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BassAssassin726

Why Dont Pros Fish Bass And Flw Tournaments?

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How come you dont see guys fishing both circuits? Do they like have a contract with the leagues to only fish their tournaments? I know theres like 2 guys that have won both the Classic and Forrest Wood Cup but Im just wondering why more guys dont fish both. I get that theres a scheduling conflict but someone could always fish FLW one year and BASS the next couldnt they?

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A few guys have tried it but it was just to difficult to try to manage the travel logistics, the wear and tear on the angler's body, and the time away from family.

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Iaconelli does this some not aware of anyone else who does but I'm sure there's probably someone I don't know about

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I know for a fact only 2 guys in history have won both the Classic and Forrest Wood Cup. I think one is David Dudley, forget the other. But yea Id imagine the logistics would be insane.

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I think Keith Combs does both, or did... but as mentioned, I think the scheduling would be to chaotic. Especially when they're at the lake days ahead of time to prep and practice.

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Two pros stayed at my buddy's place when they were up on Oneida. What they said was that only a select few have a "free ride," with their travel expenses and entry fees paid for by sponsors. Something like the top 20 guys. The rest rely on themselves to come up with these expenses. Some guys risk it all. It isn't cheap, and most don't have a free ride. To run two circuits would simply be too costly.

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J Franco is spot on. I can't find the video but I believe it was from *** site, they interviewed about 15 guys in the BASS circuit and the general consensus was $75-$100K a season if you're not getting a full ride. That's tournament fees, gas, food, housing, etc etc...

100 seems a bit steep if you ask me, but then again how would I know.

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BassAssassin, this is a very good question.

The pros have fished both circuits as have others trying to get into the subsequent Classics.

In his book, Fishing on the Edge, by Ike here is what he says about being a professional bass fisherman. May I suggest you obtain the book and enjoy it. Great and easy to read with some excellent fishing suggestions and tips.

Page 183 - We're not as rich as you think we are.

Many people don't understand that bass fishing isn't baseball or basketball. I'm lucky and grateful to be as financially successful as almost anyone on the tour, but Kevin Garnett and I don't exactly shop together, you know? The majority of the guys on tour are scraping by, existing year-to-year, even tournament-to-tournament, often while paying most or even all expenses out of pocket. If you see a sponsor's patch, it may just be for a discount on equipment, not a giant check. Many boat sponsorships require an angler to pay fof the boat when the season's over. My point? Fishing's a rough lifestyle, and only a lucky few ever get rich.

Ike goes on in the book to say that it is very expensive to be a bass professional and pay your entry fees, gas, insurance, taxes on the boat, motor and trailer, keep your equipment in good shape, purchase line and pay off the boat loan. Throw in food, lodging and being away from your family for weeks at a time you can see that being a pro bass fisherman is not an easy career.

So fishing both tournament trails across the USA can be too expensive for your average bass pro. So they focus on either the FLW or B.A.S.S trails and hope for the best.

I suggest everyone get Ike's book and read it. He has some good insights into professional bass fishing. Ike discusses sponsorship which is very eye opening.

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I fished with one FLW touring pro during a BFL and we talked about the cost involved and basically he stated that just after the 1st of the year he has to come up with roughly a $24k deposit to fish the FLW tour and not to mention some of the other cost involved. That's alot of out of pocket expense in itself and he has some sponsors but as mentioned they are for discounts off merchandise or something of that nature. The FLW I believe also doesn't allow the same type of sponsor representation on the jerseys either but not exactly sure on this one. That would/could limit someone sponsored by say a major reel company or bait company from participating as far as the money goes as well.

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Just by looking at Bass Assasin's profile pic you know he's not kidding LOL..

He survived.lol

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One of the biggest reasons is simply because the two Tours have a bad habit of overlapping at least one event during the season, if not more. As tough as it is out there, a pro can't afford to miss a single event if he expects or hopes to fish in the year end championship of each circuit, which is where the largest prize money is at to be won. Until the Tours stop overlapping, you won't see many guys try both circuits in the same year. Several have in the past, including Ish Monroe and Steve Kennedy and Ike. You'll see a couple guys do it this coming year though since there is only 1 minor overlap.

Another factor is that even though you might be a "pro", while the FLW Tour will accept about anybody with the money to play, the Elite Series is just 100 guys, and getting entry is much more restrictive. I know one FLW pro who called and asked about getting onto the Elite Trail in 2013 and was told they couldn't. You pretty much have to qualify your way into the Elites through the Opens. That said, numerous pros have fished both circuits over their careers. Even KVD fished the FLW Tour for about 4 years.

Many pros who do fish one of the pro circuits full time will fish the other circuits lower level events. There were at least 10 or more Bassmaster Elite guys (DUCKETT, HARTLEY, REEHM, HACKNEY, REED, ELIAS, CLUNN, KENNEDY, OMORI, T. MARTIN) who fished the FLW Rayburn event last week, and numerous pros have fished either the Opens or the Everstarts of their opposing circuit.

-T9

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I know for a fact only 2 guys in history have won both the Classic and Forrest Wood Cup. I think one is David Dudley, forget the other. But yea Id imagine the logistics would be insane.

Luke Clausen would be the other I believe.

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Here is a write up I've read that I just read, cliff perch will be be fishing both FLW and Bassmasters.

Cliff Pirch hopes to fish both major professional circuits in 2013. But if finances limit him to one, it'll be the Bassmaster Elite Series.

The Arizona pro, a five-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier and winner of the 2011 Chickamauga FLW Tour Major, will accept the invitation to fish the Elites that stemmed from his 2nd-place finish in this year's Northern Open points.

"I just think it opens up a few more sponsor opportunities," he said. "I still have a lot of good friends at FLW and I'll still fish there when I can, but this seems like the better direction for me right now.

"I'm not ruling out fishing the FLW Tour on top of the Elites, but I'll have to see how things go sponsorship-wise to figure out if I can pull it off. I fished 19 or 20 events this year and even though there were times I wished I'd had more practice, it worked out okay overall."

Consistency will be Key

Pirch was a boom-or-bust competitor for most of his 8 seasons on the FLW Tour. He averaged more than one Top-10 showing per year, but only twice finished higher than 27th in the Angler of the Year (AOY) race.

One of those occasions was this year, when he ended up 12th in the points. He logged just one Top 10 (a 9th at the Potomac River), but never fared worse than 64th. He also performed well in a couple of non-tour events, coming within a quarter-ounce of winning his third WON Bass U.S. Open at Nevada's Lake Mead in September.

He hopes to carry his newfound consistency with him to the Elite Series.

"The (Bassmaster) Classic is a big part of your season over there and you want to make sure you're a part of that event, but the biggest thing for me is I want to maximize my opportunities," he said. "That'll be my main goal, and I've done a lot better in that department over the last year and a half or 2 years.

"In the past I've been more of a home-run guy, but I'm going to be in a situation where I need to cash checks, so consistency will be a lot more important. I'll swing hard if I get the chance and do the things that win tournaments, but I won't always gamble on an all-in deal, even though that occasionally works out. A lot of times a Roboworm on a dropshot or a jighead worm can keep you in check range."

From a competition standpoint, he doesn't expect to see a big change between where he came from and where he's going.

"I know there's some really tough competitors on the B.A.S.S. side, and those guys are there for a reason. But at the same time, I don't think it's going to be a lot different than going up against Jay Yelas, Brent Ehrler and David Dudley – you're still competing against the world's best.

"If you have a good week, you have a good week. It doesn't matter that much who else is there. There's some phenomenal competition (on the Elite Series), but where I've been is pretty darn tough."

Less Time on the Road

One apparent benefit for Pirch in 2013 will be spending more time at home. Two Elite events are in Texas, which is a relatively short trip compared to what he's accustomed to, and he's looking at fishing the new Outdoor Heritage circuit, which will offer four events in Arizona or southern Nevada from January through May. He also might sign up for a Western EverStart or two.

Of course, if the two-tour possibility comes to fruition, that'll involve a lot more highway miles and perhaps an occasional plane ride. That's what he's used to, though, as he and his family have been away from home for well over half of 2012 (daughters Kailee, 10, and Kassidy, 7, are home-schooled and travel with him and wife Alicia in a motorhome).

They've been back in Arizona for about a week now, and the plan is to stay there through the holidays and into the new year. The only thing on the immediate agenda is elk hunting – he'll do some on his own or with friends and will also host several week-long guided trips.

"We bring people in to hunt and put them up at the house, and my wife does the cooking," he said. "We used to do a lot more of that kind of thing, and we're kind of getting back into it. We'll probably do four this season."

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