By Joel Shangle - November 7, 2018
It’s been a whirlwind of “new” for the 80 anglers preparing to compete in the inaugural season of Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour: new schedule, new rules, new league, new competition lineup, new outlook, etc.
Ditto their fans.
From the moment the MLF Bass Pro Tour was announced on Sept. 11, our social media channels have been flooded with questions from fans trying to wrap their minds around the myriad of changes they’ll witness when the Bass Pro Tour kicks off competition on Jan. 28.
Here’s Part 1 of an ongoing series designed to answer some of the most frequently asked questions for the MLF Bass Pro Tour.
Q.What’s the difference between an MLF Cup event and the MLF Bass Pro Tour?
A. The biggest difference is that Bass Pro Tour events will be live competitions, while existing MLF Cup and Select events are contested and produced “in the dark” for television. Bass Pro Tour events will utilize a competition format that’s very similar to the existing format used in the General Tire World Championship: two days of Shotgun Rounds, two days of Elimination Rounds, a single-day Knockout Round, and finally, a 10-angler Championship Round. Check out this graphic and more detailed description of the Bass Pro Tour format vs. existing MLF formats.
Q.Whose boats will Tour anglers compete out of? Will they be required to fish out of sponsor boats?
A. Anglers will run their own boats for the eight regular-season Bass Pro Tour events, and the Bass Pro Tour’s championship, the Redcrest. They’ll wear their own jerseys, run their own wraps, and utilize their own gear.
Q.Will the Bass Pro Tour change from the MLF rules of “all legal/scorable bass count”, or will there be a traditional scoring system where only the five biggest fish of the day count?
A. The Tour will compete under the same legal/scorable-fish rules as MLF, where all bass weighing 1 pound or more will count toward the anglers’ total weight.
Q.Will there be MLF-style penalties assessed during Bass Pro Tour competition?
A. Rules are rules! Anglers fishing the Bass Pro Tour will be held to the same rulebook as the Cup and Select events you’ve watched in the past, and each competitor will have a thoroughly trained official in the boat during competition hours to enforce rules, and (when necessary), assess penalties.
Q.Will there be a live stream of Bass Pro Tour competition days?
A. All six days of every Bass Pro Tour regular-season event (plus the championship) will be live-streamed on the Major League Fishing website and app, with an estimated 350 hours of live-streamed content available throughout the season. In addition to on-the-water live streams, a Bass Pro Tour “results show” will be produced and live-streamed after each day’s competition.
Q. Will SCORETRACKER be viewable during Bass Pro Tour competitions?
A. Just like the anglers competing, fans will have real-time scoring at their fingertips via MLF’s SCORETRACKER. These results will not be estimates: they’ll be the actual weights of all scorable fish as logged into the scoring system by the Bass Pro Tour officials.