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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mike and I, who are good friends, sat down and started a conversation for the ages.  Now that he and I have our points to one another, we want to know what you all believe will happen.

We all know that there is a war going on between BASS and the FLW Tour.  I am not 100% certain on how it started, but I believe that BASS walked away from Ranger Boats, and when Ranger signed as the boat sponsor for the FLW Tour, a huge war between them started.

The conversation that Mike and I had started with me telling him that Ike had won on Guntersville, and we both agreed that it was time that Ike got another tournament win.  I brought up the fact that he still doesn't have a boat sponsor, and I feel that he doesn't have offers out there yet.  If he did, anglers would have leaked it and we would have heard about it.  Mike believes, though, that Ike has several offers on the table, but that he's taking his time to make up his mind about which one he will take.

Then, this is where the conversation took a very interesting turn.  Mike believes that Ranger Boats did not dump Ike due to his actions at the Classic on Lake Toho, but they did it to deliver a blow to BASS, so that they could give BASS a black eye and lead people to believe that BASS's reputation is faltering.

I proceeded to tell him that I believe that more people are leaning toward the FLW than BASS, and that a move like that was not a blow delivered to BASS, because they are faltering on their own.  If it wasn't true, then why are anglers moving to the FLW Tour?  I asked him, "Which is a bigger blow: Having Ike thrown off Ranger Boat's Staff, or having your champion fishing another tournament trail."

Well, we both discussed our points of view of which trail would be around in a few years, and I believe that the FLW Tour will be around, while BASS will continue to falter.  Mike believes the opposite, that the BASS Tour will be the way to go, and that the FLW will falter.  He believes that this is due because ESPN is going to make BASS more edgier, and that people will relate to it more than the FLW.

I brought up the fact that I believe that ESPN will not be loyal to BASS, and that the FLW will wise up to the coverage that BASS is getting, and that they will talk to ESPN, and this will start a tournament war.  Mike believes that ESPN and the FLW will not join forces, because of the morals and convictions that the FLW was founded upon.  However, I believe that ESPN will allow the FLW to remain as they are, and that they will sign them to come on board, and this will start the war for the tournament trails.  Why not start a rukus like this, and get MORE coverage?  Business is business.

So, this is where the conversation ended, and he wanted me to create this post to see what the rest of you guys think about this. 

He said that he will post his remarks tomorrow, cause the man is working some crazy hours at Gander Mountain.  Lucky fellow!

So, what do you all think?
 

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Ok, heres my 2 cents on this ' war ' .

Now, correct me when I am wrong but the way I see it is :

ESPN owns B.A.S.S. and pretty much have run it into the ground. They lost the ORIGINAL federation with their ( ESPN ) power mungering ways. Drove some top stars of the sport to FLW ONLY. ( Jay Yelas, George Cockran, Larry Nixon just to name a few )

Now, they jumped up the price for entry fees to fish B.A.S.S.( which pushed some anglers to go to FLW only )

I just think its a shame ESPN has done this to B.A.S.S. I do however feel both organizations will survive . ( to much money to be made )

Personaly I would support FLW before I would B.A.S.S.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, I forgot to mention that I did bring up the fact that BASS had increased the entry fees for their tournaments. $55,000/year is crazy. >:D
 

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Well let me make a few points that I think are valid as well....

by the way, GREAT post John - excellently put... all points well made kudos!

Ok, with the Ike thing. When B.A.S.S. Made the announcement regarding the elite series, the wrap deal, and 55,000 dollar entry fees, and the extensive coverage on ESPN, FLW jumped the gun saying that anglers wil move to FLW because it is JUST TOO MUCH. Anglers cannot afford to fish BASS, so on and so forth. And to a certain degree, i will admit it, they were right. Jay Yelas made his thoughts public and moved to FLW after writing a great article titled "what happened to BASS class" However, after Yelas, Cochran, Clausen, Nixon and others moved to FLW, the bandwagon slowed, and then ultimately, stopped. Here is why:

If you are a big company (nitro boats, busch beer, pradco fishing, northland tackle) and You have to decide whether or not to sponsor someone fishing the FLW or BASS tour, lets look at some stats. One the one hand, you have probably the biggest advocate for BASS, Kevin Van Dam. Probably going to be considered the greatest and most dominate angler of all time, when all is said and done. On the other hand, the widely respected, former classic champ, Jay Yelas. Yelas is now an FLW guy, as of the 2006 season. They fish for the same amount of money, however, do they make the same amount of money? Not a chance. The simple fact of the matter is, if you are an executive in a large company you are looking to get your anme in an area with a location that will get you the most exposure, gross impressions and such. ESPN offers that. FLW is covered on the outdoor channel, which I think is great for fishing because evreyone who tunes in wants to watch fishing. HOWEVER, ESPN covers such a ridiculously huge market it is ridiculous. ESPN has 4 different channels that all cover bass fishing from time to time, and every single household in america with cable is guilty of watching ESPN. It is a simple fact that people who watch FLW want to watch fishing, and people who watch BASS are tuning in to watch Sports Television. ESPN is turning BASS into the next big sport. The 5,000 dollar entry fee is minimal in regards to how much more revenue an angler can create for himself, simply by fishing with a trail covered on ESPN.

Do I think that FLW in the future will be bought by ESPN?? Not a chance. FLW will not allow sponsors of a more edgy and racey backround, something that BASS has been doing for years now.






ill edit this post later, i have to go!!! more later!!
 

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Mike I agree that KVD will be the greatest of all anglers when everything is said and done.

Yes, I am guilty of watching ESPN , I will admit that I watch it MAINLY for baseball and football too. I do not have satellite and unable to watch any of the FLW tournaments. ( I did tell my wife I wanted to get it later down the road so I could watch FLW fishing )

Mike, what is your take on the ORIGINAL federation ( majority ) siding with the FLW and going with them ??
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mike, even in the discussion that we had, I said that ESPN is a business. They are going to do what it takes to make more money for them. They are not going to remain loyal to anyone or any certain thing, especially when there is the chance of making more money. What will make more money for ESPN...........just having BASS on their network, or bringing in the FLW and allowing them to remain as they are?

It's getting to the point that ESPN is turning BASS into the next WWE. And if anyone here watches the WWE, we all know that RAW goes against Smackdown. It would make more financial sense to allow the FLW to remain as they are, and to keep the sponsors that they do, and to bring them on board, to create an even playing field for both of the trails.

And are we all forgetting that a lot of the BASS anglers have fished the FLW Tour? They may not be doing it this year, because of BASS uping the # of tournaments that they have, but in the past, KVD fished the FLW. Now, go on there and find anglers that fish only the FLW, and see how many of them that you know from watching anything that deals with BASS.

You are right, Mike, ESPN is trying to turn bass fishing into the next great sporting event, and putting it on the same level as the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NASCAR.................and where the FLW has the ultimate genius in their efforts right now is that they are keeping it as it always has been..............fishing.

I agree also, that ESPN does cover several different market groups, and when those market groups see that BASS is being show on SportsCenter, that they might have a new found inclination to see what's going on. However, in the 30 some odd years that BASS did not have ESPN, the growth that it had was far more impactful than the 2-3 years that ESPN has been associated with BASS.

One of the main reasons that a lot of people have COME BACK to BASS is because Ray Scott has come back. He no longer owns BASS, that's true, but he is part of the BASS family. When he left, the BASS faithful said that it would only be a matter of time before BASS fell..............and it started to fall. Why else would they be uping the # of tournaments, increasing the entry fees, etc? It's because all the BASS brass knew that when Scott left, a huge part of the BASS family left with him. I know of more than a few anglers that refuse to get another subcription to BASS magazine, and it's because of the ESPN acquisition of BASS.

While I do believe that the FLW will come to ESPN, it may not happen in the next 2-3 years, but within 5 years, it will happen. And where BASS fell when Scott left, Forrest L. Wood will stay with the FLW Tour and will be the big wood that swings against ESPN to keep the FLW just as it is right now. And when that happens, you will see more and more anglers moving to the FLW Tour. You will have the same amount of "coverage" but you will have the same low entrance fees that they have now.

And if ESPN is doing such a wonderful job with BASS, why is it that almost all the people that actually watch BASS Saturday COMPLAIN about the programming? Now that they might actually add "Day on the Lake", it might be better. The simple truth is that BASS was going downhill before ESPN took over, and although ESPN might have brought the life-line back up for a while, BASS is still going to fall. That is, unless the FLW does come to ESPN, and the war for the trails is started.

And don't be so shy to think that the chance of the FLW buying out BASS isn't too far away. BASS tried to buy out the FLW, which Mike pointed out to me again in our conversation, but the FLW brass knew that it was a huge mistake. They didn't do it, and right now, they are sitting in a comfortable position because of it.
 

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First and foremost... I must say this because it is very near and dear to my heart

Ray Scott is by far, the father of bass fishing. Every single thing he does, is and always will be for the development of the sport, and for the love of fishing. Do NOT ever compare Forrest L. Wood to Ray Scott, because they are in two VERY separate leagues. While FLW has also been great for the sport, Ray Scott will NEVER EVER be challenged in our lifetime, and he is in my opinion the greatest American who has ever walked the face of the earth.

Ok, now here are a few points I would like to make.

First, so that nobody can question my motives, I would like to state that I have fished several FLW tournaments, along with many BASS tournaments as well. I have well experienced each side of the fishing industry. As a matter of fact, this year I will be fishing the Empire division of the BFL, because it better fits into my schedule than the Bassmaster Series.

I do not believe that FLW will ever come to ESPN. I believe that to be a fact. The simple fact is that there are not enough hours in a week to give everybody a prime time spot. Saturday morning is perfect for BASS because it gives everybody a chance to watch their favorite anglers. Although the competition would be great within a network, you have to realize that ESPN covers just about EVERY sport, and there would be no way to cover 22 tournaments a year along with the FLW championship and the Bassmaster Classic. Also, it is no secret that ESPN wants to make fishing a supersport, like NASCAR, basketball, football, etc. I believe that along with the birth of the elite series, they are well on the way to doing this. The things that are highlited on a regular bass fishing show are Ike going nuts, swearing at the camera, disqualifications, extensive sponsor commercialism, which in turn all makes ESPN money. FLW was set on a stronger set of morals than BASS was. BASS allows beer sponsors and other things of that nature, and FLW will not. Because FLW will not allow this, it would end up costing a good amount of money to ESPN if they were to sign FLW. We can not be naieve to assume that EVERYBODY who watches bass saturday is truly a fan of bass fishing, which is why we cannot be naieve to assume that people would want to watch the FLW tour, because average joe american does not enjoy watching someone catch a fish. It saddens me, but its the truth. If I am wrong (which has happened before lol) and FLW comes to ESPN, it would be shooting themselves in the foot. The average ESPN viewer would come to know BASS as "good bass fishing television" and FLW as "bad bass fishing television" I can say this because it is NOT what most americans want to see! Its a simple truth.

Another reason that BASS will never fail is because of the BASS faithful. Try to name the biggest 20 professionals fishing the FLW tour. After you get past ten, the fact is that the rest of them are just not well known. It is because of the exposure. I mean to us, the people who follow bass fishing religiously and want to pursue it as a career (like me) it is simple to identify with the best anglers in the world. However, if you took the top 50 pro's fishing the BASS trail, every single one of the top 50 is very well known and well respected professional. It is a fact that the better anglers are all fishing BASS. Dont believe me? Look at the stats.

OUT OF THE TOP TEN ANGLERS ON THE BASSFAN WORLD RANKINGS, 9 OF THEM ARE STRICTLY B.A.S.S. PROFESSIONALS. ENOUGH SAID.

Bass fishing fans want to watch the best anglers compete for big money. With the elite series, you have that, and with the FLW series, often you will see people in the top ten that you have scarcely ever heard of.

Another thing to consider is this. People make way too much chatter about the big bad 55,000 dollar entry fees. Something I alluded to in my first post is this. If you are fishing on the BASS Elite Series, sponsors are simply going to pay you more money. If there is a major effect felt by the raising of the entry fees, the pro's on the BASS Elite Series are not feeling it. By making a move to fish the BASS tour, they are making more money in return.

Last but not least (or at least all I can think of right now) is the name. Let me tell you one thing, growing up when I was teaching myself how to fish, clinging to every Bassmaster magazine I could get my hands on and staying on my farm pond every single day since I could stand, I dreamed of standing on that stage holding a Bassmasters Classic trophy over my head. I am not sure what angler does not have that dream. It is easy for Jay Yelas and Larry Nixon to walk away because they have already reached this, what is considered the pinnacle of bass fishing. With the FLW championship, it is more about the money than the title. A good way to prove this is that after George Cochran won the FLW Championship, the next FLW Magazine that came out showed a picture of him, holding a 500,000 dollar check above his head. After KVD won the classic in 05, the next Bassmaster magazine showed him holding the bassmaster classic, and the good ole' american flag. Think about it, do you even know what the FLW Championship trophy looks like without looking it up? I can honestly say that I have no clue. But I could sure as heck tell you the dimensions of the Bassmaster Classic trophy, and the weight.

As a closing thought, I dont even think money should be a part of it. If you get into fishing as a career to become rich, the bottom line is you are in the wrong career. IF you arent in it for the love of sport, the love of fishing, and the love of competition than you should go home. If I had to choose between a bassmaster's classic trophy and the 500,000 dollars I would take the trophy in a heartbeat, without nary a thought about it. I have fished both trails, and the bottom line is the BASS treats its anglers better. When I fished the bassmaster series, and had a great finish in my first tournament with them, the tournament director brought me on stage, and announced that I was 16 years old fishing in my first big level tournament ever. As he handed me my check, the small crowd of a few hundred gave me a standing ovation. I will never forget that, and I have a picture of it blown up in my room. When I walked across the stage for the first time in a BFL tournament, the tournament director weighed my limit of fish, and scooted me off the back end of the stage. That is for sure NOT the kind of trail I would like to associate myself with. The only reason I am fishing the BFL is to keep my skills sharp for the B.A.S.S Side of fishing, and also so I can make sure I am on the water every weekend fishing in a tournament.

Long live BASS, and Ray Scott
 

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It is my opinion that only one organization stands out the most and that would be the best known B.A.S.S.

Like Mike above, it is most bass fishermen's dream to stand on stage at a BASS tournament. I think if you ask any novice fisherman or any non-fisherman for that matter, they will identify more with BASS than with FLW. More people have heard of BASS.

I also agee with Mike, if you are fishing as a career to get rich, you are in the wrong line of work. It should be about the sportsmanship first, fun second, a living third.
 

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My View is B.A.S.S. existed before FLW, and without it FLW would not exist.  So B.A.S.S. shouldnt get the bad rap it does now.

BUT, I will probably never fish BASS, because of the money issue. WHo has that much money now a days?! By the time my children are grown ups, all the jobs will be outsourced to some foreign island with people being payed a dime a hour.

FLW is more money efficient, so thats why I will stick with that tour.
 

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James,

Sadly, I agree with you.

If you want to fish a BASS tournament you will need to have a sponsor first to put up the money you need to enter.

First, You have to convince a sponsor somehow that you are worthy of the entrance fee.

The other way to fish BASS tournaments is to have money in the first place.

James, you are also right about the outsourcing of America. I get about a dozen calls a week from someone I can't understand or worse yet, you call someone for help, and they do not speak english.

Someone told me if you tell the person on the other end of the phone that you wish to speak with someone in the U.S. they have to transfer you. I do not know if this is true or not, but next time I am going to try it.
 

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Great discussion here. I am a life member of both and have fished both events. There are differences. FLW, I believe cares More about their fisherman in many ways. One example, when Hurricane Rita was bearing down on the TX/LA coast and was going to run up into Arkansas, I called BASS on Wednesday to ask about them cancelling the Tour event there. Their exact words, "We don't cancell tournaments until the day of the tournament." I told them the majority of the fisherman, as they knew, were TX/LA fisherman and they would not be coming even if Rita missed Arkansas. He didn't care. Three days later it hit and they cancelled. When they rescheduled, it conflicted with other tournaments I was fishing and the refused to refund my money...REAL bad PR.

This year, when I decided to move here to the Augusta area, FLW returned to me all my deposits for the Strens & TTTs I could not fish...no questions asked.

The people at FLW are far more friendly and helpful...in fact some FLW guys that "couldn't make it there went over to BASS.

In addition, when the yanked BASS out of Montgomery about 1/2 the folks decided not to move with them and they Had been with BASS for years.

BASS is cold, uncaring, running scared of FLW. Look how they treated Luke when he won the Championship. I was in Birmingham when he won the FLW Championship and they treated him like he deserved.

Bottom line? FLW is about people BASS MONEY!

cbs
 

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and he is in my opinion the greatest American who has ever walked the face of the earth.



i think george washington was the greatest or maybe ben franklin thomas edison, your saying alot when you say someone is the greatest american who has ever walked the face of the earth.

maybe saying he is the greatest american angler would be better,
 

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I believe the FLW is more fisherman friendly especially at the weekender level. I still fish BASS events because one day I will make it to the Classic...
 

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poe said:
and he is in my opinion the greatest American who has ever walked the face of the earth.



i think george washington was the greatest or maybe ben franklin thomas edison, your saying alot when you say someone is the greatest american who has ever walked the face of the earth.

maybe saying he is the greatest american angler would be better,
Come on guys, Ray Scott is just a great businessman, no more no less. This is why my only hero's are Jesus Christ, my Father, and my wife. No alters at my house for pro athletes, movie stars, or anyone else......

This should get it started......

P.S.
America is captalized..........
 

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oh yea i agree jesus christ is the greatest person to ever walk the face of the earth. i mean to me a soldier or navy man is deserves the title greatest american ray does it for money they do it for american people like you and me
 
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