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B.A.S.S. Narrows Elite participation.

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B.A.S.S. never ceases to amaze me. To qualify to fish as a Elite angler you now must fish 5 tournaments including 1 Open in the Central and Eastern divisions only. If you live anywhere outside of those divisions you must travel to fish those tournaments to prove your dedication. It's always been difficult for anglers living in the west to compete in B.A.S.S. events and the reason most relocate. Now the west no longer exist according to B.A.S.S. 

Tom

 

 

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We've already had this discussion. Unfortunately your right, the west no longer exists to BASS. People on here stated that BASS has tried the west before but didn't get the turnout yet 154 boats just showed up at Lake Havasu for a FLW Costa. Sounds like a pretty good turnout to me. BASS is also making it so a guy has to bee pretty well off and have a lot of time off to compete.

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I understand why B.A.S.S. Doesn't schedule Elite events out west do to low community support, they draw boaters.

The article I just read was in B.A.S.S. Times by Bryon Brasher and he makes reference talking to Jared Lintner, Brandon Palaniuk both west coast anglers that wouldn't be Elite anglers under the new qualification plan. Elite anglers from the west include Aaron Martens, Gary Kline, Ish Monroe and several others who moved east to fish the Elite tour. Today those western anglers would have to move to hope for a chance to qualify.

Just think it's a bone head move for the 2019 season for B.A.S.S.

Tom

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27 minutes ago, WRB said:

I understand why B.A.S.S. Doesn't schedule Elite events out west do to low community support, they draw boaters.

The article I just read was in B.A.S.S. Times by Bryon Brasher and he makes reference talking to Jared Lintner, Brandon Palaniuk both west coast anglers that wouldn't be Elite anglers under the new qualification plan. Elite anglers from the west include Aaron Martens, Gary Kline, Ish Monroe and several others who moved east to fish the Elite tour. Today those western anglers would have to move to hope for a chance to qualify.

Just think it's a bone head move for the 2019 season for B.A.S.S.

Tom

I agree. The question I have is, Is it the community support that pays the bills or the boaters? Other trails have tournaments out west every year, so why can't BASS? They profess themselves to be the world leader of bass fishing.

 

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The Elite field size is actually bigger this year than in several previous years (maybe ever), so they didn't narrow it....

 

They changed the Opens format for 2018, but even under the previous format there still wasn't anything out west in terms of qualification to the Elite Series (excluding the 1 spot for the Nation, which could be a western angler)...So it's not like they took anything away from western anglers that existed previously.  

 

It sucks for guys out west no doubt, but even if there was a western qualification route an angler that makes it would still need to travel across the country to compete in the Elites....So the travel is going to be a factor regardless.  

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1 hour ago, Logan S said:

The Elite field size is actually bigger this year than in several previous years (maybe ever), so they didn't narrow it....

 

They changed the Opens format for 2018, but even under the previous format there still wasn't anything out west in terms of qualification to the Elite Series (excluding the 1 spot for the Nation, which could be a western angler)...So it's not like they took anything away from western anglers that existed previously.  

 

It sucks for guys out west no doubt, but even if there was a western qualification route an angler that makes it would still need to travel across the country to compete in the Elites....So the travel is going to be a factor regardless.  

I think what WRB was saying is that the path to get to participate in the Elite's has narrowed. For a western angler to even qualify, he is going to have to travel CONSIDERABLY farther and longer than any other regional angler. Therefore northern and particularly southern anglers have a time and a financial advantage over western anglers. In essence they have home field advantage. The visiting team can win but over time the home team always has the better record. Once a western angler makes it to the Elite's, travel is going to be a factor for everybody, but again the western angler doesn't have the advantage. It just suck that BASS basically forces western anglers to move in order for them to be successful. I realize that's not true in all cases but A- Mart and several others wouldn't have moved unless they thought that it would help their careers.

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The west is already out of B.A.S.S. events the new schedule makes it more difficult for everyone to qualify to the Elites because they increased the number of qualifying events.

Any business model that chases away their customers and forces them to go to another competitor will lose customers. B.A.S.S. may believe they are the only game in town but FLW and MLF are growing every year.

Tom

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Considering the number of available "playing fields" out west compared to most of the rest of the country, I think it would be expected that the major tournament organization chooses to keep most of its tourneys where they have.  

 

I don't know this is the case, but it wouldn't surprise me if a majority of surfing competitions were held out on the West Coast & in Hawaii, with few or none on the East Coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.  In that sport, the "playing fields" are out here as are the crowds that will attend an event.  That sucks for the little gremlins growing up in Boston & Miami, but that is how things have fallen out.  I do realize the cost differences between being a professional bass fisherman & a professional surfer, I was just using this as an analogy to point out the organizations go to where the best places to compete are.

 

I still have a hunch that B.A.S.S. is going to go back to Lake Mead for their 50th Classic.  While the fishing wouldn't necessarily be the greatest, it would still be an intriguing competition and Vegas is one of the few cities that would draw spectators from all over the world to come to.  You would also get a lot of casual anglers checking out the tackle show & weigh-ins because folks are always looking for free things to do in Vegas.  Further, no city knows how to promote an event better than Vegas.

 

If the lack of big fish at Mead is a hangup, maybe they could have a "1 striper per bag" rule for this event only... :) 

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The playing field B.A.S.S. has gone to out west is the Columbia River, Lake Shasta, Clear Lake, the Delta, lake Havasu and lake Mead. It's not the playing field!

Tom

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On 2/8/2018 at 9:42 PM, OCdockskipper said:

Considering the number of available "playing fields" out west compared to most of the rest of the country, I think it would be expected that the major tournament organization chooses to keep most of its tourneys where they have.  

 

I don't know this is the case, but it wouldn't surprise me if a majority of surfing competitions were held out on the West Coast & in Hawaii, with few or none on the East Coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.  In that sport, the "playing fields" are out here as are the crowds that will attend an event.  That sucks for the little gremlins growing up in Boston & Miami, but that is how things have fallen out.  I do realize the cost differences between being a professional bass fisherman & a professional surfer, I was just using this as an analogy to point out the organizations go to where the best places to compete are.

 

I still have a hunch that B.A.S.S. is going to go back to Lake Mead for their 50th Classic.  While the fishing wouldn't necessarily be the greatest, it would still be an intriguing competition and Vegas is one of the few cities that would draw spectators from all over the world to come to.  You would also get a lot of casual anglers checking out the tackle show & weigh-ins because folks are always looking for free things to do in Vegas.  Further, no city knows how to promote an event better than Vegas.

 

If the lack of big fish at Mead is a hangup, maybe they could have a "1 striper per bag" rule for this event only... :) 

IMO The "best place to compete" is where the best fishing is. If that's the case then why is BASS down in AL right now trying to catch 2 lb'rs? Boring! The reason is because it's close to their home office and the expenses are lower to put on tournament there. There are several western warmer fisheries right now that could put on a better tournament than what Lake Martin is showing off. BASS says right on the cover of their magazine "The Worldwide Authority On Bass Fishing". That title isn't even close. If they really want to claim them they are the leading authority then they should show off the whole country because the west has some phenomenal fisheries that equal anywhere in the country. BASS better wake up because WRB is right. BASS isn't the only game in town. FLW and especially MLF are growing. 

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On 2/8/2018 at 9:27 PM, WRB said:

The playing field B.A.S.S. has gone to out west is the Columbia River, Lake Shasta, Clear Lake, the Delta, lake Havasu and lake Mead. It's not the playing field!

Tom

You kind of proved my point.  Those six locations plus Lake Powell are the only locations visited by B.A.S.S. and there are probably a half dozen more lakes out here with the size & infrastructure to host a major tournament.  So that means the Western U.S., probably 1/3 of the entire country, has about a dozen "playing fields".  To contrast, nearly every state in the south has at least that many "playing fields" each.

 

If there was indeed a "Western Division" for Opens, the anglers would have to travel much further for each event than the eastern & southern tours.  I would think that would put a dent in the number of competitors who would fish every event, not to mention support from those communities.  It means a lot more to Orange, Texas to have a B.A.S.S. Open roll into town than it does to Sacramento or Las Vegas.

 

I have an old tackle box from my teenage years with a large decal on it that says "You're in Western Bass Country now".  There is a reason why Western Bass no longer exists.  However, in the interest in reversing that reality, I'd be more than happy to partner up with you to establish and run a Western Tournament trail.  I'll take care of most of the behind the scenes stuff and we can make you the California version of Ray Scott as MC.  It would be humorous to have competitors hold up their big fish and then have you whip out a replica of your 19.3 for comparison. 

 

 

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We have a California Open held at Clear Lake in April that draws 200 Boaters. 3 day event that you need between 75 lbs to 85 lbs to win. I doubt that any of the Elite lakes will produce those weights this year for 4 days.

We Western bass anglers will survive not having B.A.S.S. sanctioned events and those pro's who want to fish them will need to move.

Tom

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3 hours ago, OCdockskipper said:

You kind of proved my point.  Those six locations plus Lake Powell are the only locations visited by B.A.S.S. and there are probably a half dozen more lakes out here with the size & infrastructure to host a major tournament.  So that means the Western U.S., probably 1/3 of the entire country, has about a dozen "playing fields".  To contrast, nearly every state in the south has at least that many "playing fields" each.

 

If there was indeed a "Western Division" for Opens, the anglers would have to travel much further for each event than the eastern & southern tours.  I would think that would put a dent in the number of competitors who would fish every event, not to mention support from those communities.  It means a lot more to Orange, Texas to have a B.A.S.S. Open roll into town than it does to Sacramento or Las Vegas.

 

I have an old tackle box from my teenage years with a large decal on it that says "You're in Western Bass Country now".  There is a reason why Western Bass no longer exists.  However, in the interest in reversing that reality, I'd be more than happy to partner up with you to establish and run a Western Tournament trail.  I'll take care of most of the behind the scenes stuff and we can make you the California version of Ray Scott as MC.  It would be humorous to have competitors hold up their big fish and then have you whip out a replica of your 19.3 for comparison. 

 

 

Yes, if there was a "Western Division" for Opens the western angler would have to travel farther than eastern anglers. That's the whole point. Now they are being forced to travel to the east just to compete. So if you are good stick out here and you have aspirations of qualifying through the Opens then A. You better have deep pockets to afford the extra added mileage to travel out of your region not 3 time but now 4! B. You better have a lot of free time because 4 - 5 weeks off isn't going to cut it. C. Have experience on that type of fishery. If a western angler was at least in his home region he probably have some experience on the fisheries as well as his competitors. So basically it's not  really about who is the better stick. Instead it's about the guy who has the most time, $$$, and local knowledge. I'm saying is that BASS is giving eastern anglers particularly southern anglers a better chance at qualifying for the Classic and/or the Elites. Can a western angler do it? Yes. But the path to do it is much smaller now with the new Open's  format. There are plenty of fisheries out here to hold a Western Open and you would only need 3. Just about every western state has a top notch fishery. Most have more than one. 
 

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BASS has proven time and time again that it’s all about the Benjamins. 

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11 hours ago, WRB said:

We have a California Open held at Clear Lake in April that draws 200 Boaters. 3 day event that you need between 75 lbs to 85 lbs to win. I doubt that any of the Elite lakes will produce those weights this year for 4 days.

We Western bass anglers will survive not having B.A.S.S. sanctioned events and those pro's who want to fish them will need to move.

Tom

The St. Lawrence River will...again.

 

On 2/10/2018 at 11:02 AM, 1simplemann said:

IMO The "best place to compete" is where the best fishing is. If that's the case then why is BASS down in AL right now trying to catch 2 lb'rs? Boring! The reason is because it's close to their home office and the expenses are lower to put on tournament there. There are several western warmer fisheries right now that could put on a better tournament than what Lake Martin is showing off. BASS says right on the cover of their magazine "The Worldwide Authority On Bass Fishing". That title isn't even close. If they really want to claim them they are the leading authority then they should show off the whole country because the west has some phenomenal fisheries that equal anywhere in the country. BASS better wake up because WRB is right. BASS isn't the only game in town. FLW and especially MLF are growing. 

If I understand it correctly, cities bid on where the events will be held.  The cities will pay B.A.S.S to hold tournaments there because of the economic impact they have.  There's also the issue of accommodating facilities.  Most of the famed reservoirs in the southeast are best equipped to handle events of this size.  You also have to look at the fanbase and overall interest.  Again, the southeast wins.  I totally agree that some of the locations are pretty lame but from a business perspective, B.A.S.S is doing the most financially logical thing.

 

And I don't know if anyone paid attention...the first Eastern Open on the Big O drew over 200 boats. Like most of you, I thought for sure, the new format was going to reduce the field fairly significantly.  I know it's only the first event but I was pretty shocked.

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9 hours ago, moguy1973 said:

BASS has proven time and time again that it’s all about the Benjamins. 

Of course it’s about the money. Did anyone ever pretend that it wasn’t?  Without the money, there would be no B.A.S.S. Or FLW or MLF. They’d obviously like to be like the PGA where there are millions of dollars in TV and other big sponsors so the payouts don’t have to come from the participants and the Pros make enough money to travel all around the world to compete.  

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9 hours ago, moguy1973 said:

BASS has proven time and time again that it’s all about the Benjamins. 

Most business models include making a profit.

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You need to wait for the 2019 Elite events, the 2017 qualification format created the 2018 participants.

I understand why B.A.S.S. doesn't come out west, poor community support. It's not the bass fishing availble.

The St Lawrence River is a good fishery, 75 lbs in 3 days would be extremely difficult for that area IMO, 4 days we will wait and see.

Tom

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40 minutes ago, WRB said:

...I understand why B.A.S.S. doesn't come out west, poor community support. It's not the bass fishing availble...

 

The point isn't the quality of the playing fields, it is the amount of them.  Clear Lake, the Delta and Havasu are 3 great fisheries, however they are spread over an area equal to Ohio down to Alabama.  The whole southern part of California has no fisheries capable of hosting a major tournament until you get to the border and the Colorado River impoundments.

 

A western regional tour would have a limited number of fisheries spread across an area usually covered by a national tour.

 

 

10 hours ago, 1simplemann said:

Yes, if there was a "Western Division" for Opens the western angler would have to travel farther than eastern anglers. That's the whole point. Now they are being forced to travel to the east just to compete...

 

...There are plenty of fisheries out here to hold a Western Open and you would only need 3. Just about every western state has a top notch fishery. Most have more than one. 

That may be the thought process against having a Western Division.  Since major travel can not be eliminated with a Western division, why have it?  If a western angler is going to travel no matter what, make the travel to the East & South instead of up & down the West Coast.

 

Yes, nearly every Western state has a top notch fishery capable of holding a major tournament.  And nearly every southern state has a half dozen such fisheries in an area usually half the size of the western states.  

 

Please note, I was born & raised here in Southern California and would love to have B.A.S.S. tournaments out here.  However, it just doesn't make financial sense to do it, hence why Western Bass is no longer in business.

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10 hours ago, 1simplemann said:

...If a western angler was at least in his home region he probably have some experience on the fisheries as well as his competitors. So basically it's not  really about who is the better stick. Instead it's about the guy who has the most time, $$$, and local knowledge...

To qualify for the Elites, that may be true.  However, it is interesting to note that since 2005, only 2 of the AOY winners were from the south (Hackney & Swindle) & 1 was from the midwest (Chapman).  Five have been from the North (KVD four times & Ike) and Five have been from the West (Amart 3 times, Reese and Palaniuk).

 

The cream of the crop from outside the south will make it to the Elites & prosper.  Maybe the tougher route to the Elites for those from the north & west makes them better overall anglers.

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You guys know that there is a qualification path to both the Classic and Elites that doesn't include the BASS Opens directly right?  It also has a footprint out west with a regional on Clear Lake, CA.  The Nation path will also qualify some anglers with full rides to an Open Series (including a boat), which in turn can lead to Classic/Elite qualification.  No other sport has as many ways for a 'regular guy' to make it big and BASS does more than any other organization to make that happen (IMO).  

Capture1.thumb.JPG.c60123bae6374c84cf3ae45a4d78543f.JPG

 

Seriously, what more can BASS do to provide a pathway to being a professional fisherman?  Yes, the footprint out west is smaller than what it is in the eastern and central regions...But it does exist.  FLW has the Costa Western Series and there are other western tours like WON where a western angler can make a name for themselves outside of BASS - And try to leverage that into sponsorship help in order to make the Opens work if they want to.  The one constant in all of this is that it takes time, money, and skill...There is no way around any of those no matter where you live and what path you want to take.  

 

The BASS Open Series is the semi-pro trail and primary qualification method to the Elites, it's supposed to be hard.  The Nation path is there for the grassroots anglers to still have a shot - Without the larger commitment that is required in the Opens.  

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I am not trying to sell California bass fisheries to get B.A.S.S. to return to the west.

You may forget we have lakes big enough and good enough to compete with eastern lakes. I don't consider any of the So Cal lakes big enough but NorCal and central Cal does; Beryessa, Clear lake, San Joaquin Delta, Folsom, New Melones, Don Pedro, Lake Shasta etc. Nevada and Arizona Colorado River lakes Mead, Mojave and Havasu, Salt River. Lake Roosevelt and lake Pleasent, Washington Oregon Columbia River, Utah Powell and Elephant Butt. There are more then enough lakes to satisfy bass tournament venues. 

My point was B.A.S.S. has written off all those lakes and the anglers who fish them.

2018 schedule: Lake Martin, Sabine River, Grand Lake*, Kentucy Lake, Lake Travis, Mississippi River La Crosse, Lake Oahe, Chessepeake Bay, St Lawrence River*.

Tom

* fished Grand lake and St Lawrence Thousand Island area several times. St Lawrence River is one of the most beautiful areas and deverse fishery anywhere. Haven't fished any of the other venues listed so can't compare them.

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The Nation Championship top prizes are pretty awesome.  I feel like the paid entries into the Opens is relatively new but I'm glad that's a thing now. 

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I think another issue is the expense/logistics of getting all of the equipment that BASS has out west.

Lack of community support will also result in less sponsorship dollars and less merchandise being sold.

 

It's just about the money and it's too expensive for BASS to go out west.

 

I would bet many of the people on this very site would love to go out west and fish some of their awesome lakes.

However, the cost associated with it would be a main reason why they can't/don't.

 

I found a Putnam County Chamber of Commerce proposal that indicates they spent a million dollars to bring a 2014 Bassmaster event to the St. Johns river. In this document it also highlights what the host will also provide on top of the million dollar bid.

http://www.acce.org/clientuploads/directory/samples/2014/PCCC Synopsis 2.pdf

 

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And I thought west coast bias only existed when selecting teams for the mens NCAA basketball tournament.........

 

On the surface, it does seem odd to hold fishing competitions in a desert 

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