The top anglers in the world who make up the 80-man field in the new Bass Pro Tour have exercised their voting rights to say “no entry fees” for the 2019 competitions. The decision has eliminated the single largest expense per event that each angler has historically had to incur throughout their careers until now.
TULSA, Okla. (Oct. 30, 2018) – The professional bass anglers who comprise the 80-man field in Major League Fishing’s (MLF) new Bass Pro Tour have voted no to required entry fees for their participation in the 2019 tournament competitions.
The no-fee decision is the first of its kind for a high stakes professional bass fishing series and reveals the kind of autonomous authority the Bass Pro Tour participants have as a group for guiding the future of their events and the sport.
No entry fees means the cash payouts per event will be less than initially announced, although still higher than what the anglers have become accustomed to on other trails. Another advantage to this decision is that the anglers effectively eliminated one of the greatest expenses and upfront cash hurdles professional anglers had to incur annually.
“What brought this great group of anglers together in the first place was the allure of being able to ultimately control our own destiny because collectively we now make the rules,” said Gary Klein, who was instrumental in the formation of MLF and the Bass Pro Tour. “It’s all about the big picture of what we want this sport to be and getting it there. We call this ‘Major League’ Fishing for a reason and no entry fees is a monumental move in our achieving that distinction.”
The MLF expansion with the new Bass Pro Tour has advanced rapidly since being announced in mid-September. It was made possible when Bass Pro Shops and Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG) pledged additional support to an already long list of MLF sponsors.

In addition to the pro tour, MLF will continue its popular Cup events and General Tire World Championship, airing on Outdoor Channel and CBS, respectively. All events will use the same entertaining MLF format of catch, weigh and immediate release of bass during competitions.

MLF Pro Angler Bobby Lane lands a dandy largemouth to help his total score. MLF’s exciting catch, weigh and immediate-release format for all scorable bass landed in competition has made for exciting television and kept Major League Fishing atop Outdoor Channel’s first and second quarter ratings for three years in a row. (Click to enlarge/download)

“Things are moving fast and each new step this group takes seems to be another giant leap in bringing attention to fishing,” MLF President and CEO, Jim Wilburn said. “It’s a pleasure to watch the enthusiasm and sincerity of the greatest bass anglers in the world as they take the reins in advancing the sport to the benefit of everyone who loves to fish.”

MLF airs on Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network and Discovery Channel, and is available on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
For current MLF schedules, rules and sponsors, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

About Major League Fishing

Developed through a joint effort between Outdoor Channel and the PBT anglers in 2011, Major League Fishing brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms in the form of riveting two-hour TV episodes. World-class anglers are filmed over the course of a six-day event. The show captures their efforts as they utilize a demanding format that allows them to weigh all the “scorable bass” they catch. Unlike other competitive fishing events, live leaderboards in the boats allow anglers to know their standings at all times. For more information about the game, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com and follow Major League Fishing on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. You can catch all current and past episodes of Major League Fishing on My Outdoor TV, the world’s leading outdoor television content platform.

About Outdoor Sportsman Group
Outdoor Sportsman Group is comprised of the world’s foremost media and entertainment brands for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. It includes three leading multichannel networks: Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network, as well as MOTV, the world’s leading outdoor television content platform. The Group also consists of a number of established integrated media assets: 15 outdoor magazines including Guns & Ammo, Petersen’s Bowhunting and Florida Sportsman, and 19 top websites, including BassFan.com. Additionally, Outdoor Sportsman Group includes television production operations, Winnercomm. For more information, visit www.outdoorsg.com

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About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”