He’s probably not going to invite me to his 70th birthday for writing this, but the soft-spoken Mike Folkestad has got some significant things to say.

In a week he’ll be battling some very good fishermen in the final WON Bass Tour event at the Delta, trailing young Paul Bailey for a shot at 2010 Angler of the Year–and a new Nitro bass boat.

“He’s pretty good,” Mike said of his angling adversary from Willits. “It’s going to be tough.” When I suggested the pressure might get to Bailey,  Mike didn’t hesitate to say, “I’ve been pressuring him all year, he’s doing good.”

That’s not to say, Mike doesn’t also feel the approach of those behind him in the standings. But let’s face it. Folkestad didn’t forge the career he has looking in the rear view mirror. The biggest difference now in what has to be seen as late in that marvelous career, there usually isn’t some new face in front of him.

The size of the field at the Delta could play a huge role in the points race. The points differential is close enough from what I can gather, that the two will need about 10 spots of separation. Since there is no “defense” in fishing, a top 10 result from Bailey and there will be no Folkestad catching him.

Unfortunately, deep fields have been in short supply on the tour this year. “WON has made some mistakes this year,” Mike shrugged, “but at least they got some new scales.”

Still,  like the loyal WON pro he has been throughout his career, even in the middle of this year’s tight race, he is looking ahead hopefully. “If WON gets that boat deal we’ve been hearing about and gets a boat for every tournament, I think they can turn things around. If not,” he says, “they’ll be back to 40 boat tournaments.”

That’s not to say that FLW, for example, has got it all figured out. Mike was pretty clear about it when he told me, “When they cut the entry fees, they cut the payouts. If somebody thinks they are going to make it in pro fishing out here in this economy, it’s not going to happen. We need bigger entry fees and bigger participation because that’s where the money comes from.”

There is one thing we are likely to see: Mike Folkestad entered in just about everything.


10 Responses to “Iconic Mike Folkestad counts down, speaks up”

T.G.O ” The Great One ” will get em. He always does…. Best of luck to all who are in the hunt for angler of the year. See ya on the Delta…


lol. Stirring the pot or not, George…you’re still invited to my 70th…if I’m still alive.

Thanks George, for all you’ve done for my career. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

Mike Folkestad

I’ve heard Mike’s practice has been tough! It will be interesting to see what happens. Andy is right, he usually gets em. Mike has a history of many AOY titles. Paul must be an EXCELLENT angler to in contention…and I know Mike speaks very highly of Paul.

…but he still wishes Paul would “go away” in regards to the AOY title.

by George Kramer

Mike: you were catching ’em before I got in the biz. I was just smart enough to hook up with a winner when I did. 🙂

I want to welcome Mike Folksted to our pro staff. We are very proud to have Mike on our team. I talk to Mike yesterday, he hopes to have that Ca. Delta dialed in by tounament day.

Good Luck! Mike, may the bites be big and plenty.
Dale Meddock

Best of luck Mike!

by William Bailey

You lost to superior fisherman. Cut the bull#### and give the kid the credit he deserves….

Whoa, Mr. Bailey. Mike was paying Paul the utmost respect. In the understated world of the future Hall of Famer, there is no higher standard than “good.” And to show there are no Bailey-bashers here, let me say, Paul was terrific this season! 🙂

by Terry Bailey-McCune

I’d like to thank Mike Folkestad for all the support and encouragement he’s given Paul this season. I know for a fact that the positive input from this seasoned veteran has impacted Paul by giving him the self confidence he needed. This proud Mom is grateful.

Dad, you’re [badly mistaken]. Mike, you’re the man and always have been. I’m just a bump in the road….a long road. See ya at the next one! haha