RE: Balog's Classic notes – First off, I'm a big Balog fan. He is spot-on and this is no exception. However I disagree on the YouTube celebrity thing. All an announcement like that is for is to introduce the idea to attendees. I think it's good and keeps expanding the ways fishing is marketed. Say they made that announcement and everyone left the real pros and flocked to some internet goofball. Shouldn't the real pros be analyzing what it is that makes the internet stars attractive to the people? What if more pros upped their video content and combined the good finishes with videos of how they did it. Then they would be YouTube stars too.
My point is, with GoPros and other types of equipment, the touring pros who really want to expand their presence should be filming every minute of their fishing and making it available for free through YouTube and social media. I always hear how busy the pros are and how they don't have time to do that ... well, that's why no one knows some of these guys. In my opinion, the older guys need to hire people who can help them get fishing-related content out on a daily basis. Being upset with B.A.S.S. over them promoting YouTube "celebrities" is like being mad when someone that you know is dumber than you makes an "A" and you make a "C". You can't be mad at them for making the good grade, ask why you made an average grade.
Also, I wholeheartedly agree with a top-12 cut, potentially a top-6 cut. I think the field was too big to actually give the guys leading after 2 days a chance. The leaders have so much more pressure and their time gets taken up by interviews and media and then the fishing side. The guys going into the final day outside the top 10 or 12 have nothing to worry about. They can go into the final day with no worries, no obligations and can focus of whacking 'em to move up. In such a big event, that creates a huge disadvantage for the leaders, which is why we see more and more come way from behind for wins and close finishes. I personally think there should be a cut to reward the guys who have fished consistently.