You could have fooled me. Lagging pre-sign-up numbers for FLW’s Rayovac Series over at Lake Havasu clearly indicated Western fishermen would do what they always do–stay home. But in fact, we’ve heard that this morning, a full field plus of 152 boats set out for the three-day contest.

Needless to say, this has raised some excitement, breathed some sighs of relief and even garnered outright surprise for those who have watched western pro fishing swoon over the past five years or more.

But while some are cheering, I want to know why. Why are the boys (and girls) coming out to play?

It couldn’t be that all the anglers were waiting for the President’s State of the Union address. And based on stock market trends and unemployment numbers, it couldn’t be that bass fishermen are suddenly better off financially.

Clearly, motivation is the wild card issue, and competitors are seeing something in this latest incarnation of the old Everstart/Stren Series that has caused fence-sitters to get back in the game.

We saw how last year that the removal of the lower second or third tier circuits seemed to boost the U.S. Open numbers, and maybe that’s what’s going on now. [At this moment, not having seen the actual roster with home states, I can’t tell if this boost in the Havasu attendance is across the West, or if it is heavily weighted by Californians.] Nevertheless, it says more are willing to try pro fishing again.

But it also points up how difficult it has been for organizations to find the “magic formula” to generate tour participation out here.  Many have tried, most have given up, and the industry has avoided the West like swine flu.

Maybe this is the event that changes all that.



4 Responses to “Rayovac kick-off numbers: Impressive!”

If you can get the Northern guys to travel then there will be good fields. The Southern guys will go anywhere and support, so it was a good call on FLW’s part to start down here. Hope they hammer them today.

In checking the location of the 152 pros, about 76 came from either So Cal, Havasu/Mead or close by Arizona towns. Rest look to be No Cal and out of state. Not too bad!!

………A little more analysis shows approx 78 pros from Ca and 41 from Az and the rest out of state or Japan.

by George Kramer

So 30-something from Upstate? When the tour shifts, local add-ons in the North may just offset drop-offs from Arizona/Nevada. What do you think?