paul Wallace of Cambridge City, IN writes:

    I have to make a comparison between two people who I have admired for decades ... doesn't always mean agree with, but definitely admired. Rick Clunn and Neil Young. Both in their early 70s, both still vibrant, alive and making a difference. We should all be so focused and inspired to keep moving!

  • Jon Augustine of Des Moines, IA writes:

    RE: Balog on Clunn – Very well-written and very truthful to the impact Rick Clunn has made to the sport of bass fishing!

  • George Mrozinski of Sarver, PA writes:

    I think Ryan Said is spot-on. The commentary just isn't good. It added nothing to the event. They will have to step up their game somehow. Zona and Sanders are a cut above.

  • Robert Vincent of Charlotte, NC writes:

    RE: Tournament formats – I'm a bass fishing junkie, so I watch it all, but the five best fish is still much more interesting for me. I don't want to see some of these big sticks change their style to fill the boat with one-pounders. I like the grind it out for five of the right bites over 30 bass for 35 pounds.

  • Renaud Pelletier of Vancouver, WA writes:

    Just wondering when the Bass Fan world rankings will be updated, and if the BPT will be included?

    BassFan says: The Rankings will be updated after this week's tournaments and the BPT will be included.

  • Ryan Said of Farmington Hills, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on BPT opener – With all due respect to my fellow Social Distortion fan, after watching both MLF and Bassmaster, some counterpoint thoughts. Yes, MLF "felt" different on the broadcast, but I can't say it was better. Theirs was generic (felt like golf to me), whereas with Bassmaster, we had Tommy and Zona, both the universal voice in Tommy and the color commentary of Zona. Tommy and Zona are just better. Not saying MLF can't get there, but they are not there now. I was just not interested in anything the MLF commentators had to say. Nothing made me think harder, nothing made me laugh, they said nothing I did not already know.

    Regarding overall "excitement," I too was presently surprised by the excitement I felt over MLF ... until I watched Bassmaster this weekend. It was not even close. MLF lacks the tension, in my mind. Every bite in Bassmaster "might" help ... no guarantee. The weights are not guaranteed (Menendez was on top of BASSTrakk most of the day). In my mind, MLF has removed a lot of the tension elements that make the whole day exciting to follow, not just the last hour for the guys in 15th to 25th place.

    Lastly, I have to disagree that catch-weigh-release is the future. I could be totally wrong, but there is something special about putting a bass in your livewell, pulling it out and showing the crowd ... more of a sense of accomplishment. The climax builds throughout the day. I DO agree that fish care has to continually improve – I would even like to see a rule in Bassmaster about fish touching the carpet. But as far as I can tell, even after five Bassmaster events in the last eight years and thousands of other tournaments and guides going after these fish, the St. Johns at least seems to be one example of a fishery that is not at all fazed by tournaments big and small. I watched MLF and will continue to do so ... it is interesting. In my mind, it is just not Bassmaster level yet.

  • Rick Riles of Baton Rouge, LA writes:

    Wow, quite a week for B.A.S.S. The stars lined up for a slugfest. Great to see Rick Clunn do it again. As far as viewing, it was a step back from the BPT for me. BPT just has a better concept. I found myself calling penalties on the guys for stepping on and kicking fish in the bottom of the boat. Not to mention transporting those hawgs 30 miles from their beds and hoping for the best. I think it’s a new day as far as protecting the resource. As Joe Balog wrote, this will be the future of management – get on board. Bring on the head-to-head this week. I’m ready.

  • Steven Rockweiler of Luling, LA writes:

    RE: St. Johns River Elite Series – Looks like all the talk about B..A.S.S. being washed up is a little premature. Great tournament with tons of excitement ... from the older pros to the new gunslingers. Gotta love it!

  • Ken Snow of Spring Valley, WI writes:

    RE: BPT format – Six days of watching guys catch scorable bass is too much. It won't take long for folks to get bored of this. People loved MLF the way it was. It won't take B.A.S.S. and FLW long to field another group of fishing stars. And by the way, all of the BPT guys will have to compete for dwindling sponsorship money.

  • Steve Kirby of Columbus, OH writes:

    RE: BTP format – Some like it, some don't. If I were a sponsor, I wouldn't unless you're a major with your name in lights, as all the supporting sponsors, the little guys with little logos, are closed out. If someone figures out a way to combine the formats they may have a winner, or at least a better product. Personally, counting every fish caught takes something away from it as it lessens the need to think ahead, conserve for another day and just plain become more competitive. I think it's great that so many pros jumped ship from B.A.S.S. and FLW as it opened up a whole new venue for younger folks and new faces.

  • Tim Farruggio of Long Branch, NJ writes:

    RE: St. Johns River Elite Series – This tournament was an absolute joy to watch. It reminds me of the slugfest years ago at Falcon Lake. Nothing better than when things line up just right – lots of big fish. B.A.S.S. did a fantastic job! Congratulations to all the pros.

  • George Fiorille of Moravia, NY writes:

    RE: Clunn's St. Johns victory – Way to go, Rick! Way to kick those young bucks' butts!

  • Chris Lawson of Athens, ON writes:

    What about watching BASS Live yesterday was "triple-A"? The players are never bigger than the game. I'm not sure anyone who migrated to BPT would have put on any better performance than what we've witnessed so far.

  • Bill Wedelich of Dolores, CO writes:

    RE: Gluszek Chalk Talk – Pete says, “The more complicated the docks, usually the better it is,” Gluszek added. “The more isolated the dock, usually the better it is,”

    A complicated dock takes longer to fish but doesn’t make it better. Isolated boat docks with the least amount of foot traffic and a maximum amount of shade always hold the best fish.

  • Jackie Neal Parker of Crossett, AR writes:

    I just watched a popular fishing show on the topic of depthfinder advancements. At what point does it get to where it is not fair chase? They are already too expensive for fishermen like me. I hate to hear how good ol' so-and-so is when he has three or four television-size screens on his boat. Where does it end?

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    Watching BASS Live and the weigh-ins was definitely odd and to me was like watching a triple-A league tournament. Seeing only a couple superstars was boring. Maybe in time the hype will return, but as for now catch, weigh and release is the future of our sport.

  • Steve Brown of Riverton, AL writes:

    Let’s face it, BPT is giving a multimedia platform to this sport not seen before. It’s evident that the product is tailored to be entertaining across a spectrum of new fans, not just us bass heads. The hardcore BassFan population is a relatively small group of the potential fan/consumer base that MLF is going after. For those who complain that it’s just a "little fish league," I get it. But I also saw some of the most exciting fishing coverage on display.

    Keep in mind, things will change to improve it even more as time goes by. But remember, this isn’t your granddad's fishing league and it never was designed to be.

    I believe it will surpass anything we’ve seen in terms of viewership. I’m looking forward to seeing the media numbers.

  • Kimmie Ownby of Lakeland, FL writes:

    RE: First BPT event – For these pros fish need to be 14 inches long. And don’t talk over the fishermen while they talk about how they are catching their fish, please.

  • Jeremy Starks of Tuscumbia, AL writes:

    RE: Balog on BPT opener – Mr Balog, I agree with what you said. You don't need me to say that, though. I was entertained the whole time watching this tournament play out. Watching Jordan at the end, the moment he knew it was over and he had won, was pretty cool. And the live scoreboard for the other guys, knowing where they are at, and that they are close and have a chance. Wait until the tournament when it's a little closer and someone is making a genuine run at the leader, kind of like Evers was doing, where it's a pound and ounces deal and not pounds. That will be exciting.

    The one thing I see that may cause some to scoff at this format is the overall weight. Jordan caught the most weight on the last day, true, but Gagliardi had him beat by 5 pounds! I'm sure that Gagliardi is thinking, "Dang, I won that, but I didnt win." Still, he knew what he signed up for, so he gets what he got.

    Honestly, I enjoyed it. But right now, I am watching the Elite Series weigh in at the St Johns. I enjoyed watching them fish today. I enjoy bass fishing! Not gonna knock the FLW, but they have some ground to make up when it comes to coverage and their website.

    Enjoy your stuff, Mr. Balog. Thanks.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    After watching the BPT Live and B.A.S.S. Live, I prefer the B.A.S.S. format. I still believe the best five is much more exciting than 40 dinks.

  • Gerald Andrews of Benton, KY writes:

    Want to change the BPT from a dink-fest to a real derby? Change the size limit from 1 to 2 pounds! Easy fix. Love the instant release!

  • Tim Farruggio of Long Branch, NJ writes:

    RE: First Bass Pro Tour event – I can see some of these pros returning where they came from. I also can’t connect. Disappointing.

  • Matthew Shutta of Chicopee, MA writes:

    RE: First Bass Pro Tour event – Thank you for getting such a detailed account of everything Jordan used to get the win. Will BassFan be getting additional details for the other anglers in the top 10? I figured MLF would have this, but it just seems to be a photo gallery of baits. As a bass-fishing nerd, I want to know all the details I can get. Thank you.

    BassFan says: BassFan publishes a Winning Pattern article and a second piece involving the 2nd- through 5th-place finishers for each tour-level event.

  • John A. Argese of Taylors, SC writes:

    RE: Profanity – These are grown men. How many were not on camera at a pivotal time during the tournament when they used profanity?

    Let's stop with the fake outrage. It's passed its expiration date.

  • Jim Kaisler of Eau Claire, WI writes:

    RE: Bass Pro Tour – Very skeptical going in. Very exciting, great fishing coverage. No doubt the best live-stream product, by far. FLW second, B.A.S.S. a distant third.

  • Tony Papazian of Salinas, CA writes:

    Really enjoy the new BPT so far as it really shows the mental stress these anglers have to deal with. With that said, I'm extremely disappointed in Mike Iaconelli. We all know how passionate he is as an angler, but for him to cuss about getting knocked out of the cut knowing he's on camera, then not participating in the on-stage interviews, just shows no class at all. I hope the BPT has some kind of rule that fines anglers for these kinds of behaviors and if they don't, I sure hope the anglers get together and vote on this to create a new rule.

  • Cliff Pass of Lenzburg, IL writes:

    RE: Balog solicits ideas – Two topics to consider: 1) How long will sponsors stick with MLF? The reason I pose this question is because they have zero members other than the anglers, unlike B.A.S.S. and FLW whose members spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on fishing equipment. Also, you see very little information on MLF. It seems they have spent little money on marketing to attract a big following. I had to ask someone about them, as I had never followed MLF before. Even with all the stars from B.A.S.S. and FLW, they haven't done much marketing and have created an elitist organization.

    2) What about creating the All In Fishing Tournament circuit? The fishermen are allowed to catch, let's say 10 different species of fish with different species receiving X number of points. If someone catches all 10 species, they receive bonus points. This type of tournament from a TV standpoint would attract way more of the general public than bass tournaments, since the general public is just happy to catch anything. This setup would attract more sponsors, since it has such a broad appeal to so many people.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    RE: BPT stats breakdown – It will be interesting if you guys (which you probably are) compare the other tours like that. A lot of the lakes give the pros a waiver, allowing them to bring in 12-inch fish, as you can see in the Costa opener. I would think BPT has a bigger or at least equivalent average weight.

All Topics   February 2019

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