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All Topics   July 2019
  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    I agree, watching 6 days of coverage in a row is tough. It’s enjoyable and partially addictive. Days 1 and 2 Shotgun Rounds are most boring because they will all be back the next day. The following three days, 3rd periods, is were the excitement is. The three musketeer commentators start the 3rd periods with what’s happened, so there is no need to watch earlier. And the final day is okay but someone usually runs away with it by the 3rd period.

  • John P. Scott of Chesapeake, VA writes:

    I enjoy reading BassFan. Thanks for all you do keeping us informed.

  • Randy Brandenburg of Frisco, TX writes:

    I like this: "I find the actual BPT tour event format a bit too long and spaced out. Multiple days of the partial field fishing against each other ..." This, I think, is a pretty big part of it for me, why I find myself watching B.A.S.S. Live over the BPT stream when they are competing at the same time. I'm only 49, but maybe I have to admit I just didn't like the change a much as I thought I would. Still though, I think it's been good for the sport overall. Can't stay stagnated. More to come I am sure and BPT did cause B.A.S.S. to improve some things for their anglers. I don't want to say one is better over the other, but I do have to say I still prefer B.A.S.S. Again, I was surprised by that.

  • Martin D. Lamb of Albia, IA writes:

    What I find confusing is that folks are confused about how the BPT events work. It is laid out fairly simple from my perspective.

  • Bruce Vallelungo of Mandeville, LA writes:

    I thought MLF pros could not fish B.A.S.S. How is Ike pulling this off?

    BassFan says: MLF pros are not prohibited from competing on other circuits. Bobby Lane and Ish Monroe both fished the Southern Open at the Harris Chain in January and Adrian Avena and John Murray competed in the Lake Champlain Northern FLW Series just last week.

  • Randy Brandenburg of Frisco, TX writes:

    RE: Balog on following MLF – Amen, agree 100 percent. BPT is hard to follow. By the time the shows air on TV, I won't care. I was as excited as anyone else when BPT was announced. I was happy for the pros, the opportunities it created for the ones who opted for the BPT and for the opportunities it created for the pros on all the other pro-level tours. All I can say is I have found myself giving almost all of my time to the Bassmaster Elite Series and B.A.S.S. Live over anything else. I didn't expect that going into this season.

  • Terry Metzger of Naples, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on folliwing MLF – Wow, I thought it was just me who was confused. They need a flow chart to show how it works. Thanks for the great articles.

  • Steve Kline of Linden, CA writes:

    RE: Balog on following MLF – I don’t find the distinction between this year’s televised shows and this year’s BPT confusing. However, I find the actual BPT tour event format a bit too long and spaced out. Multiple days of the partial field fishing against each other is generally uninteresting to me. Also, as mentioned by many others, the events are “dink-fests."

    I much prefer the best-5 format. I watch the show weekly because it is fishing, but it is getting old because every show is essentially the same. Each Bassmaster show has a different vibe to it and is filled with big fish catches. Less is more, in my opinion.

  • R. Bates of Yorktown, VA writes:

    RE: Balog on following MLF – A few observations after reading your opinion piece on the BPT/MLF being confusing and hard to follow:

    1. Agree, and I've stop trying to figure it out.

    2. I've also lost complete interest in following BPT/MLF or their anglers.

    3. I still follow B.A.S.S. Elite Series and their anglers. I also follow a few FLW anglers.

    It is an exciting time in bass fishing but mostly because we have a new crop of anglers competing at the highest level of the sport. I've enjoyed learning about the new anglers and following their progression on tour. Plus the B.A.S.S. Live shows are still the best live angling show available.

    BPT/MLF lost me and any support I may have initially had for them. Their continued bad-mouthing of traditional tournament formats and their exclusion of "fans" are the two main reasons. I don't see BPT/MLF as a top-tier professional tour, but rather as a made for TV bass club. I'll watch their TV program, but I don't follow their events or anglers and have zero interest in who wins.

  • Steve Colvin of Huntsville, AL writes:

    RE: Balog on following MLF: I was confused as well until I found this article on the MLF website written in October 2018.

    The problem is, this was very hard to find. There needs to be an easy link on the website in plain sight explaining how BPT, MLF and the Selects relate to each other.

    There are still a few things I am unsure of, such as will the MLF shows as we know them today continue or be replaced with BPT shows and how do BPT anglers get replaced as they fall out due to low performance?

    BassFan says: The Selects have been eliminated. The MLF Cup events will continue to be filmed for broadcast on Outdoor Channel beginning early the following year, with the BPT shows as separate entities airing on several networks. The organization has plans to develop a "feeder system" to bring in some new anglers for its fourth season, replacing those relegated out due to poor performance.

  • Kevin Boyd of High Point, NC writes:

    RE: Balog on following MLF – Following MLF really isn't near as hard as you make it out to be. I hear people like you and Mark Jeffreys try to make this way more difficult than what it really is. You don't need a spreadsheet, you don't need secret formulas or a master's in mathematics. All you need is to actually care enough to sit down for five minutes and read the format on the MLF website. In the time it takes anyone to read one of your articles, they could clearly and easily understand that format.

    If you or anyone else think that is too much effort for something you mildly care about watching, you don't even have to do that, if you watch any livestream or Cup show, they explain the format about 20 times over the course of the broadcast. At this point you have to be either deaf, dumb, blind, or really just trying to conceal the fact you are resistant to change to the point you don't want to understand a new format to not get it.

    I am 31 years old. I know people in their 40s and 50s who fish and I know people in their 20s, and absolutely none of them have complained one time about not understanding the format, they all follow it. I also have had people in my house who have never seen fishing before and have watched both the MLF show and the Bassmaster show, and all of them complain about the Bassmaster show and have requested to have the MLF show on. So if they can get it and are entertained by it, I can't figure what legitimate excuse a grown man like you that is actually in the business has to not understand a simple competition format.

  • Mark Thompson of Fairbury, Il writes:

    RE: Balog on following MLF – I just cannot understand the confusion. It is very simple for anybody who wants to understand it. I do and it is not my job. I would think that if it was, it would be even less of an issue. If I was in your position, maybe instead of whining about it, you could take the five minutes it takes to fully comprehend the format and help your readers understand it.

  • Steve Brown of Oakland, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on following MLF – I get the confusion, but just wait. It’ll all make sense soon. The World Championship that recently aired had nothing to do with BPT and was filmed Q1 this year, culminating last year’s Cups and Selects. Pre-BPT stuff.

    Think of the BPT season as having four quarters each consisting of two stages. Beginning October this year, you’ll see the top 30 from each quarter of the 2019 season compete in the made-for-TV Cups on CBS. Conversely, the Championship Rounds of all eight BPT Stages will be aired on Discovery.

    In essence, MLF has two leagues ... well almost; BPT and the Cups fed by the BPT. Clear as mud? I get it.

    Streaming live and filmed for TV accomplish several things. Both are designed to attract more eyeballs. The live probably attracts mostly bass heads like us, but I do believe more and more newbies are watching live (my wife, for example).

    The CBS and Discovery airings are, I believe, produced to attract more non-endemic fans who may or may not follow the BPT.

    From an MLF angler’s perspective, there’s up to 12 paying events on the line. All Cup qualifiers get paid. Add in the exposure of live plus CBS plus Discovery, it’s no wonder they like the exposure.

    Yes, and all this just happened in just a year. Whew!

  • Burton Bosley of Sutton, WV writes:

    I read Balog faithfully. I have been fishing for many years in tournaments, as a guide in the Everglades and as a tackle shop owner/employee. Over the years I've met many fishermen who could talk the talk. It is relatively easy to sound like a knowledgeable angler; a bit more difficult to be a successful one. The Mike Long story reads like a Greek tragedy.

  • Rodney Clawson of Nashville, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on Mike Long – I've been tournament bass fishing for 25 years and following the sport at the professional level for 25 years. Pretty sure your knowledge of the professional fishing world is much more vast than mine. Name one other person in the world who has ever tried to hide trophy fish in tanks in his garage and then been accused of catching and weighing in planted fish by multiple people who shared the boat with the accused ... banned by different tournament trails for cheating ... and now has been caught on video snagging fish and then posting the pictures to social media. I've never encountered or heard of a single person with 1/10th of this on their resume. Pretty sure you haven't either.

    No one is saying Mike Long doesn't know a good bit about big bass and their behavior. No one's saying that his spending thouseands of hours fishing the world's best big swimbait lakes hasn't made him fairly knowledgeable about throwing big swimbaits for bass. We all know a handful of rule bending/breaking people in this life who, for whatever reason, have proven over and over again that they aren't trustworthy and can never be trusted. It's pretty apparent Mike Long is one of these types of people.

  • Todd Lee of Jasper, AL writes:

    RE: FLW Cup – There has been a two-time champion, me, in 1996 and 1998. Only problem, it was on the co-angler side. Still one of the highlights of my life! Thanks.

  • Nick Bennett of Murray, KY writes:

    JT Kenney keeps rockin' on the water. Great finish at the Costa.

  • Stephen D. Smith of Commerce Township, MI writes:

    RE: Balog on Mike Long – I think Joe needs to rewrite that article. Watch the videos and you will see a guy that has deceived the fishing public for years for his monetary gain. You people need to review your writers' articles more.

    BassFan says: Oh, we review them thoroughly. However, we pay Mr. Balog to write his opinions – not ours or anyone else's.

  • Michael Parks of Valley Center, CA writes:

    RE: Balog on Mike Long – I've known Mike for 30-plus years and had a dear friend, "Lunker Bill" Murphy, who was the one being attacked in his prime. I have fished near Mike on the same body of water many times and witnessed nothing but true sportsmanship in bass fishing. I have had the pleasure of catching over 50 bass above the 10-pound class so I kinda know what I'm talking about. I've watched Mike catch monster fish using creative but standard techniques and had many discussions with him on fishing etiquette of other bass fishermen who were bad for the sport. Egos and third-hand alcohol-driven stories are usually the history of most stories. As a ranger in my early days, it was quite common to hear people talking trash of others.

  • James Lee Ogstad of Caldwell, ID writes:

    If you folks don't get BPT on the TV, it wont fly. Sorry that's what we are hearing here in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada.

  • W.D. Voss Sr. of Harp, AR writes:

    RE: FLW Cup – As a man in his 70's and fished Lake Hamilton all my life, I cringe at the thought of fishing in the daylight hours on Lake Hamilton, for the local people who live on the lake sure love their boats and will be out in full force. Big smiles, though, for the fisherman who wins it, for he suffered every minute of it. The midday sun in Arkansas in August is brutal.

  • Clayton Williamson of Lubbock, TX writes:

    RE: Balog on Mike Long – I don't want Mike to disappear at all. I would pay money to hear his side of the story. Although it's wrapped in shame, I can't help but be more curious. Personally, I started looking into other stories of frauds and cheats of bass fishing. I find it quite intriguing and can't seem to get enough. Am I crazy?

  • Jimmy Trimer of Macon, GA writes:

    RE: McClelland's struggles – Is he still qualified to fish next year? If so, how long do you get to finish in the last places and still get to fish the following year? I thought I remember not qualifying and new people getting invited?

    BassFan says: The Bass Pro Tour anglers are contractually bound to the organization for three seasons.

  • Steven Rockweiler of Luling, LA writes:

    RE: Balog on Mike Long – I have bass fished 56 years now, and like many anglers believed Long was a devoted big bass expert. I started having doubts when Long submitted another fisherman's bass as a lake record at another lake. From what I understand, he was finally banned from tournament competition on those lakes and I am not sure of the circumstances that caused the ban. Butone thing I know is seeing a video of an angler snagging bass and immediately recognizing that video as just that – snagging bass.

    As to why the writer had such a dislike of Long as to follow him and tape him for 2 years, I have an idea. I too cannot stand a cheater. I find it even stranger that Long has yet to even utter a one-sentence defense of his actions that were portrayed. I also find it strange that Balog, who seems to have talked to Long various times, did not try to reach out and call Long about this matter. The real shame of this deal is that Long has surely spent thousands of hours on those lakes and could surely be called an expert on the life of those big bass. He did not need to go as far as the writer says he went to be a successful YouTuber or product endorser to make his money.

    I know this much – most of us have a conscience and must live with ourselves and our actions. Shrinks say that something like less than 0.5% of humans have no conscience and can easily do things that make most of us repulsed. I believe Long is like most of us and wants to sleep sound at night. It would help Mr. Long to tell his story, even if it causes some pain.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    RE: Balog on Mike Long – As we all know, if you are even suspected of cheating in bass fishing you are ruined for life!

  • Duane Snyder of Hanson, KY writes:

    RE: Telly award for B.A.S.S. – The best tournament coverage going. Sanders, Zona, Mercer, Hite and the crew are the very best at what they do. Awesome job, B.A.S.S.

  • Darren Orr of Thurston, OH writes:

    RE: Wheeler's numbers – If Wheeler led in all these and was not Angler of the Year, then the point system being used is very bad.

    BassFan says: It's the same system used by other circuits – one point per place in the standings and the competitor who compiles the most points at the end of the season is the Angler of the Year. It really couldn't be more simple – placement in relation to the field across the entire season is the only thing that matters.

    All tours would have statistical anomalies if every catch weighing one pound or more were recorded and tabulated.

  • Martin D. Lamb of Albia, IA writes:

    These comments about being disinterested with the BPT coverage leave something to be desired, IMO. I mean, what coverage is one actually comparing it to? Both B.A.S.S. and FLW only post 2-3 short clips each tournament day, one has to wait weeks or months to actually watch the coverage of the event. And the live feed ... both venues have limited cameras so there is a fish catch like once in forever throughout the day, otherwise it is just some guy casting with no interaction. The coverage of the BPT events is continuous action, continuous interaction. Camera in every boat, and up to the minute coverage.

  • Skip Bennett of Texico, IL writes:

    I believe BPT and MLF are more entertaining than the the other circuits because of the names and the constant action. I don’t really watch the two opening rounds because nobody gets eliminated, so no stress on the anglers. Most shows today are all about elimination because apparently that’s what the majority of viewers want. MLF has tweaked their format consistently since it started and who knows what will be next. Maybe a 2-pound minimum or each period, each round, someone goes home.

  • Jim Kaisler of Eau Claire, WI writes:

    I am in my late 50s and I went into MLF very skeptical. After this first year I think it is great. Nowhere else do you get the access to the anglers in a true tournament environment.
    Tweaks? Sure. Remember, this is the first year. Look at some of the running changes they made.

    To come back to Table Rock and having the foresight to change the tournament hours. I thought it was brilliant.

    A post below suggested a 2-pound "legal" bass. I thought maybe 1-08 would make things interesting.

    If anything, this has brought fish care into the light. When watching the other trails and the anglers mashing the thumbar and letting the bass slam to the deck, they show no respect for the fish. Not appealing at all.

    FLW Champlain tournament, all those fish caught off the beds and moved. Don't like it.

    A change was needed and to the anglers credit, they had the guts to make it. LaCrosse will be a great Redcrest.

    Can't wait to see what 2020 brings!

  • James Melvin of New Wilmington, PA writes:

    When MLF first emerged it was a unique format and it was exciting to watch established pros fishing something different. But they were still fishing the regular tours so it was more of side gig. After a few years, though, it got tedious to watch. The format doesn't reward different techniques or doing something different from the field. Grab a bladed jig or square-bill crankbait and hit the bank. I still watch it because it is fishing but find myself fast-forwarding more and more. I've tried following some of the new league online and to be honest, it is difficult to keep track of throughout the day with all the changes in the standings. MLF seems like a really exciting format to fish, but not so exciting to watch.

    I still regularly follow B.A.S.S. and those new faces can all flat out catch 'em. Plus I am older and still value catching your best five.

    I do wish B.A.S.S. would move toward more on-boat weighing of fish and immediate release like MLF, but not knowing what your competitors have in the boat is just as anxiety-producing as knowing exactly what they have. Just different.

    The MLF pros are now true pros. No entry fees. Yet they continue to fish on public waterways. Making comments to local boats doesn't sit as well with me when you haven't even ponied up an entry fee to fish on that water.

    I have a ton of respect for most of those pros who jumped to MLF and I wish them the best, but I can't say I am a fan. I just hope B.A.S.S. or FLW makes them requalify if they want to return in the future.

  • Bobby Colson of Mt. Juliet, TN writes:

    How about a best-five tournament with BPT rules?

  • Bobby Munlin of Toledo Bend, TX writes:

    I agree with Steve Krakowski about losing interest but still enjoy the final minutes when it gets down to the wire. Kind of like a horse race that you don't get excited till they come around the last turn. I really would like to see how interesting it would be if MLF raised the weight to 2 pounds. That would change things up on the way they fished.

  • Maynard Logan of Ft.Wayne, IN writes:

    I agree with Mr. Krakowski of MD. To me there has to be more coverage of the BPT than just live feeds and television! They need to have some sort of print media to cover the stars of their league: A magazine or just a monthly newspaper like B.A.S.S. Times or as another from the past Redfish Circuit, a print/news magazine. Also, come up with a way to tell when and where the Cup action is, give us the state and date. Too much secrecy if they want followers! Don't tell us the lakes!

  • Jackson Holt of Tampa, FL writes:

    I just read the comment by the gentleman about the BPT and couldn’t agree more. I too was exited at first but that faded after the second event. Like the other gentleman, I don’t know why. Most of the guys I fish with are between 30 and 50 and to a man aren’t interested. The only thing I can come up with is it’s constant pound and a half catches. I still follow FLW and some B.A.S.S., but if not for BassFan I would never know who won their events.

  • Steve Krakowski of Chesapeake City, MD writes:

    I write after a recent conversation with a fellow bass fishing enthusiast who expressed what I've been feeling. Despite my original interest in MLF, and all the positives that go along with it (immediate release/fish care, star-studded field, improved financials for pros), I find myself totally disinterested. I have no idea when or where the next tournament is and am only vaguely aware of standings (Evers and Wheeler are crushing it, KVD is struggling). I still follow B.A.S.S. and FLW with my same interest (although lamenting the time when articles featured highly accomplished bass pros). What I don't understand is my own disinterest with the BPT.

    Maybe its the terrible presentation of the online coverage (I did initially try to follow). Or maybe it's that it really does feel more like made-for-TV entertainment. Or maybe I don't really like the "catch all you can" format that much ... I really don't know. But what strikes me is it's not just me – I'm hard-pressed to find anyone in my circles who's following the BPT. I'm 58 years old, so maybe its my age, but I don't think so. Why is it that something as seemingly positive as the BPT just doesn't seem to resonate with the bass fishermen? Or maybe it is just me.

  • Andy Williamson of Lake Andes, SD writes:

    I loved the book "Bass Wars" and even emailed Nick Taylor to do a sequel. He said, probably not ... with the sport so much bigger today, it would be an entirely different story. Also, the book did not sell well.

  • Gyasi Pulisic of Harrisburg, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on Scanlon – In this article I don’t really understand how you can not include the fact that the field of competitors has changed for Casey also. I have read articles and watched programs this year that seem to avoid this fact when analyzing newfound success on various circuits. There is no mention of the fact that a large group of seasoned pros who consistently were in the money and winning tournaments have been replaced by fishermen with less experience at that level.

  • Rick Grover of Anaheim, CA writes:

    RE: Woods' progression – Great story of hard work to get to the top of your game. Proud you're on our team!

All Topics   July 2019

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