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var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true}; So what does everyone think of this recent rash of announcements from B.A.S.S. Elite Anglers who are flipping over to fish the new MLF BPT circuit in 2019 instead? I just started seeing some of it on the social media posts. Didn't realize it was happening so much already when there's not much public information available yet on how the new MLF BPT will work exactly.

I notice people saying KVD hasn't announced yet but he was in the news picture announcing the circuit with Johnny Morris and one of the executives from MLF. With his ties to BPS and Morris you'd think he pretty much has to make the move even though he has been an outspoken, ardent supporter of B.A.S.S. for his whole career?

I admit I haven't looked yet to see if a similar movement is happening with any FLW Tour anglers.

Noticed Jonathon VanDam made a statement he is going with MLF while Chad Pipkens appears to be staying with the Elite Series as far as the other Michigan pros go.

Also wonder if the MLF BPT will work and last? The pros themselves tried variations of this more than once with the PAA being the closest they came, and PAA never really reached full sale finally fading away into history not too long ago. All these years and many of their plans never really happened. Do they finally have the backing, support and structure to make this version of their ideas work? It is somewhat different in that the pros don't actually own or are making 100% of the decision with the MLF.

What do you think? What do you expect? Are you looking forward to the MLF BPT? Do you think pro bass fishing will take another step in the right direction with 3 major tours, or maybe you think one of them will end up failing because 3 is too many? So many questions?

People used to think I was an 'FLW lover' (some probably still do) but I've always been a bass fishing lover, and I would like to see the idea of being a professional bass angler become more possible and realistic.

I started down that road a long time ago and didn't go very far. It's brutally tough and expensive, and still, decades in the future, far too rare and limited I think. It seems like the sport should be stronger with more opportunities. Though someone I know recently explained to me how it should not be surprising to anyone the sport of professional bass fishing is so much tinier and limited compared to other professional sports.

What I always appreciated about FLW was their more clear stepping stone path from beginner to pro angler they set up with the BFL, various Series and then the Tour, along with the co-angler concept. Bringing more support from nonendemic sponsors in bass fishing at the time was a huge thing as well.

FLW really upped the anty on paybacks in a big way as paybacks, to me, seemed to be 20-30 years behind the rest of the economy with no signs of catching up any time soon (if ever) before FLW brought the idea of regular events paying $100,000 to the winner and the Million$ championship. The entire sport jumped ahead about 10-20 years overnight which I felt was good for the anglers at least.

Not everything has lasted and some adjustments even down have happened but overall the sport is better off for that jolt to have occurred. I can't imagine the sport being where it is right now if that competition hadn't happened.

So, I'm hoping maybe this new 'jolt' with the MLF Bass Pro Tour will have similar overall positive changes for the anglers. I expect some of what we are already seeing with a little anger, online debating about whose circuit is best and angler 'loyalty.' It happened then as well. I expect even the MLF BPT will be different in a few years as everything works itself out but hopefully the end result is some real improvements again for the anglers. An increase in the opportunity to become a pro angler would be nice.

I have always recognized B.A.S.S. is the first one, the rock, the one that really started it all, but change happens. No matter what. We all have to change with it, or get rolled over in the process like natural selection and evolution. That's reality. I hope all 3 major circuits end up evolving however they need to keep the opportunity that is there now, and add some new opportunity. I want to see the sport grow and recognize that change in the form of competition is often needed in our society for things to evolve faster into better versions.

I don't always like the change either but I can see without these kinds of jolts the end result is often worse - stagnancy - a lack of growth or improvements. The road to where we are in bass tournament fishing today is lined with extinct groups and organizations. Probably better to get the occasional hard push faster and further up the road than risk fading away and becoming another used-to-be because you weren't innovating or changing enough. Seems like humans need competition to thrive in the long run.

Okay, while I was writing this and thinking about it KVD did make his announcement. Not surprised though it has to be somewhat surreal after spending his entire professional career up to this point with B.A.S.S. He's been such an ardent supporter of them. This can't be easy for anyone right now especially with his good buddy Zona being so heavily involved with B.A.S.S.

MLF has the momentum and is using it's TV programs to it's advantage. The other OLD formats are on their heels. The disadvantage is the format doesn't work for anything other than TV and they won't have a feeder system other than BASS and FLW.

I wonder how this will play out with sponsorships. There’s only so much money to go around.


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