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All Topics   March 2019
  • Michael Belter of Reidsville, N.C. writes:

    Loved watching the MLF Live coverage of our lakes here in North Carolina. However, I hate the format. I feel sorry for anglers like Tommy Biffle and Ish Monroe who would have had had decent days with their best five, yet were knocked out while an angler with 14 fish for only 22-plus pounds makes it in. It does reinforce the common view that MLF is a "fishing show" or a dink-fest since someone who hasn't figured out how to catch quality fish can still beat out someone who has figured them out. Also, the whole no-info rule is severely compromised by the fact that anglers are informed of the ScoreTracker.

    One of the most difficult aspects of tournament fishing is the decisions that are made. Knowing what the ScoreTracker is gives them way too much information about when to change, when to grind, etc. I just wish we could do away with the gimmicks on the BPT/MLF so that hardcore bass fans and tournament fishermen wouldn't see it as a "fishing show" and respect it as a real tournament like it should be.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    To get a better understanding of why the pros went to MLF, go to Paul Elias Fishing and check out his post of why it happened. He tells it like it is!

  • John Gaulke of Ithaca, NY writes:

    A few months ago I might have agreed with Rick Riles' comments. After all, who's going to be interested in B.A.S.S. after KVD, Ike, Aaron Martens and other big names leave? But don't forget, B.A.S.S. made KVD, Roland Martin, Rick Clunn and the rest of the marquee names we are all so familiar with now. KVD did not make B.A.S.S.

    B.A.S.S. will continue to launch careers. The casual fan going to an Elites weigh-in may not even know about how many pros moved to BPT, and they may not care. They want to see some big fish being weighed in.

    Look at modern rock music – a band like Foreigner has virtually zero original members. Other bands like Journey are missing their top star. Guess what? These bands are doing more ticket sales than ever in some cases. It's the same with B.A.S.S. – it's the name recognition of B.A.S.S. that will grab the viewers and we'll all get to know the newbies better with each event.

  • John Neer of Alexandria, VA writes:

    RE: Practice with Martens – Given the eye-catching set-up at the beginning of the piece, it was a heck of a long read that didn’t seem to really have a point and didn’t deliver at the end in explaining why the writer felt he’d jinxed him. All that product name-dropping is kind of a turn-off, too. And including the Fox News reference seemed pointless at best, pandering at worst. Like Bassmaster’s “A Day on the Lake”, why not just call it “Practice Day for the Classic with Aaron Martens”?

  • Rick Riles of Baton Rouge, LA writes:

    "By next year we will be following the next generation of Elites, and there probably won't be much thought about the anglers who left for the BPT. Time usually heals all wounds."

    This statement is laughable. This great tournament will take a HUGE step back from this point forward. The fishermen made this event what it was. Those names will never be forgotten and it will take 20 years for the no-names fishing it next year to be anything more than journeyman pros struggling to survive. The top guys will continue to get most of the money available. Very sad day – it will never be what it was.

  • Bobby Forster of Spokane, WA writes:

    RE: Poche tips off Defoe – Props to Ott Defoe on this. Ott had the humility and class to share the fact that his friend helped him out and gave props where he should. Pretty sure Poche appreciated that and even though he had a disappointing Classic, he played a part in the win and was recognized for it. The only reason some people are upset now is because by Ott doing this it has brought to light a very common practice. Most of us have no idea who's helping who. Competitors room togather, work together to figure the fish out and help each other. The Johnson brothers even split the money. I see no issue with this as it's within the rules.

  • Jerry W. Bullaboy of Salisbury, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on DeFoe – Joe, you are spot-on. Just one more great thing to be said about Ott is he is every fisherman's friend!

  • Craig Hughes of Kingsport, TN writes:

    Balog on DeFoe – Great article and you hit the nail on the head. A man mature beyond his years, on and off the water. Not just an old soul, but a very good old soul.

  • George Fiorille of Moravia, NY writes:

    RE: Poche tips off DeFoe – I know how Keith feels. When I used to fish co-angler in the Elie tournaments I helped a couple of the pros cash and only got a pat on the back for it. Steak? Ott needs to buy him a whole cow.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    B.A.S.S showed class at the Classic! I still feel that if they would have addressed the anglers concerns, they would not have left. No matter what anyone says, the Classic will never be the same – at least to me it will not.

  • Roger Baillargeon of Windsor, ON writes:

    RE: Poche tips off DeFoe – This is totally wrong, I agree with MLF rules. If Poche is going to share this info, it should be with ALL contestants. If Poche is rewarded in any way, this should be considered cheating! Another black eye for tournament fishing!

  • Brett Thomas of Sandy Springs, GA writes:

    RE: Poche tips off DeFoe – Everyone loves Ott and I congratulate him on a Classic victory, but the truth is he should give Poche whatever money he is asking for. The reality is Ott doesn't win without that information. Which brings me to my point, if B.A.S.S. is trying to level the playing field with their new no-information rules, a competitor who is no longer going to be in the event should not be able to give another competing angler their juice. Just another example why MLF is so much a superior format to the other leagues to arrive at an angler who best figured the fish out. The bottom line is Ott doesn't win the tournament without that information; so that's not a level playing field to the other competitors.

  • Tony Holzer of East Palestine, OH writes:

    RE: Poche tips off DeFoe – I think this is the second time Ott got info. Remember on the Mississippi he got info from Swindle when they were on the water. It's in the rules.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    RE: Poche tips off DeFoe – I personally was part of a protest at an FLW event several years ago where the eventual day-2 leader was given information from another competitor who knew he wouldn’t make the cut at all, before the conclusion of the day-2 weigh-in. It was within tournament rules, but an awfully grey area.

  • George Kramer of Lake Elsinore, CA writes:

    Well, that's over. Anyone else looking forward to the Bassmaster Vlasic in 2020?

  • Cliff Peterson of Canton, GA writes:

    RE: Poche tips off DeFoe – Yeah, technically no rule was broken, but the intent of the rule probably was. You can be sure that the only reason Poche gave Ott that info is that he was certain he wasn't advancing to day 3; otherwise, Keith would have undoubtedly kept that info to himself. In my opinion as a fan, stuff like that should not be affecting the outcome of the Classic. I would like to see the rules changed so that sharing of info could not occur once Classic week begins.

  • Dave Andrews of Hudson, MA writes:

    So was Keith Poche still "actively involved in competition" when he tipped off Defoe with the eventual winning spot after day-2 fishing had ended? I'm thinking Poche tipped him off because he knew he wouldn't be fishing himself on Sunday. Is this within B.A.S.S. rules? If I were Jacob Wheeler, I'd be asking some questions.

    BassFan says: It's entirely within the rules. All anglers are still involved in Classic competition until the day-2 cut has been officially made (unless they've been previously disqualified or have withdrawn for some other reason). Whether the angler knows he'll fall short of the cut line or not is irrelevant. Undoubtedly, Poche would've kept the marina wall location to himself if he thought he'd advance to day 3.

  • Ken Snow of Spring Valley, WI writes:

    What a great Classic! Thank you to the BPT guys for helping keep this the greatest fishing tournament in the world. From what I saw, all of you were respectful and acted with class and dignity toward B.A.S.S. and the event. I can imagine it will be a tough ride home knowing it's the last Classic for you guys.

  • Michael W. Belter of Reidsville, N.C. writes:

    RE: Schmitt's swim jig tips – The jig that Schmitt "developed" is Dave's Tournament Tackle swim jig. Hayabusa is apparently making a copycat.

  • Ken Snow of Spring Valley, WI writes:

    RE: Last Classic for ex-champs? – I have to say I'm sad to see these guys go. By next year we will be following the next generation of Elites, and there probably won't be much thought about the anglers who left for the BPT. Time usually heals all wounds.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    RE: Last Classic for ex-champs? – Great article, great guys and a little sad. An end to an iconic era for B.A.S.S. but also a new start for all.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    RE: Balog's Classic predictions – I would think the odds are with the pros who, as Joe states, jumped ship. Come on, Joe, they switched to someplace where they thought they could make a better living! B.A.S.S. should have taken better care of the anglers they had, but their greed and profits got in the way.

  • John Kelbe of Garland, TX writes:

    The rule stated about the winning Classic Champion returning for 2020 seems to only apply to Elite anglers. What if a non-Elite angler wins? Does the rule still apply? And wouldn't the MLF guys not be an Elite angler?

    “To be eligible for the 2020 Bassmaster Classic, Elite pro anglers must participate in all 2019 Elite Series events in which they are eligible unless an exemption is approved by the Tournament Director.”

    BassFan says: A non-Elite Series Classic winner would need a special exemption from B.A.S.S. (outside the written rules) to return as the defending champion.

  • Steven Rockweiler of Luling, LA writes:

    RE: Balog on venue pressure – I have been tournament fishing since 1970 – that is 49 years, folks. I have, especially recently, kept my head in the ol' ostrich hole, but it is time to admit that tournaments are killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Time to just go fishing. No hurry, no clock, no worrying about the other guy, just go fishing and relax. Take it easy out there, fellow bassheads.

  • John Shultz of Cape Vincent, NY writes:

    RE: Balog on venue pressure – Public water is being taken away from everybody. Tournaments really don't have an effect on the fisheries. The flesh-eaters do, though. The launch fees do. The gas prices do. The cost of everything, hotels and such. There is a lot of water out there. Share it and keep it accessible to all.

  • Dan Snyder of Sulphur Springs, TX writes:

    I fish two local ponds containing bass up to 13 pounds and learned my go-to bait in tough times is a 7-inch green-pumpkin worm Texas-rigged, 1/4-ounce tungsten weight, 17-pound Mason Bass On line, medium-heavy baitcasting rod.

  • Lee Cox of Frederick, MD writes:

    RE: Balog on venue pressure – With three tour-level circuits it's not going to get any better on fisheries, but that's the price to be paid for expanded coverage and increased interest in bass fishing, I feel the bodies of tournament waters will recover just fine in time.

  • Jason Houchins of Clarksville, VA writes:

    RE: Balog on venue pressure – A good friend of mine recently returned home from a national event this year. He shared some information that really goes with this article. Him and another competitor had found a small area in practice and they both shared it during the event. On Thursday and Friday of the event they had a spectator boat watching them most of the day. Both individuals made the cut to fish Saturday.

    While arriving to their area on day 3, the same spectator boat was camped on the small spot. I'm sure this happens all the time and we never hear about it. I know it's all public water, to each their own. But it's hard to imagine that someone would do this. I could see someone who doesn't tournament-fish and they just don't understand.

    I think we see this more and more at every level and it has become common. Why? Both individuals in the national event handled this as professionals. It just baffles me as to why this has become commonplace in tournament fishing.

  • Al Lindner of Brainerd, MN writes:

    RE: Balog on venue pressure – Add Mille Lacs to your list. In 2014 it was the BEST smallmouth fishing on the planet. That was its peak, you had to see it to believe it. These lakes rarely come back to what they were. Congrats on a great article.

  • Mike Harris of Cohutta, GA writes:

    RE: Balog on venue pressure – Try to find a spot on Lake Chickamauga as well.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    RE: Balog on venue pressure – Mill Creek Lake in Illinois was hammered by bass fishermen after Bassmaster Magazine printed an article about how good it was. Turned a great lake into a so-so lake in a short period of time.

  • Steve Smith of Commerce, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on venue pressure – Normally I agree with your articles, but with this one you are coming off as one of the elitist anglers. Everyone has the right to fish. I say good for them. As a journalist, I would think you know this. My 2 cents.

  • Keith Rietman of Chattanooga, TN writes:

    RE: Balog's mailbag – I would like to see an article on where the bass go after being released during a tournament. I have heard many different theories from other fishermen, but have not seen an article based upon facts, such as tracking studies.

All Topics   March 2019

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