Disappointed in the early turn-out, there have been some calls for greater participation at Lake Havasu in the kick-off event of FLW’s new 9-volt circuit, er, Rayovac Series. Of course, the numbers can change between now and the Jan. 30-Feb. 1 contest, but since it is the first event of the year, one would think, this is the time where participation peaks.

But you know what? I’m thinking a number between 100 and 110 (pro entries) is the new ceiling for “tour fishing” in the West. Although many have railed against the previously existing tours, it’s obvious those operations weren’t the sole cause of low turn-out.

Neither, I would say, were the payouts, although this is the blanket excuse from guys whose boats are in the side yard gathering dust or cobwebs. Sure, everyone would like to have lottery-like payouts on their $2 ticket, but those don’t exist in bass fishing. Never have.

Guys who furrow their brow and tell me after penciling a 20th place finish, they can’t make expenses, I’d say: yeah, there is no “welfare bass tour.” What you are buying in tour fishing will never take the place of Albertson’s where your 10 bucks buys 10 dollars worth of potatoes, no matter what day or time you show up.

The culture, atmosphere or tenor of the sport in our part of the country does not allow for a high enough percentage of bass anglers to risk family resources on their hobby.

Much like some budding country music star you see on Facebook, those who truly want a career have to go to Nashville. A lucrative (or somewhat lucrative) professional bass fishing career is not going to be delivered to your door in Oxnard. Pizza, maybe, but not a shot at being the next KVD.

Funny thing, most serious bass fishermen in the West already know this. Deep down, they know it. Most of the protests we hear are more wistful than substantive. The new reality for most individuals is a scaled down tournament budget with less travel, but perhaps a special fund on the side for a bass fishing vacation–or one showcase tournament.

And frankly, no amount of last-minute prodding is going to change that.



3 Responses to “Sorry, there is a ‘new ceiling’ on participation”

“welfare bass tour”—classic Kramer!

Hey George, I have to agree with alot but disagree with more.When you have a 130 anglers and you finish 20th or 30th you should be getting your expenses paid it’s happened to me.Sorry got to go, my phone is ringing again.

Just heard George the the Rayovac FLW event at Lake Havasu is a full field at 150 boats. Great job left coasters! Good luck to all!