We read the message boards. Lincoln’s Roy Desmangles, one of the more successful co-anglers in the FLW National Guard West circuit, has been trying to get into this week’s event at Roosevelt Lake. Unfortunately, after meeting all the requirements for priority placement (read: jumping through all the appropriate hoops) he found himself left out of his last chance for a shot at the Forrest Wood Cup, Ranger Cup and any other benefits FLW likes to tout.

And it is so unfortunate.

In case you weren’t aware, Roy contends he has met these requirements: signing up for the entire year in December of last year, paying deposits for all four events, complying with all Ranger Cup requirements, not to mention he has fished all three previous events this season and is in the top 25 of the points standings, so he is in reach of a spot in the Forrest Wood Cup.

Of course, FLW will now say that their rule of allowing co-anglers to sign up with a pro at the last minute will become the new priority for co-anglers, given National Guard is finishing the year with a less-than-stellar field. But on surface (and yes the lawyers will be lining up on this one) Desmangles did everything within the printed rules to get in the contest–but has been turned away.

I know Roy debated what to do, but finally, he determined that either co-anglering is important in the sport, or it’s a position of convenience for the organization. Thus, somewhat conflicted, Desmangles and his attorney have put FLW on notice for this error or oversight.

While I expect FLW to sit on their hands on this one,  it’s a story that merits your attention. And if you want to fish the co-angler route, I thought you’d like to know.


9 Responses to “Ouch! Co-angler becomes FLW ‘no angler’”

It sounds like he is getting “Bernie Madoof-ed”

Wow Attorney? I thought we did this for fun. Especially this year with the purse and qualifying changes to the westerns why would anybody fight to get in? Yes, they did briefly change the policy to state there would be no priority for Co’s that sign up with a Pro. It was quickly returned to the “old” bring us a Pro and step over the pile of bodies waiting to donate their entry to J.R. Wright. The way it should be done.

Many serious Co-anglers have paired up with a boater. We split travel, practice together and basically count on each other to make this game feasible. At least if you are trying to get your money back or better. This year has been the fiasco I predicted.

Entries are way too low on the Co-angler side. It has attracted anybody that owns a spinning rod and bag of Roboworms. You probably cant even get your expenses covered with less than two top fives in the year.

Boaters entry is also too low. A five-thousand dollar check for 50th means you would have to make a check in three out of four events just to paddle north of your expenses for the season. Add to that they lifted the real carrot, Forrest Wood Cup qualification, way above the typical player’s nose. Only taking the top ten to the cup has removed the reason for anybody to continue with the series as a boater if you had one bomb in the season. At least with the ten-thousand dollar check you could scratch back to make up for the lost money. Maybe even hit a 125K home-run.

FLW ruined the Series events this year. Maybe they can come back with a real AAA circuit. Either that or fill the real hole, an entry level individual weight series like the Strens. That is what the west coast anglers want to fish.

I wish Roy luck and am very sorry to see a guy that has put it out there for every FLW event the National Guard has sponsored not get in the tournament. I just feel he may have already won this week by being at work rather than fighting to get to Arizona. Take the money you saved and put it down on Tour deposits. That is where the Forrest Wood Cup road is paved.

Thanks George.

After just finishing an event where the watershed got 7.5″ of rain the night before and watching the lake come up 3 to 4 feet during the one day tournament, I needed a reminder of why it was I bought my own boat.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I never got a bite all day.


Yeah we do this for fun, but that fun costs money, time and effort. it wasn’t just Roy who got screwed, there were at least 12 others in the top 25 as well. We all have to live by rules everyday and if you get caught not following the rule, then you will pay the price. Why should the FLW not have to follow the rules? Sometime an attorney is the only way to insure the rules are being followed. I’m sure the FLW has put their attorney on notice trying to find a why to get around the rule they put in place.

You would think an organization could take care of its own affairs well enough so its people would know at what point they would need to go straight to the waiting list for priority entry.

In the future, I can’t imagine how a co-angler would risk his resources for the coming year without some firm assurances this would not happen again. But even that does nothing for anglers who this year lost a shot at a career-changing event such as the Forrest Wood Cup.

It’s brutal.

It will be interesting to see what happen’s. I called Chris Hoover the day I found out that FLW changed the “Rules” for the Co’s getting into the Western NG series while he was back east at a tour event. I made my points to him and said what I felt about the situation. Not sure if many others did the same thing but my guess I was one of the few. At the Shasta event it was said that the sign up rules would not be changed like in prior years and the Co’s would get into each events the same way as Shasta. Well, that was not the facts as we all found out. Personally, I think that FLW started to panick after the Shasta event because Mead was next and the raw pro numbers were looking very low. FLW was worried it was going to draw a very low number for the event. They changed the “Rule” or interpitation of the rule from that point on and the rest is history. Good luck Roy, hope something possitive comes out of this for you and the others that missed the Roosevelt event thus also the missed your chance at the Cup birth.

Happens both ways George. I have been sought to guarantee boaters in more than one FLW event. What needs to happen is pre-planning. Anglers on both sides of the boat need to communicate their intent to enter the event and pair up. I am sure the same thing happens at every draw event.

It is also not something that was sprung on anybody. They said they would not allow anglers to guarantee in with a sign-up partner for about one week. It quickly reverted back to the “old” method when FLW saw their series modifications going up in flames before Shasta.

Roy Desmangles is one of the good guys of the sport and this really sucks for him. Why would it be a co-anglers job to sign up with a pro angler in the first place. They should have a sign up process that gives them a priority based on: When they signed up, how many events they are fishing, etc. I’d even say making Ranger owners higher priority for the co-angler would be acceptable.

By making each Co-Angler find a Pro that is going to fish is asking a lot of a co-angler. Sure if they look hard enough, offer some incentive or just get lucky they can make it happen but, how would a first time Co-angler not in the “tournament circle” yet find a partner to sign up with?

Also, how is a Pro or a Co-Angler for that matter, guarantee he can fish all 4 events. People lose jobs, medical issues, all kinds of stuff can come up etc… Do you know for 100% sure (or at least sure enough to let someone else’s spot ride on the guarantee) that you can fish a tournament in 10 months? And why should a co-angler be left on the curb if a pro has to back up for said reasons? It’s not the co-angler’s fault is it?

I’ve always thought making a Pro and an Am sign up together is kind of a crock. Sign up – get a priority based on some set of guidelines and then it’ll all be as fair as possible.

just my .02 – I feel for ya Roy! I hope they refund you all your entries back (at least) plus Lawyer fees.

@Tom, It is not necessarily a Co-angler only problem. I have guaranteed a few boater side entries as well. The Pro/Am deal has a lot of dynamics that have to balance.

The Guard format this year was very unbalanced. Pro entry was too low but too high if that makes any sense. Too low to pay back a real Pro and too high for a wannabe to risk a full season. The Co side was just plain too low.

If the entry fees are out of whack you will fight to get a balanced field of competitors. It may be easy to say let’s give priority to first come on some basis but who is to say that doesn’t exacerbate the problem by giving the wrong guy the right to fish.

Who is to know which angler will be in the hunt for the Cup berth before the season begins and deposits are due? I can say for years many of us “regulars” used the Pro/Co pairing rule to keep ourselves in the events.