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What is going on with the FLW

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I normally watch the FLW tour religiously. I could name and recognize every angler in the top 20. But it seems like the big players from the FLW left to go the the B.A.S.S. I notice Omori, Monroe, Wheeler, Duckett, Ehler to name a few have switched over. Now when I look at the standings I barley recognize 10 of the top 20 anglers. In my opinion the FLW is more exciting to watch. I really only watch the Elites during the Classic. What makes the Elite series a better series to fish or is there other reasons the big name anglers are leaving the FLW.

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Follow the money. I don't follow either tour closely, but the pros will go where they can get the best deal.

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FLW is great for a guy trying to break into pro fishing but for the top guys, BASS offers more exposure, more tournaments, no co-angler, Classic qualification, smaller field, new lakes, more fans and according to some, a better run organization.

As far as payouts, I don't really know.  For the top, established guys, the above must be enough to want to switch.  I'm sure sponsors are pushing guys to make the switch also.

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It's all about making that BMC!

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2 hours ago, Ohio Bassin said:

I normally watch the FLW tour religiously. I could name and recognize every angler in the top 20. But it seems like the big players from the FLW left to go the the B.A.S.S. I notice Omori, Monroe, Wheeler, Duckett, Ehler to name a few have switched over. Now when I look at the standings I barley recognize 10 of the top 20 anglers. In my opinion the FLW is more exciting to watch. I really only watch the Elites during the Classic. What makes the Elite series a better series to fish or is there other reasons the big name anglers are leaving the FLW.

Monroe is in both curcuits.  Wheeler is trying but only made it in to that one classic due to BASSFEST,  Still working to qualify for the Elites (yes each year the Elite series anglers HAVE to qualify to continue to fish).  Ehler moved over last year as well as Tharp a few years ago.  There are still quality anglers fishing the FLW. Myers, Wheeler, Martin, Morgan, Daniels, Blaylock....etc.  I've seen Wheeler and Blaylock trying to qualify through the BASS Opens to make the Elite series but Morgan, Martin, Daniels, Myers, almost forgot Larry Nixion still with FLW.  There are quality anglers on both tours, but it's all about making it to the bigger stage for some and like Monroe some are willing to fish both tours to make themselves as viable to their sponsors as well as make a living.  I believe Hackney even won an FLW event a few years ago so the FLW stage is $$$ to fish, the Elite are $$$ but you have to qualify to make it so those that do more then often stick with that tour and keep their focus on one instead of two.

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I can see moving to get rid of co angler division but I think flw has more exposure. NBCSN and Outdoor network plays their recaps in the afternoon along side their other fishing shows as to were the Elite series is on at 6am on ESPN. I seen there was some tension between the tour and anglers between the strict boat manufacture rules the FLW has. I personally always found the flw more enjoyable to watch and keep track of. Oh and doesn't the FLW change the lakes they fish every year like the Elite series?

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16 hours ago, Ohio Bassin said:

I can see moving to get rid of co angler division but I think flw has more exposure. NBCSN and Outdoor network plays their recaps in the afternoon along side their other fishing shows as to were the Elite series is on at 6am on ESPN. I seen there was some tension between the tour and anglers between the strict boat manufacture rules the FLW has. I personally always found the flw more enjoyable to watch and keep track of. Oh and doesn't the FLW change the lakes they fish every year like the Elite series?

FLW only removed the co's from the Forest Wood Cup.  I don't know about tensions between tours and anglers.  Many of the pro's fish both curcuits.  I know that the Elites must have their boats wrapped and must fish in a sponsor jersey and follow the dress code set forth where FLW isn't as strick.  The co's on the FLW side other then championship day fill in the role a Marshall does on the Elite series as to keep everyone honest.  And yes both curcuits change lakes but frequent the same bodies of water more or less and the Forest Wood Cup is held in August where the Classic is held in early spring (dates pending where they decide to have it).

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The Elite series draws huge crowds to each one of their events.  FLW does their weigh-in in a Walmart parking lot to small crowds.  The Elite series guys are more likely to have a signature rod, reel, bait, etc.  MLF is mostly made up of Elite series guys.   This is the kind of exposure I'm talking about.  It makes it a lot easier to follow guys when you know who they are.  Also, FLW's website is awful.

FLW fishes Beaver Lake every year and it seems like they fish the same rotation of 8 or 10 lakes year after year.

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23 minutes ago, Al Wolbach said:

Published by Bassmaster, would you expect a different view?

I expect that Ehrler wouldn't write something like that if it weren't true.  Doesn't really matter what website posted the article.  This isn't written from Bass' point of view, it's from Ehrler's. 

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Southern Opens just finished up this past weekend and Mark Rose, Stetson Blaylock and Jacob Wheeler all finished inside the Top 5 in pts and will get invites to the 2017 Elites. Mark Daniels Jr. finished 6th and might also get an invite if one or more of the Top 5 chooses not to accept. All are currently FLW anglers. I've heard Rose will likely decline, but Blaylock and Wheeler will likely accept. I think MDJ will go, too, if given the opportunity.

-T9

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1 hour ago, Team9nine said:

Southern Opens just finished up this past weekend and Mark Rose, Stetson Blaylock and Jacob Wheeler all finished inside the Top 5 in pts and will get invites to the 2017 Elites. Mark Daniels Jr. finished 6th and might also get an invite if one or more of the Top 5 chooses not to accept. All are currently FLW anglers. I've heard Rose will likely decline, but Blaylock and Wheeler will likely accept. I think MDJ will go, too, if given the opportunity.

-T9

Wheeler and Blaylock both posted on their Facebook yesterday that they would be leaving the FLW and Fish the Elite series only next year.

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I would be really surprised if MDJ doesn't make the move too, assuming he gets the invite.

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2 hours ago, Jrob78 said:

I would be really surprised if MDJ doesn't make the move too, assuming he gets the invite.

Yeah, I think if Rose declines, or one of the two other anglers backs out due to sponsorship concerns, MDJ would take the invite if B.A.S.S. offered it. However, there are no guarantees beyond 5th place, because some would argue they are just as likely to keep an existing Elite angler on board as opposed to replacing one with someone new. That's why Top 5 in pts is so critical - it eliminates most of the "unknowns."

-T9 

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Just received this "analysis" in my inbox from YiBF/Bass Quest. Only thing I can add is that Wheeler will definitely be making the jump. Their analysis of the others is pretty much right on from what I've heard, with Wiggins and Connell mostly coming down to enough sponsor $$ as the driver. :

New Qualifiers for the Elite Series from the Southern Opens

The final Angler of the Year Standings for the Southern Opens:

1 Mark Rose 579
2 Stetson Blaylock 576
3 Jesse Wiggins 555
4 Dustin Connell 545
5 Jacob Wheeler 535
6 Mark Daniels Jr. 527

Mark Rose: Strike King and Walmart Pro Mark Rose won the Angler of the Year and our guess he won't be joining the Elite Series. Rose, a fantastic angler, can definitely hold his own on any tour, but he does appear to have it good on the FLW Tour. With his Walmart team deal it'll be interesting to see what he decides to do. He's a family man and the smaller FLW Tour schedule lines up nice for him to spend more time with his family. Either way, Rose will continue to be a top contender on any circuit he chooses to fish.

Stetson Blaylock: Livingston Pro Stetson Blaylock finished just three points behind Rose, but landed the Elite Series ticket. Will Blaylock make the move? We think he will. Blaylock, who won an FLW Major ($200,000) at the age of 21 on Lake Norman, which at the time was the youngest ever FLW Tour winner. Blaylock has been fishing very well for many years, and there is no reason to think he won't make the jump and be successful on the Elite Series. Look for Blaylock to join the likes of Ehrler, Lucas, and Lefebre for anglers moving from FLW and making an immediate impact.

Jesse Wiggins: According to Bassmaster stats on Wiggins, he's fished a total of seven events with B.A.S.S. and finished in the money six times. Of the six times in the money one was a victory earlier this year on Smith Lake in Alabama. The Culman, Alabama pro will start next season off at the Bassmaster Classic and with his small amount of experience at the top level, it'll be interesting to see if he joins the Elite Series for the entire season. If he does decide to go "Elite", a few things are certain, he's proven he can win and cash checks, but the names joining him on the leaderboard will be slightly more recognizable (for the most part).

Dustin Connell: Much like Wiggins, Connell's top level career stats show he doesn't have a lot of experience. However, like Wiggins, he does well in the events he does fish. He won a Bassmaster Southern Open last year on the Alabama River, but he did not get a chance to fish the Bassmaster Classic because he missed the first Southern Open event. Bassmaster stats show him with five total tournaments, but cashing in four of those events including the win on the Alabama River.  The decision to join the Elite field for next year is exactly like Wiggins'.

Jacob Wheeler: Okuma pro Wheeler is a young veteran in the sport of fishing. He's locked down an FLW Cup win, and a B.A.S.S. Bassfest win on Lake Chickamauga. At the age of 26, Wheeler might be the most accomplished angler under the age of 30 in the sport of bass fishing.  Will he jump to B.A.S.S., we aren't sure, but it stands to reason he very well might make the move. If he does make the move Wheeler will be another strong addition the Elite Series field.

Mark Daniels, Jr: The California native, now Alabama resident, Mark Daniels, Jr. has been extremely good on the FLW Tour. He hasn't won but he has finished in the Top 10 in 10 of his 44 FLW hosted events (all levels). He's also qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup in three times during his three years on tour. Daniels was the most dominant angler on the California Delta while residing in California, and has adapted quickly to the national scene.  We believe he'll join the Elite Series, but we don't have confirmation on it. If he does, he'll be another native California angler to watch joining the likes of Aaron Martens, Skeet Reese, Brent Ehrler, Fred Roumbanis, Justin Lucas, Ish Monroe, Chris Zaldain, and Jared Lintner.

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I have also herd some thing about sponsor representation in the FLW.  I know that if you qualify to fish the final day you are given one of there wrapped boats to use.  (idk about you but that would throw me off, having to rig a new boat when I could be working on tackle)  As well I have herd that you cannot wear a sponsor logo that is a rival company to one of the FLW sponsors (example FLW is sponsors by Kellogg cereal, you could not have a General Mills cereal patch on your jersey or boat/truck) 

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