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Major League Fishing News

THIS IS JUST THE FIRST BIG ANNOUNCEMENT FOR MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING IN 2019, MORE TO COME!

Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour Announces Inaugural Event

Top Competitive Bass Fishing League Selects Kissimmee, Fla. to Kick Off Season

TULSA, Okla. – Major League Fishing officials announced today that the MLF Bass Pro Tour will head next month to Kissimmee, Fla., to kick off its inaugural season. Though the majority of the Jan. 29 – Feb. 3 action will take place on historic Lake Toho, the championship round will be held on another nearby body of water out of respect for the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) tournament that follows.

News of the MLF Bass Pro Tour shook the fishing industry when it was announced in September. After obtaining the support and commitment of 80 of the world’s top anglers, MLF was able to begin conversations with potential tournament destinations in mid-October.

“We’re delighted to welcome the inaugural Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour to Kissimmee,” said John Poole, Executive Director of Kissimmee Sports Commission. “We pride ourselves on our destination’s championship bass fishing lakes, which have been home to many marquee tournaments throughout the years. The impact of this event will benefit the industry’s prominent presence in Kissimmee for years to come.”

While all 2019 locations are nearing announcement, Major League Fishing must first go through an extensive vetting process that includes an extensive survey of the area and lakes for each venue prior to confirmation. Unlike all other bass tournaments, MLF gives fans a real-time virtual onsite experience of angler coverage by using industry-leading communication technology requiring highly specialized connectivity needs to be able to feed all of MLF’s integral components, like its live-streaming MLF NOW! and SCORETRACKER© live.

“It’s wonderful to have a place like Kissimmee on board and so many other cities interested in hosting our Bass Pro Tour events because it really validates the impact of Major League Fishing’s visitation to an area,” said Michael Mulone, Senior Director of Events and Partnerships. “The power of our brand is resonating with destinations as they know our anglers and content will provide significant exposure and tangible economic impact to their respective communities. We are so grateful that Experience Kissimmee and the City of Kissimmee are partnering with us on the inaugural Bass Pro Tour event.”

Major League Fishing features the 80 top anglers in the country and includes Bassmaster Classic champions, Angler of the Year winners and titleholders from both the Bassmaster Elite Series and the FLW Tour. In the Bass Pro Tour opener, two groups of 40 anglers will compete across Lake Tohopekaliga, known as Lake Toho, all seeking to make it to the final day’s championship round of 10 anglers.

The format is for the competitors to seek and catch as many fish as possible in 7.5 hours of fishing, during which all “scorable bass” will be weighed, scored and immediately released back into the water, a scenario that sets the Bass Pro Tour apart from all other bass tournament series.

The Kissimmee Bass Pro Tour event will also result in a 2-hour television show that will air on Discovery Channel in the fourth quarter of 2019, and then in the first and second quarters on Sportsman Channel.

 

 

Major League Fishing has previously visited Florida twice to film its highly popular “Major League Fishing” television show, including the filming of the MLF 2018 General Tire World Championship, all of which al

 

Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour Announcement

 

 

so air on Outdoor Channel.

 

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Major League Fishing News

HISTORIC NEWS Coming from Major League Fishing

October 30, 2018 –

MLF Bass Pro Tour Anglers Vote No Entry Fees for 2019

TULSA, Okla. – The professional bass anglers who comprise the 80-man field in Major League Fishing’s (MLF) new Bass Pro Tour have voted “no” to required entry fees for their participation in the 2019 tournament competitions.

The no-fee decision is the first of its kind for a high stakes professional bass fishing series and reveals the kind of autonomous authority the Bass Pro Tour participants have as a group for guiding the future of their events and the sport.

Major League Fishing Pro Bobby Lane

No entry fees means the cash payouts per event will be less than initially announced, although still higher than what the anglers have become accustomed to on other trails. Another advantage to this decision is that the anglers effectively eliminated one of the greatest expenses and upfront cash hurdles professional anglers had to incur annually.

“What brought this great group of anglers together in the first place was the allure of being able to ultimately control our own destiny because collectively we now make the rules,” said Gary Klein, who was instrumental in the formation of MLF and Bass Pro Tour. “It’s all about the big picture of what we want this sport to be and getting it there. We call this ‘Major League’ Fishing for a reason and no entry fees is a monumental move in our achieving that distinction.”

The MLF expansion with the new Bass Pro Tour has advanced rapidly since being announced in mid-September. It was made possible when Bass Pro Shops and Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG) pledged additional support to an already long list of MLF sponsors.

In addition to the pro tour, MLF will continue its popular Cup events and General Tire World Championship, airing on Outdoor Channel and CBS, respectively. All events will use the same entertaining MLF format of catch, weigh and immediate release of bass during competitions.

“Things are moving fast and each new step this group takes seems to be another giant leap in bringing attention to fishing,” MLF President and CEO, Jim Wilburn said. “It’s a pleasure to watch the enthusiasm and sincerity of the greatest bass anglers in the world as they take the reins in advancing the sport to the benefit of everyone who loves to fish.”

MLF airs on Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network and Discovery Channel, and is available on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

For current MLF schedules, rules and sponsors, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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Major League Fishing News

Major League Fishing Announces 80 Anglers Set for New Bass Pro Tour

Major League Fishing Announces 80 Anglers Set for New Bass Pro Tour

October 3, 2018

RIDGEDALE, Mo. – Major League Fishing (MLF) leadership today announced the official roster of the 80 anglers who have committed to compete in the new-for-2019 Bass Pro Tour and MLF Cup events. The final list was made public during an MLF meeting held this week at Big Cedar Lodge with several of its sponsors and anglers present to discuss plans in follow up to the league’s recent announcement of significant expansion for the purpose of growing the sport.

“We understand how difficult this decision was for pro anglers … everyone who has faced a potential career-changing move can relate to it, but the deadline has passed for the invitees and we now proudly have 80 individuals who have committed to a dream that goes beyond just a tournament payday,” said MLF co-founder and PBTAA Vice President Boyd Duckett. “Sure, higher payouts are part of it, but for us this is not a competition we’re in against other trails. It doesn’t matter what B.A.S.S. or FLW does; our goal is different. These anglers know that and we’re ecstatic to have them on board with the new MLF plans.”

The full 80-man field includes Bassmaster Classic champions, FLW Forrest Wood Cup winners, Anglers of the Year and top tour performers from throughout the world of competitive bass fishing.

The 2019 MLF anglers are: Casey Ashley, Justin Atkins, Adrian Avena, Josh Bertrand, Tommy Biffle, Zack Birge, Stephen Browning, Brent Chapman, Jason Christie, Luke Clausen, Gary Clouse, Dustin Connell, Brandon Coulter, Cliff Crochet, Mark Daniels Jr., Mark Davis, Ott DeFoe, Boyd Duckett, Brent Ehrler, James Elam, Paul Elias, Edwin Evers, Todd Faircloth, Shinichi Fukae, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney, Roy Hawk, Brett Hite, Tim Horton, Randy Howell, Mike Iaconelli, Alton Jones, Alton Jones Jr., Kelly Jordon, JT Kenney, Gary Klein, Jeff Kriet, Jason Lambert, Bobby Lane, Chris Lane, Russ Lane, Jordan Lee, Matt Lee, Dave Lefebre, Jared Lintner, Justin Lucas, Aaron Martens, Mike McClelland, Cody Meyer, Ish Monroe, Andy Montgomery, Andy Morgan, John Murray, Britt Myers, Michael Neal, Takahiro Omori, Cliff Pace, Brandon Palaniuk, Keith Poche, Jacob Powroznik, Skeet Reese, Marty Robinson, Dean Rojas, Mark Rose, Fred Roumbanis, Bradley Roy, Terry Scroggins, Fletcher Shryock, Gerald Spohrer, Wesley Strader, Scott Suggs, Gerald Swindle, Randall Tharp, Jonathon VanDam, Kevin VanDam, Greg Vinson, David Walker, James Watson, Jacob Wheeler and Jesse Wiggins.

“This is a new day in professional bass fishing, with MLF and its team of anglers and partners now on a fast track to elevate the sport to a level comparable to that of other major league sporting events,” MLF Commissioner Don Rucks said. “Our game is played on a ‘field,” and we have celebrities, fast action, rules, officials, penalties and a clock. Our participants like being role models and giving autographs, and we’re going to make it easier for anglers and fans to share the passion of fishing going forward.”

“I, we, are going into this new MLF venture with a different mentality,” said Kevin VanDam, holder of many bass fishing titles. “To me, looking at this list is a very powerful statement about the future of the league. This group of anglers accepted the opportunity because they all believe in the vision and that we have the chance to do something very special for the sport of fishing. With all the anglers working hard for the same end goal, the future is going to be very exciting.”

MLF will continue its popular Cup events and World Championship, airing on Outdoor Channel and CBS, respectively. New are the Bass Pro Tour competitions and championship, and eventually ,tour qualifiers, all of which will use the same entertaining and conservation-friendly catch, weigh and immediate-release format.

“It might seem like this expansion roll out happened in a hurry, but in reality, it’s been six years in development. Ever since Gary Klein and Boyd first had the MLF concept, we’ve had a great team of people working diligently on the bigger picture,” MLF President and CEO Jim Wilburn said. “The extensive strategic planning will become much more obvious over the next few weeks as we reveal more and more of the elements. The new MLF is fulfilling the dream of so many to grow this great sport.”

The expansions have been made possible through enthusiastic support from Bass Pro Shops, Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG) and several other fishing industry and non-endemic sponsors who have been involved since MLF’s first TV show in 2012.

Today MLF airs on Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network and Discovery Channel, and is available on-demand on My Outdoor TV(MOTV).

MLF’s 80 Anglers

For current MLF schedules, rules and sponsors, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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Major League Fishing Announces Additional Details of 2019 Expansion

September 20, 2018

TULSA – After the initial announcement of the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour last week, league officials today announced additional details of the tour, including industry-leading media exposure with more than 850 hours of television coverage and 350 hours of live streaming, angler leadership in the series, and payouts of nearly $10 million that have never before been seen in the professional bass fishing industry.

The expanded MLF program welcomes a premier 80-angler group which will be announced in October. These anglers will, for the first time in their careers, have a seat at the table in all league decisions, including payouts, entry fees, event format, schedule and locations. Although the full schedule has not yet been announced, anglers and fans alike will be pleased to see a schedule that does not require anglers to travel or fish on major holidays such as Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, a welcome change to the schedule anglers have become accustomed to in fishing other leagues.

“Never in the history of our sport have anglers had this much control over their own destiny, from the bathroom to the boardroom and everywhere in between,” said MLF and Pro Bass Tour Anglers’ Association (PBTAA) co-founder Boyd Duckett. “These 80 anglers will have the opportunity to set a precedent for our sport for generations to come—a precedent that will likely include lower or no entry fees, higher payouts and better conditions for anglers in every regard.”

The new eight-event tour and championship also offer heightened payouts, made possible through enthusiastic support from Bass Pro Shops and Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG). Regular tour events will pay out more than $700,000 per event, with the championship purse exceeding $1.2 million. Success in tour events also qualifies anglers to high-paying Cup events, which ultimately gives anglers the chance to compete in the General Tire World Championship with CBS airtime. The four Cup events will pay a total of more than $2.2 million and the World Championship will pay more than $700,000 among only 16 participants.

“Never in the history of our sport have anglers had this much control over their own destiny, from the bathroom to the boardroom and everywhere in between.”

“Our league and sponsor partners have made a significant investment to make sure that the decision to fish with Major League Fishing in 2019 was an easy one for anglers,” Jim Wilburn, president and CEO of MLF, said. “With these payout amounts combined with our more than 850 hours of television programming across six networks and support for anglers at every level of the business, we believe our angler-centric business model is one that will resonate with anglers and sponsors.”

While MLF will continue its popular Cup events and World Championship, airing on Outdoor Channel, CBS Network and CBS Sports cable, it will now also have the Bass Pro Tour competitions and championship airing as originals on Discovery Channel with re-airs on Sportsman Channel in 2020. Altogether, Major League Fishing will air more than 850 hours of television programming in addition to the more than 350 hours of live coverage that will be streamed on majorleaguefishing.com.

“Nothing can match the amount of media coverage and exposure these 80 anglers will enjoy in the coming years across multiple networks,” Wilburn said. “We expect massive growth across the entire industry as a result of these positive changes for all anglers, sponsors and fans.”

MLF tournaments reach a bigger audience than any other tournament of their kind, and television ratings and independent surveys consistently indicate the fast-paced, action-packed format resonates with anglers of all ages.

MLF officials will announce the finalized MLF Bass Pro Tour schedule, format and anglers in the coming weeks.

According to Nielsen ratings, MLF has been Outdoor Channel’s top-rated show in first and second quarters for three years in a row. MLF also airs on World Fishing Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network, Discovery Channel and streaming on MOTV. For current MLF schedules, rules, pros and sponsors, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Bass Pro Tour Event Payout Numbers

Bass Pro Tour Championship Payout Numbers
MLF Cup Payout Numbers
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Major League Fishing News

Major League Fishing, Bass Pro Shops and Outdoor Sportsman Group Announce Exciting New Fishing Competition to Grow the Sport

September 11, 2018

TULSAOkla. – Major League Fishing (MLF) officials today announced a significant expansion beginning in 2019 with the goal of dramatically growing visibility and participation for the sport of fishing. The plans will help realize the founding partners’ original vision for MLF to elevate competitive bass fishing and its top-tier pros to a national exposure level and grow a fan base on par with other top major league sports.

The expanded MLF program includes the addition of the Bass Pro Tour, a premier 80-angler, eight-event tour with a championship and heightened payouts, made possible through enthusiastic support from Bass Pro Shops and Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG). Both partners are supporting MLF as part of their commitments to the future of the sport through participation and conservation efforts.

Under the visionary leadership of noted conservationist and founder Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops has been committed to connecting new audiences to the outdoors and advocating for conservation for more than 40 years. These foundational values directly align with MLF’s innovative approach to competitive fishing.

“Bass Pro Shops has proudly supported MLF from its inception because we believed in its mission to elevate the sport of fishing. Today we’re very excited to take the next step and help showcase this great sport to every household in America,” Morris said. “We truly believe this partnership will create many positive and significant new opportunities for kids and families, professional anglers and the sport itself. Equally important to us is leveraging this popular platform to showcase the importance of conservation and promote responsible fishing practices.”

“MLF has delivered on its promised vision every step of the way since Day One,” Outdoor Sportsman Group Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Matt Hutchings said. “MLF has made fishing an even more popular spectator sport through televised events on Outdoor Channel and other networks, as well as Outdoor Sportsman Group’s diverse media platforms in publishing and online. The MLF model is a proven success and we are excited to continue the journey with all of our partners towards future prosperity.”

Today MLF tournaments reach a bigger audience than any other tournament of their kind, and television ratings and independent surveys consistently indicate the fast-paced, action-packed format resonates with anglers of all ages, and is especially effective at reaching the youth audiences essential for achieving long-term interest and growth.

MLF’s conservation-minded “catch, weigh and immediate-release” rules allow participation on waters where typical tournament formats can’t go. The model has earned respect and accolades from many state fish and game agencies.

While MLF will continue its popular Cup events and World Championship, airing on Outdoor Channel and CBS, respectively, it will now also have its own new Bass Pro Tour competitions and championship, and eventually tour qualifiers, all of which will use the same entertaining MLF format in which numbers caught can often contribute more to anglers’ scores than does big fish.

“Seven years ago, Gary Klein and I settled on a mission to expand the sport of professional bass fishing through competitive tournaments with an all new and exciting made-for-television format,” said MLF and Pro Bass Tour Anglers’ Association (PBT) Co-Founder Boyd Duckett. “After assembling 13 more of the sport’s top-level professionals, the PBT partnership was formed. We always believed if we elevated the visibility of our sport everyone in our industry would be a beneficiary.

“The preparation leading to this moment has been slow, methodical and well thought-out to ensure the outcome would be positive for everyone connected to the sport. As a result, we have a fully developed plan ready to go. Everyone in the fishing industry should appreciate the new path that Outdoor Sportsman Group and Mr. Morris have helped pave for the sport’s future because of their own personal beliefs toward conservation and the responsible use of our fish and water resources.”

MLF officials will announce the finalized MLF Bass Pro Tour schedule, format and anglers in the coming weeks.

MLF was formed in 2011 when Boyd Duckett and Gary Klein convinced television executives at Outdoor Channel to share their vision and invest in the concept for a live-action style broadcast during which all anglers could keep track of how other competitors were doing via on-board scoreboards.

“We’re especially proud to be supporting anglers themselves, who make up an important part of MLF’s ownership team,” added Morris. “Our support for this expansion does not diminish our enthusiasm or support for other popular tournament series including B.A.S.S., FLW and hundreds of grassroots events across the country.”

According to Nielsen ratings, MLF has been Outdoor Channel’s top-rated show in first quarter for three years in a row.

MLF also airs on World Fishing Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network and Discovery Channel.

For current MLF schedules, rules, pros, and sponsors, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.