FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
A new year is here, and it’s time for us to look at ourselves and take stock. Last year wasn’t so bad and, in fact, was good in a lot of ways. But it still could be better in some respects, and we need to work on aspects of our lives that will make 2015 even better.
What a year it was. 2014 ranks as one of the most exciting seasons in FLW history, and that includes everything from the Walmart Bass Fishing League level to the Forrest Wood Cup. On the cusp of a new year and a new season, we decided to take a look back at our 10 favorite stories of 2014. Please share your highlights from this season with FLW fans at Facebook.com/FLWFishing.
Many of the readers who follow FLW know me as one of the pros who fishes the Walmart FLW Tour. What many of you don’t know is that I also work in the industry. I get to see what happens behind the scenes more than the average fisherman or fellow fan does. I get to see the sponsor contracts, and the ins and outs of how business works.
A new Ranger, a Lowrance HDS, a set of Power-Poles – chances are Santa will bring us a few of the things we’ve asked for on Christmas, but some items might have to wait for another yuletide or until the Claus household becomes a bit more financially stable.
Although you couldn’t tell it by the weather up north, bass are moving toward their spawning areas in a lot of Southern lakes. In south Florida, where the FLW tournament season is set to begin in about a week, they’re already spawning. Though there are certain rules that apply to fishing the spawn, I’ve developed an approach that has helped me catch fish when other things have failed.
Among the benefits of having sponsors are the unique opportunities that they provide to you. For instance, during this offseason I got to travel to China for the first time in my life to work with one of my main sponsors, River2Sea, designing and perfecting the Ish Monroe Series. I stopped in Hong Kong on my way there and back. It’s so high-tech and advanced; it’s amazing.
“I’ll take the memory of that day to my grave,” said Jason Johnson, the day after he and Repel pro Cody Meyer put together a 38-pound limit of spotted bass. Little did he know that limit would turn out to be the “smaller” limit of spots just a couple of days later. Johnson, a longtime co-angler on the Walmart FLW Tour who plans to compete as a rookie pro in 2015, has been planning to make it out west, away from his native Lake Lanier, for a while. So far, the trip has been worth it. After cracking a 30-pound limit on a local largemouth lake to start the trip, Meyer and Johnson never returned to it – the lure of the region’s magnum spotted bass was too strong, and the spotted bass fishing has been far too good. They shared their story, which has been playing out on Meyer and Johnson’s Facebook pages this week.
It seems that 2014 was a good year for tech junkies who love to fish. Not only did Apple release the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but Lowrance just unveiled its new HDS Gen3 system, which includes a trio of touch-screen units. Best of all, the third generation of HDS technology now allows you to synch data wirelessly with your other devices.
Tour Talk is a regular column where members of FLW’s media team and industry professionals – pundits, if you will – answer questions regarding tournament results, top pros and industry trends. On the agenda in this installment are the Rayovac FLW Series Championship, changes to the Walmart FLW Tour and the future of FLW College fishing.
Rod lockers require extra tugging to loosen frosty grips, and your shadow swells with the layers of fleece and hooded sweatshirts. Nevertheless, bass will still bite when frosty air nips at your nose. Walmart pro Wesley Strader knows that despite the shivering conditions, this time of year is ripe with big-bass potential.
David A. Brown
In the wake of recent news that Bass Pro Group has acquired Ranger Boats, as well as Triton and Stratos brands, from Platinum Equity, folks in the industry immediately began asking questions about the future of the iconic boat builder, its relationship with FLW, and whether or not the acquisition would lead to positive change for the industry.
FLW, the world’s largest bass fishing tournament organization, has announced a sponsorship agreement with Navionics, a leader in electronic navigation charts and systems for marine and outdoor sporting use.
Bass Pro Group announced today an agreement to acquire Fishing Holdings, LLC, a manufacturer of fishing boats that include Ranger Boats and the Stratos and Triton boat brands from Platinum Equity.
With Philip Jarabeck
In Episode 57, hosts Jody White and Kyle Wood cover some recent FLW news, talk about Jody’s recent trip to Ranger Boats and give a tip about jerkbait fishing. Additionally, Jody talks with FLW Tour pro Philip Jarabeck about his 2014 season, how he made his way to the FLW Tour, fishing in Florida and his five favorite hardbaits.
Brush Pile Basics
December and January are the two months when anglers really start preparing for the coming season, whether it’s firming up sponsorships, planning tournament schedules or restocking baits and equipment. This is also the time of year when a lot of anglers plant cover in the lake or the lakes where they fish so they’ll be productive the following year.
Don’t let the chill of Jack Frost dissuade you from getting out on the lake this winter. Fish are still catchable, and bass will often congregate in schools this time of year, so the action can be faster than you’d expect once you find them.
A comparison of fishing styles
The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup will always be remembered as one of the most intense championships in FLW Outdoors history. In the end, a single ounce separated winner Anthony Gagliardi from runner-up Scott Canterbury.
FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, has announced a multiyear sponsorship renewal with Strike King Lure Company, an industry-leading manufacturer of lures, baits and fishing apparel.
With Matt Arey
In Episode 56, hosts Jody White and Kyle Wood talk with FLW Tour pro Matt Arey about his 2014 season, the recent co-angler rule changes, hunting, tackle organization and his plans for 2015. Then they dig into some recent news, ranging from Yamamoto Baits signing with FLW to their respective Thanksgiving breaks.
MINNEAPOLIS – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today a continued partnership with JL Marine Systems, manufacturer of Power-Pole shallow-water anchor systems. 2015 will mark the fifth consecutive season that the two organizations have partnered. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FLW announced today that Buck Knives has signed a multiyear sponsorship agreement with the company.
The late fall-early winter period finds Walmart FLW Tour pro Jonathon Newton snooping around the creeks of Pickwick Lake and other Tennessee River impoundments in search of bass rounding up remaining shad.
David A. Brown
Consider the following fishermen who have reasons to be especially grateful this Thanksgiving.