On the cusp of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic event at Lake Conroe where three leagues — the PAA, the FLW Tour and the Bassmaster Elites — converge in one of the strongest fields ever assembled, the discussions on what is the best tour to fish in 2011 is amplified. The “silly season” will be in high gear real soon, and hopefully, it will be a fun ride.
Today’s announcement of David Walker further shows that the pros are making business decisions based on what best suits them. Walker’s choice was the BASS Elite Series. FLW stalwart Chip Harrison, another pro on the bubble, is walking the fence to see how it all shakes out and what works best for him and his sponsors.
There is a lot of change in the wind. Jerry McKinnis, Don Logan and Jim Copeland are in the final stages of buying BASS. What will that mean? We spoke to Jerry yesterday, and he wanted it to be clear that the field size will not be reduced in 2011 for the Elites. He also added that more and not less events are in the plans. We have a good vibe about this new ownership and the ideas that they will bring to the table.
FLW made two very large and positive announcements at this year’s Forrest Wood Cup. Walmart has re-entered fishing and T.Boone Pickens is now an equity partner. More money from Walmart does mean that many of the Walmart vendors can now be supporting teams and the payouts should improve. T. Boone Pickens brings a wealth of networking and contacts to our sport as well. There may not be sweeping changes in those payouts in the short term, but it could mean that they again will get back to where they were two years ago. Thats good news for those that fish that trail.
Here at Wired2Fish, we are clearly optimistic. The aforementioned news combined with a dose of hope, could make 2011 and 2012 the best years fishing has seen. There are indeed challenges, but if you believe as I do, it’s time to support our sport. I might add it means more than just the pro game. It means protecting our waters too. There are several initiatives to take fishing away from us, whether an ocean or a freshwater impoundment, really doesn’t matter, but if we don’t get involved and do it soon, it may be too late.
The pros are indeed looking at their choices, but it is up to each of us to make them as well. Sitting aside, right now, is death knoll. Get involved with your favorite league or your favorite pro. Help clean up a lake or write one of your elected officials. We all have choices to make and the time is now.
What is your take? We want to know. What do you think about the news that is impacting our sport today. Do you have any hot buttons? Talk with us on Facebook or through Feedback. We will continue to deliver on our promise. Help us out!