2018 has been a year of transition for professional bass fishing. Major League Fishing went into the lead by signing some of the biggest pros in the industry. Most of those pros came from BASSMASTER. Fishing League Worldwide or FLW also announced some major changes. FLW has announced new live coverage and also introduced a new YouTube channel geared towards High School and College Anglers.

Let’s face it, the biggest battle for BASSMASTER and FLW is going to be the health of the fish. I’ve seen this topic brought up across social media. The idea of releasing the fish on the spot is gaining popularity. Hourly weigh-ins are also gaining momentum. One of the prominent Potomac River tournament, Potomac River Battle Series has announced it will have an hourly weigh-in tournament.

BASSMASTER has three major things in their corner that I believe will keep them as the ultimate professional bass fishing tournament. History, the Classic, and they are last to announce any major changes or additions for 2019.

HISTORY – This is the oldest professional bass fishing tournament that dates back to the ’60s. Tried and true, with this amount of history in the business they will stand the test of time and continue to be a dominant force. Founder Ray Scott founding principles are simple and basic; however, they are still 100% relevant today.


1. To organize the bass anglers of America.
2. To stimulate public awareness of bass fishing as a major participation sport and elevate it to a place of prominence.
3. To improve our skills as bass anglers through the exchange of expert bass catching techniques and ideas.
4. To offer our state conservation departments our organized moral and political support and encouragement. To promote full adherence to all conservation codes.
5. To demand adequate water standards and legal enforcement of existing regulatory standards. To detect and report any polluter and call public and political attention to the crime.
6. To encourage private and governmental study necessary to maintain quality fishing and fish habitat and to ensure quality fisheries for ourselves and future generations.
7. To promote and encourage youth fishing. Kids don’t just go fishing— they are taken fishing. We must instill in our youth an interest in and love for this great sport.
8. To present national championship bass fishing tournaments. These tournaments will bring together the nation’s most dedicated bass fishermen, and the publicity derived from them will stimulate public interest in bass angling. 

September 27, 2018
Photo by: B.A.S.S.

The CLASSIC – The Super Bowl of professional bass fishing and absolutely nothing compares to it. Honestly, this will be my shortest point. It’s the Classic, every angler growing up has come to know the greatest tournament of the year.

TIME – Major League Fishing was first to announce major changes to the industry and most bass anglers eagerly watched social media for live videos announcing their new commitments to MLF. FLW also announced new additions to their tournaments. BASSMASTER has announced major sponsors to the trail. They haven’t announced any major changes, and that is ok.

I think the fact they haven’t announced any major changes is a good thing. First, they get to see how things really play out for the 2019 fishing season. Second, they have time to really come up with groundbreaking ideas. This is where the rich history and time will benefit BASSMASTER in the long run.

So many changes with the 2019 season coming to be excited about! What are your thoughts for the 2019 season and any points that you think I missed?

Let’s have a discussion below.

Semper Fish!

Joe, The National Angler

March 19, 2018
Photo by: Laurie Tisdale/B.A.S.S.