2020 FLW Season | A Talk With Two Anglers On Tour

Some time has passed since Major League Fishing (MLF) acquired Fishing League Worldwide (FLW). In those six weeks, there has been some confusion about the 2020 FLW Season. 

The original format was laid out to incorporate MLF’s ‘every fish counts’ format and FLW’s traditional five-fish format into each stop of the FLW Pro Circuit. However, after much discussion, the regular season events will be in accordance with traditional five-fish events. And the new year-end Pro Circuit Championship will operate under the MLF format. 

We sat down with two FLW pros and ANGLR Experts, Matt Becker and Grae Buck, to see what they think about the merger and the new FLW Pro Circuit.

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Matt Becker’s Thoughts on the 2020 FLW Season

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“I like the merger,” he said. “Now there’s a path to get to the Bass Pro Tour and in turn have no entry fees, all the coverage can be at the highest level. So I’m certainly excited about that.”

Becker welcomed the championship’s new format. 

“I do like the championship changing. That’s where it gives you a little taste of the Bass Pro Tour before you get there. The championship is no entry fee and you’re getting paid regardless in that event,” he said.

There’s a debate as to whether or not an angler’s style has to change in order to compete in the new MLF ‘every fish counts’ format. Becker’s not worried about that.

“I’ve always been a believer in just catching as many as I can. But now, every one of them will count. I’m sure every event will be a little bit different because of that.” 

He continued: “There are definitely people that don’t favor that format. Everyone is a little bit different. Everyone has their own opinion. You’re never going to please everybody. At the end of the day, you have to catch the biggest bass or the most bass to win. It doesn’t matter which you choose.” 

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Grae Buck’s Thoughts on the 2020 FLW Season

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Buck appreciated the organizations’ willingness to hear the anglers out and modify their original proposed format accordingly. 

“I like how they were willing to listen to what we had to say,” Buck said, “And they took into account what the fans on social media had to say about it.” 

Buck doesn’t believe the format change will affect how he fishes typically, but there will also be certain occasions where it may. Take this inaugural championship for instance. 

In traditional five-fish tournaments on the St. Lawrence, an angler needs over 20-pounds a day to do well. To get there, he would need all 4 and 5-pound smallmouth. So anglers looking to win usually pass up numerous schools of 2 to 2-½ pounders. But with the MLF format, those schools are now worth fishing for. 

“I think you’re going to be able to milk them for all they’re worth. Up there, or places like that, it’s definitely going to change the strategy for a lot of guys.”

Overall, Buck is pleased with the merger and optimistic about the new FLW Pro Circuit.

“I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for us. Being able to qualify to fish the Bass Pro Tour and not have any entry fees if you have two good years of fishing. That gives us something to work towards.”

Leave Us a Comment Below With Your Thoughts On The FLW 2020 Season!


This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.

Shaye Baker

ABOUT Shaye

Shaye Baker started fishing with his dad in Alabama as soon as they could find a life jacket small enough to fit him. Competing with his father in local tournaments, Shaye quickly found a hunger for competitive bass fishing. He furthered his fishing career at Auburn University helping to establish the Auburn University Bass Fishing Club. While at Auburn, Shaye served as the President of the club and qualified to fish on the traveling team amassing six Top 5 finishes including two 3rd place finishes in consecutive FLW College Fishing National Championships. While beginning to dabble in the world of outdoor journalism, Shaye continued to fish semi-pro events finishing in the Top 5 in the Bassmaster Opens, FLW Costa Series and BFLs. Finding himself at a crossroads, Shaye chose to put down the rod and pick up the pen and camera to focus on his career in outdoor journalism. Shaye has had work featured in Bassmaster Magazine, FLW Outdoors Magazine, B.A.S.S.Times and the Japanese bass fishing magazine Basser. Shaye has also had work featured on ESPN and Wired2Fish.com, FLWfishing.com and Bassmaster.com. While working with B.A.S.S., Shaye initiated and spearheaded their GoPro division which brought more video coverage to the fans than had ever been done before in competitive fishing. After his tenure with some of the best companies in the business, Shaye identified a need for competitive fishing where participation didn’t cost a fortune. By founding UPLOADED, the Online Fishing Series, Shaye established a free tournament series where anglers could film their fish catches and upload their videos to compete against other anglers for prizes.

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ANGLR Expert, Shaye Baker

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