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Author Topic: Is it fair?  (Read 615 times)

Mike Cork

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Is it fair?
« on: August 03, 2018, 10:09:45 AM »

"Lane, a Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Lakeland, Fla., is dominating the Eastern Opens Series. He won stop No. 1 at the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Florida back in February and finished 16th at Lake Norman in North Carolina in May."

The above is a quote from the latest press release from Bassmaster. Here we have an elite series pro beating up on and taking the chance for the weekend angler to make it to the elites. The opens are a stepping stone for every angler to make "it". Do well in the elites, and you can catch a birth into the elite series.

Should the pro's be allowed to fall back and fish the opens? I mean, I can't go fish the elites if I want? Maybe I'm good enough to compete in an AOY race? Bassmaster built these levels for a reason, do you think they are hurting themselves by not holding the elites to the elites. Soon the weekend warrior will get tired of giving their money away.

Some of the elites fish the opens so that they can qualify for the elites a second way, just in case they don't make it by doing well enough in the elites. Only a certain percentage gets asked back, it's a way of culling those that don't cut it in the elites.

I firmly believe if you want to be the man, you have to beat the man. But I also believe in this situation, the man has to take his boot off your throat and let you fight (or fish).

What're your thoughts?
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Wizard

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2018, 10:29:03 AM »

Mike, I've never been a fan of the stepped trails. What I've seen is elite skilled anglers remain on the secondary trails because of the money. I and bo also, know of anglers who have made over a million dollars on the lower tiered trails. At least one angler has made several million. Would they make as much money on the elite level? Probably not. Those anglers who show elite skills should be FORCED to fish their skill level. It makes for more competition at all levels. So, no, an elite angler should not be allowed to fish secondary trails. JMO

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Lipripper

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 10:35:18 AM »

Mike, I've never been a fan of the stepped trails. What I've seen is elite skilled anglers remain on the secondary trails because of the money. I and bo also, know of anglers who have made over a million dollars on the lower tiered trails. At least one angler has made several million. Would they make as much money on the elite level? Probably not. Those anglers who show elite skills should be FORCED to fish their skill level. It makes for more competition at all levels. So, no, an elite angler should not be allowed to fish secondary trails. JMO

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I agree Wizard to me it would be like a Pro football team playing in  a collage league.
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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 10:48:22 AM »

Whether they called it the top 100 the elites or whatever I personally have never agreed with anyone who fishes a "pro" level trail being allowed to fish the opens.

Letting "amateurs" fish it as a way to qualify for the big leagues is okay with me, but once they move up to the bigs then that's where they stay and either make it or break it.

Just my opinion.

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topdsm0138

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 11:03:33 AM »

That's like IRL drivers challenging us to a go-kart race.

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Mike Cork

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2018, 11:14:02 AM »

Great examples already. Seems like to me that Bassmaster is hurting themselves by not holding everyone in the game to the standard. Bassmaster wants bass fishing to be taken seriously, as seriously as football, racing, golf, but they twist the rules to benefit their wallets. I'm talking the anglers all the way to the owner of Bassmaster.

Most of you know that there is a board of anglers that make the rules, they are the ones undercutting the future of bass fishing IMO. At the rate they are going, IMO, it won't be long and they will be fishing with the same 50 guys. The money will drop off because the advertisers see no benefit.

If you want to be called "Elite" make it a special group and fish among yourself. This way when the next guy qualifies to level up and fish, it means something. Right now, it's not special, it's just a bigger entry fee, having to spend more gas money traveling, and more time away from the family. Someone who gets to move up sees the same anglers, same competition, nothing special or new.

Rant over, I am hoping to get more of your opinions so don't stop :-*
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Oldfart9999

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 12:15:16 PM »

Unfortunately it's been going on for a long long time. I do think the rules should be the same for all levels, I was pre fishing Oneida for a tournament and there were guys asking me what was going on, something an Elite isn't supposed to do. Ike shows up, launches his boat to check it out, won't talk to anybody and takes off for his next Elite when he's done. The Elite guys should fish just the Elites and leave the rest for those trying to climb the ladder.
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TNDiver

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2018, 12:23:26 PM »

Are there legal reasons that prevent them from banning Elites from Opens??  May have been threatened. 

Seems to me there should be a way to allow an Elite to compete, but also have it "Open."  Maybe different categories.  Wrestling comes to mind.  There are open tourneys, but you can compete at different ages, skill levels, etc.  Maybe fishing needs to think of something similar.  How fun would it be to have a Father or mother/kid category?   If they get creative, they can do something no one else is doing and be more fair, but open it up to more people. 

Here is an example:
Elite Open
Senior Open (over a certain age)
Open
Offspring Open (Father/Mother paired with one of their children)
Tin open (maybe for those fishing in smaller boats)
Paddle Open (kayakers/Canoe/float- just no motor)

How exciting would that be??  And I bet they bring in even more money, which is the bottom line.




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Bud Kennedy

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2018, 12:41:24 PM »

This is a really tough question full of many slippery slopes.  I think that first it needs to be examined what is required to be designated as a Pro Angler.  I am of the opinion that if this designated identity was established based on an specific criteria, then rule making could be more specific.

What I see in the opens is a bunch of anglers who are designated as a pro.  Heck most of the "pro" anglers in an open may be very good sticks in their region but that is not a criteria.  We all know that the Open level Pro for the most part is a Open level Donor.

My only personal point of reference is that in the 1960s I was a Professional Bowler and a card carrying member of the PBA.  To earn this card I had to carry a certain sanctioned scoring average and until that criteria was met I could not apply to become a PBA Member. Until I earned my card I could not participate in the higher events. My career was very short simply because I quickly learned that I was not as good as I thought I was.  I also learned that it is a hard way to earn a living and being a young person, I just was not prepared or properly funded.  Botton line is.....I went broke when entering national events.

Maybe a good start would be the establishment of a true structure that requires an angler to also qualify to become a Professional Member of the angling society.  Until this happens then I say let any level of professional angler compete in the Open events.  I think we all know enough professional anglers even at the elite level who also fish local derby events.  I observe they are not guaranteed to win these events and while they usually finish in or near the money they did not beat the local guys.  If we allow BASS or FLW to make the rules then decisions will continue to be made that are geared to making money and not for enhancement of the sport.  (although they kinda try)

I guess I am a believer that many who call themselves pros aren't really to that level.
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Stren_g

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2018, 01:52:46 PM »

Bud makes some good points. Especially his last point. I guess one way to look at it is if you can't win with a mixed bag of anglers with varying experience from amateur to pro... what are you gonna do when they're all pros? I reckon the flip side is you're supposed to be fishing for the chance to compete with the pros. What makes the most sense to me would be the elites having the courtesy and professionalism to stay out of those tournaments. Lose-lose, win-win.... I'm goin fishin tomorrow.  ~cf
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Lipripper

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2018, 02:24:41 PM »

Bud makes some good points. Especially his last point. I guess one way to look at it is if you can't win with a mixed bag of anglers with varying experience from amateur to pro... what are you gonna do when they're all pros? I reckon the flip side is you're supposed to be fishing for the chance to compete with the pros. What makes the most sense to me would be the elites having the courtesy and professionalism to stay out of those tournaments. Lose-lose, win-win.... I'm goin fishin tomorrow.  ~cf
Hope you catch some fish and will be looking for your report.
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Stren_g

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2018, 02:25:40 PM »

Hope you catch some fish and will be looking for your report.

We'll see what I can come up with Lip!
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cport

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2018, 02:28:34 PM »

We'll see what I can come up with Lip!
Good luck and


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SteveTX

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2018, 02:42:02 PM »

I think its really self centered to call yourself a Pro fishing the Elite series and then come back down to take the "easy" money. But hey what do I know I thought "elite" "professional" anglers shouldn't need or be allowed electronics that point out every single fish and stick of structure either. Those aids should be available to help the non professional non elite anglers imho.

I love fishing but the whole professional part of it is just like politics. What it should be, and what it is or has become, is quite different.
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Mike Cork

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2018, 02:55:34 PM »

Being a card-carrying member was tried but money (membership) got in the way. PAA and NPAA, were, in the beginning, association to try and help separate the system. Everyone wants to get rich, instead of fight for the sport. So these organizations falter and then look to opening the doors to more people to drive up membership. Once this happens, then, once again nothing special about being a card-carrying member.

As far as slippery slope and legalities. It's simple, we do it in the ABA at every tournament. To keep the field at the amateur level, participants are asked if they have fished a tournament in the last six months where the entry fee was more than $650. If they have, they are not eligible for the amateur only event. 
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coldfront

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2018, 03:10:28 PM »

I agree Wizard to me it would be like a Pro football team playing in  a collage league.

is the collage league anything like a scrap-booking league? 
 ~goof


tough call.  if your livelihood depended upon making the classic, and this was the only route you could get there, hard to say no.

and then, of course, these are OPENS are they not?  for me, that says it all.

and of course, this is coming from a life-time DONOR angler. 
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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2018, 06:06:15 AM »

I like the ABA rule.

Whats worse than the opens is the big money local weekend trails. Several of them, not just Bobby, will show up occasionally and try to take the 2-3k first place money.   Iíll hear that they are on the water practicing all week while the rest of us are at work trying to make a living.




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FlatsNBay

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2018, 12:23:03 PM »

I think it all boils down to what the intent of the Opens is. If they are intended on being a stepping stone to the Elites than the Elites shouldn't be allowed to participate in my opinion. If the Opens are in fact an open tournament for all with no intentions of Elite qualification than let anyone including the Elites participate but that's not the case. What does BASS call their Opens anglers? Pros? If that's  the case maybe the Elites should be allowed to fish them because they certainly are "Pros".. To make matters more confusing is to look at it from the Elite Pro's perspective. Pony up at least $75,000 to fish the Elites and hope to come out ahead. Fishing in the Opens could possibly give them a shot at a pay day while increasing the exposure for their sponsors. Fair? I don't know what the answer is?
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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2018, 02:23:54 PM »

Is it the angler board who made winning an open an automatic birth to the classic?  I think it was BASS that did that and as such many Pro's fish them along with their trail just to increase their chance to be in the show.

Great examples already. Seems like to me that Bassmaster is hurting themselves by not holding everyone in the game to the standard. Bassmaster wants bass fishing to be taken seriously, as seriously as football, racing, golf, but they twist the rules to benefit their wallets. I'm talking the anglers all the way to the owner of Bassmaster.

Most of you know that there is a board of anglers that make the rules, they are the ones undercutting the future of bass fishing IMO. At the rate they are going, IMO, it won't be long and they will be fishing with the same 50 guys. The money will drop off because the advertisers see no benefit.

If you want to be called "Elite" make it a special group and fish among yourself. This way when the next guy qualifies to level up and fish, it means something. Right now, it's not special, it's just a bigger entry fee, having to spend more gas money traveling, and more time away from the family. Someone who gets to move up sees the same anglers, same competition, nothing special or new.

Rant over, I am hoping to get more of your opinions so don't stop :-*

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2018, 02:40:51 PM »

It can/will hurt the opens.

It cuts both ways though. A pro who publicly goes up against a bunch of weekend anglers and looses, could loose more than the tournament.


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Bud Kennedy

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2018, 02:57:05 PM »

No matter how we slice and dice this question, the facts remain the same.  The bills still have to be paid and the pro angler still has to put food on the table.  Fact is there are not all that many national events that a pro angler can enter.  If they don't finish in the money then they have to seek other ways to earn a living to supplement the bank account.  The paydays for the mid finishing anglers is not all that much given the expenses they carry to enter and participate in the event. 

I say let em fish where ever they want for today's current pay schedules.  If the national tournament events wants to become more realistic about the prize money then the circumstances might change.  BASS carries a huge overhead and I believe they need to find ways to reduce those expenses and make a pro anglers earning potential more realistic.

As was said earlier in this post.  If you want to be the best then you gotta beat the best and no go broke trying.
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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2018, 06:03:37 PM »

This is a really tough question full of many slippery slopes.  I think that first it needs to be examined what is required to be designated as a Pro Angler.  I am of the opinion that if this designated identity was established based on an specific criteria, then rule making could be more specific.

What I see in the opens is a bunch of anglers who are designated as a pro.  Heck most of the "pro" anglers in an open may be very good sticks in their region but that is not a criteria.  We all know that the Open level Pro for the most part is a Open level Donor.

My only personal point of reference is that in the 1960s I was a Professional Bowler and a card carrying member of the PBA.  To earn this card I had to carry a certain sanctioned scoring average and until that criteria was met I could not apply to become a PBA Member. Until I earned my card I could not participate in the higher events. My career was very short simply because I quickly learned that I was not as good as I thought I was.  I also learned that it is a hard way to earn a living and being a young person, I just was not prepared or properly funded.  Botton line is.....I went broke when entering national events.

Maybe a good start would be the establishment of a true structure that requires an angler to also qualify to become a Professional Member of the angling society.  Until this happens then I say let any level of professional angler compete in the Open events.  I think we all know enough professional anglers even at the elite level who also fish local derby events.  I observe they are not guaranteed to win these events and while they usually finish in or near the money they did not beat the local guys.  If we allow BASS or FLW to make the rules then decisions will continue to be made that are geared to making money and not for enhancement of the sport.  (although they kinda try)

I guess I am a believer that many who call themselves pros aren't really to that level.
I used to follow the PBA for years, never good enough to earn a card. What about the Senior Tour? 
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Mike Cork

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2018, 10:51:27 AM »

Is it the angler board who made winning an open an automatic birth to the classic?  I think it was BASS that did that and as such many Pro's fish them along with their trail just to increase their chance to be in the show.

Yes, the board is using the opens to better themselves as they see fit. IMO the elites, feel everyone else is just that, everyone else. You are an elite or you are everyone else. Which is fine, they earned their status. But now that their world is crumbling, they are riding on everyone else just like a kingdom.

The only way to get the funds necessary is through sponsor support. However, the Elites have chosen to take it from the opens, not just in tournament winnings, but through dues and entry fees. Add up the money, entry fee to pay out is pretty sad.

I'm just throwing out info and everyone needs to make their own mind up. I've been in it, I consider myself a bass professional because I make my living from bass fishing. (not much of a living but it's my income source other than disability).

I still have high-level connections, and I argue with them all the time about these kinds of subjects. IMO the big guys don't feel like they should have to work anymore, their job is fishing. No matter how bad they want this to be true, IMO they aren't there yet, they should be drumming up new and bigger dollars for the sport, instead, they want to beat down the little guy that is their viewership and the ONLY reason they get the few sponsor dollars they have now.

Ray Scott along with Forrest Wood were pioneers in this business, they got it off the ground. Today's young anglers need to find someone to come up with fresh ideas to put bass fishing in front of the majority and get the viewer numbers up. I'm floored every day that there are more people that would watch hours and hours of BORING golf on television and not bass fishing. Think about it. There is a ton of dead time in golf, but people still sit at home and watch. There is a ton of dead time in fishing unless you have a camera on all the anglers. Guess what, all those anglers already own a go pro or some form of recording device, use theirs. A control center to push clips to a live feed and a couple jack wagon narrators and the world of bass fishing could change forever. But what do I know, I'm a broke late side of middle age local angler.  :surrender:
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Oldfart9999

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Re: Is it fair?
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2018, 06:39:10 PM »

If you make your living from the Elites or Cup Series you shouldn't be allowed in the Opens, you're telling the world that you're the top of the procession and don't need to work your way back. The governing bodies are going to have to hear it from the thousands of guys that fish for fun or are trying to get to the "bigs" even if that means boycotting the "bigs". Sponsors could get this changed if they wanted since they are ones signing the checks.
Rodney
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