I know you had nothing to do with it: Choosing the Columbia River for your second $3400 (is that $4000, now?) installment of FLW Series entry fees, that is.

Sure we could blame the poor economy for a lot of things, express doubt over FLW leadership or staffing or even argue about Genmar product viability. Yet those are all somewhat subjective.  But let’s be honest. When it comes to choosing tournament waters for a circuit normally dominated by California and Arizona fishermen, could FLW find anyplace, short of Manitoba, that is more out-of-the-way for rank and file participants than the Oregon/Washington border.

Of course, the answer is a resounding no! And while the Series kick-off event at Lake Havasu was a disappointment, I’m pretty sure National Guard West would be doing hand stands today if they thought they could get a hundred boats to show up for the June 24-27 contest.

Of course, I’m not on the FLW preferred mailing list so I don’t have any hard data, but I quoted one pro fishermen on this very site that said he would be surprised if the Columbia River would draw 70 boats. Then, while holding interviews with Stren Series contestants up at the Delta last week, the number being kicked around had dropped to 50 boats!

It’s no wonder you see co-anglers on the web scrambling to find pro partners for the long haul to the Pacific Northwest. It’s no wonder FLW is having its “name” performers make personal calls to California anglers trying to rally them to participate in the second leg of the Series.

But you know me, I like to look at the positives–even with 50 boats. In my mind, in fact, I see a new FLW Series record looming. Oh, not for the biggest catch, but for the fastest weigh-in.