Biggest bass tour misses of 2014

Category: Tournament

 Sep 29th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Sep 29th, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Just like any professional sport, professional bass fishing has its ups and downs or hits and misses. The 2014 season (remember we are talking two professional leagues the FLW Tour and the Bassmaster Elite Series) was primarily full of hits, but both tours had their share of misses as well.

With so many opportunities to nitpick, I’ve come up with three choices for the biggest misses of 2014. The FLW Tour’s presentation, the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) Championship and Ish Monroe.

The 2014 FLW Tour presentation.

This commentary is not simply focused on 2014. This extends backwards for years. The FLW Tour travels to wonderful locations and highlights some of the best bass fisheries in the good old U.S. of A. Well, at least in the southeastern and occasionally a little further north, think the Potomac River and Lake Champlain portion of the country.

Anyway, the presentation at the weigh-ins is simply boring. First off, get rid of the co-anglers at the top level. I know the old mantra of these are tomorrow’s pros, blah blah blah. That’s what the BFL’s and Rayovac Series should be about. The developmental leagues. Sitting through the entire weigh-in process on the first two days is brutal. Intensely boring stage emcees blathering on pushing sponsors that nobody watching gives a hoot about. Add to that the way many of the anglers who are FLW loyalists and who’ve clearly been tutored in the not-so-subtle art of FLW merchandise/sponsor promotions (think Lady Gaga subtle, for our older readers, Liberace). Plop all of these annoying promotional attempts into a co-angler and then have to listen to an amateur thank their sponsors in sad attempts to get in with the good graces of the FLW promotional team. Well, you get the point. It’s just awful.

Hopefully 2015 brings nothing but smiles for Ish Monroe (Joel Shangle)

Okay, now the rest of the dopiness that is the FLW presentation. Seriously, the announcers on the final two days may be beloved by those who fish the FLW Tour. That is fine. However, please, please please, purdy please stop with the incessant “It’s a TV makin’ moment” crap. Stop it. It is insulting to all who watch the events whether at the site or online. We all know from that line about TV that we are simply props to you guys to make a TV show. By the time that show airs the tournament is long gone and frankly, unless you are bored stiff, who the heck cares about tuning in? All the current, relevant news about the event has been available online for a month. Ugh. TV makin’ moment? Ha!

Overall, the FLW Tour needs to limit their fields, dump co-anglers and get new emcees for the first two days. Oh yeah, and never ever say, “TV makin’ moment” again.

AOY Championship event.

Oy vey, what a bust. Seriously, Escanaba, MI is a freakin’ awesome town. Oh, and by the way, when you can get out and fish the Bays de Noc, the smallmouth bass fishing is phenomenal. However, anybody, and I mean anybody, who has ever fished that area of Lake Michigan will tell you that the third week in September is a hit-and-miss time of the year at best. It was no surprise to this humble scribe or frankly many other folks, even those tied to B.A.S.S., that the event would have a tough time stringing two days together. So having three days straight cancelled wasn’t a shocker.

The poor timing isn’t the biggest issue. For cripes sake, make the tournament have some stinking value. Reward the anglers fishing it. By being there, they have already won the money you awarded them after the event. The anglers were paying to fish the event (travel costs, etc., not entry fees) and most had no chance of earning anything extra. Only a couple of anglers could’ve improved their ranking and make the Classic, if they kicked butt, and truly only three or four anglers had a shot at the AOY title.

Add some value to the darn event. Make it another event where winning sends you to the Classic. Ya know, so the guy coming into the event in 50th has something to truly shoot for other than hoping guys fail. Also, pay them for placing. Geez, even if it’s only a Top 10 get paid scheme, at least the incentive is there.

I mean come on now! Jacob Powroznik wins his second Elite Series event of the season and earns nada for it!!! No money, no promotion, no glory. Pitiful waste of an opportunity and a shameful abuse of the Elite Series’ number one sponsor, the Elite Anglers.

Escanaba, MI and the anglers deserved better.

Ish Monroe.

Here’s the deal. The 2014 season for Ish Monroe was a monster miss. Monroe is one of those special anglers who has won both on the FLW Tour and on the Elite Series. So, when Ish tanks on both tours and fails to make both Championships and is constantly coming across the stage with a befuddled look on his normally smile-filled mug, something is amiss.

Not sure what the deal was this season with Monroe, but here is to a full recovery from his bad mojo in 2014 and hopefully its nothing but success for one of the best in the game going forward.

Next time the biggest hits of 2014.

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