FLW announced today COVID-19 guidelines intended to assist anglers and staff as the organization resumes tournament operations with the Toyota Series event at Pickwick Lake (Tenn.). These guidelines apply to all 2020 FLW tournaments including the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and the Phoenix Bass Fishing League. FLW referenced state, local, and Public Health resources, as well as industry examples, to develop these guidelines during this unprecedented time for the sport of competitive bass fishing.
Description automatically generatedThe organization paused all FLW competition in mid-March in an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. FLW tournaments will resume under an abundance of caution with attendance limited to competing anglers and essential tournament staff. The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit resumes June 23-26 on Lake Chickamauga (Tenn.).
FLW shared the guidelines with all competitors via standard tournament communication channels to assist all participants in understanding how their events will be operated in accordance with current CDC protocols.
"We're all looking forward to getting back to fishing," said FLW Executive Vice President and General Manager Kathy Fennel. "And while these guidelines are not what we're used to at an FLW event, they're extremely important as we work to respect everyone involved - anglers, staff, our families back home, and the host communities - during this unprecedented time."
The FLW guidelines include:
- Anglers should not participate in the tournament if they have had any of the following symptoms within the last 14 days:
- Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
- Running nose
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Diminished sense of taste or smell
- Anglers are advised to wear a cloth mask and/or face covering at takeoff and weigh-in and while seated in the boat. Masks may be removed while fishing on the front and rear deck of the boat.
- Only pre-tournament meetings that can comply with physical distancing guidelines will be conducted. All other rules and guidance will be communicated electronically to participants prior to each tournament.
- Flights will be spaced with adequate time to allow for physical distancing at the weigh-in.
- Queues for weigh-in will be clearly marked with cones to maintain a minimum 6-foot spacing between anglers.
- A limited number of weigh-in bags will be distributed to provide for adequate physical distancing at the weigh-in tubs. Tubs will be spaced so that anglers waiting to weigh their catch will always be at least 6 feet apart.
- FLW staff working the weigh-in tubs will wear cloth masks/face coverings and face shields.
- Gloves (non-latex) will be provided to anglers and staff for handling weigh-in bags.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided to anglers and staff.
- Anglers that take the stage for weigh-in are asked to place their fish on the scale, then step behind a 6-foot line marked on the stage while the tournament director weighs their fish. After the weight is recorded, anglers will take their fish off the stage while the tournament director maintains a 6-foot distance. Anglers are advised to wear a cloth mask and/or face covering while crossing the stage.
- Each tournament director will use a dedicated microphone.
- A second microphone that is sanitized between uses will be provided for anglers who wish to give interviews. Otherwise no on-stage interview will be conducted.
- Weigh-in bag handles will be disinfected between uses.
For additional information, including the updated 2020 tournament schedule and registration, visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news regarding this weekend's event on Pickwick Lake, follow the Toyota Series on FLW's social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.