By Todd Ceisner
Change is coming to how many of the top bass pros measure a good day on the water.
No longer will a five-fish limit suffice. In the Bass Pro Tour, as it has been in Major League Fishing events since the circuit came on the scene in 2011, it’s all about numbers going forward. Sure, an 8-pounder will still draw plenty of oohs and ahhs and make a big impression on the leaderboard, but once that fish goes back in the water, all of the focus shifts to from where and when the next bite will come. A 20-pound day may just be considered average depending on the venue.
While many of the sport’s top names – VanDam, Iaconelli, Reese, Christie, Rose, etc. – are very familiar with the MLF format, having competed in some of, if not all, the Cup and Selects events, they also had the traditional five-fish format of the Elite Series or FLW Tour to go back to. That’s no longer the case as the aforementioned group, along with 75 others, have made a minimum three-year commitment to the BPT. In doing so, they said “so long” to weigh-in bags and fish care and culling clips.
Shifting away from the five-fish limit mindset will be easier for some than others. Of the 80 anglers on the initial BPT roster, 52 have competed in at least one MLF event so they know what’s coming and have some sense of how to prepare. For the other 28, the first BPT tournament will be their first real taste of a format they’ve only seen before on television. Granted, the catch-weigh-release format was previously used in the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, but that was a one-off tournament held once a year. Now, these guys are playing for keeps – and keepers.
Here are the key differences that will stand out to BassFans about the BPT format:
> No limit on number of bass weighed
> To be deemed scoreable, each bass must weigh at least 1 pound
> Weight-based cut line will be implemented during Sudden Death Round, where the 10 finalists will be determined
> Tournament champion will not be determined by cumulative weight, but by weight caught on final day, reminiscent of how the Forrest Wood Cup champion was determined between 1996-2000.
Read more at BassFan here: http://bassfan.com/news_article/9422/%22-no-limit%22-mindset-change-will-be-an-adjustment#.XAlpR-JMGUl#ixzz5YvhH50Lr