I know the answer to the question how can bass fishing become a more lucrative sport. Let’s be honest there are Elite series guys who are just getting by. Bass fishing needs to take a page from golf. Before the time of Tiger Woods they were not winning millions.
So here is what BASS and FLW need to do, are you ready for this? Have the tournament on the golf course of whatever PGA event that is going on that week. Picture it KVD fishing from the bank, Ike right next to him, both battling to see who can catch that bass.
Ok so that’s not really an option I don’t see Tiger Woods sharing his winnings with Cliff Pace. Think about golf, it’s a multiple day event just like what……bass fishing. Golf is broadcast live (for the most part) on big networks. Sure ABC or CBS or whoever is showing it might only show a three hour block but it’s still live.
Companies are paying big bucks to have their name associated with the event. Sure BASS has brought in new sponsors for their events like Mt. Dew but have the anglers seen a return? No, don’t believe me, go look it up BASS took winnings from the Classic this year. That’s money from the anglers pockets, you know they guys making it possible for BASS to exist.
There will be those who will say I am wrong BASS or FLW can’t do it. They haven’t got the money for all the cameras and boats needed to follow the pros. Let’s be honest do we really enjoy just seeing the few top guys each tournament when we watch it on ESPN or whatever channel FLW is on?
It would basically be the same thing; oh wait that’s right BASS and FLW have to cut film between the catches so it looks like what we see on TV. There is so much that could change about the sport. The anglers could all get paid, yes I think that the guy who won should make more but when it comes down to it if a guy on tour wins 100k in a year he still is not taking much home after expenses.
Yet anglers are happy with the status quo, we accept the idea that sponsors have to be picked up to pay the way. Going back to the golf idea they have sponsors but they don’t make their living from sponsors. The payouts are higher. Sure ABC, CBS or NBC might want the anglers to wear polo shirts and funny pants but that would be ok.
Of course this idea has issues; first those networks might hate the idea. Bass fishing might only get one three hour block on a weekend but the status quo just isn’t cutting it. There are three main tours if you count PAA and they all do the same thing. Record, edit and give the high lights. Even MLF does the same thing. BASS does no better when it comes to the live on the water coverage for their website.
Something needs to change, honestly it has to change. Well I guess that last statement isn’t true it could continue and at some point Walmart could say to FLW we are going to part way. What would FLW do then? Close the doors quietly fade into the black. How is getting bass fishing into the spotlight like golf a bad thing? It is a win for both the organization and the sponsors. Do you think the guy who takes his kid fishing every so often knows who Spro is over say Rapala? I am sure he only knows Rapala because they are in every store who sells some sort of fishing tackle. No only the diehards know. Tackle companies who sponsor fishing shows are not bring in new money but shuffling it from another company when they get someone who buys Strike King to buy the new Little John crankbait.
Bass fishing needs a new approach. Network television is a new market, a new way to sell the brand. Ok it’s not new like say the latest crazy but in the world of bass fishing it sure is new. If they could partner with a network and show a few hours live and then do live weigh-ins for the final day on one of the million’s of ESPN channels a new market could open for them. New revenue could flow, and the men who make these organizations money could be rewarded.