Major League Fishing Announces Angler Field for BPT

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RIDGEDALE, Mo. (October 3, 2018) – Major League Fishing (MLF) leadership today announced the official roster of the 80 anglers who have committed to compete in the new-for-2019 Bass Pro Tour and MLF Cup events. The final list was made public during an MLF meeting held this week at Big Cedar Lodge with several of its sponsors and anglers present to discuss plans in follow up to the league’s recent announcement of significant expansion for the purpose of growing the sport.

“We understand how difficult this decision was for pro anglers … everyone who has faced a potential career-changing move can relate to it, but the deadline has passed for the invitees and we now proudly have 80 individuals who have committed to a dream that goes beyond just a tournament payday,” said MLF co-founder and PBTAA Vice President Boyd Duckett. “Sure, higher payouts are part of it, but for us this is not a competition we’re in against other trails. It doesn’t matter what B.A.S.S. or FLW does; our goal is different. These anglers know that and we’re ecstatic to have them on board with the new MLF plans.”

The full 80-man field includes Bassmaster Classic champions, FLW Forrest Wood Cup winners, Anglers of the Year and top tour performers from throughout the world of competitive bass fishing.

The 2019 MLF anglers are: Casey Ashley, Justin Atkins, Adrian Avena, Josh Bertrand, Tommy Biffle, Zack Birge, Stephen Browning, Brent Chapman, Jason Christie, Luke Clausen, Gary Clouse, Dustin Connell, Brandon Coulter, Cliff Crochet, Mark Daniels Jr., Mark Davis, Ott DeFoe, Boyd Duckett, Brent Ehrler, James Elam, Paul Elias, Edwin Evers, Todd Faircloth, Shinichi Fukae, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney, Roy Hawk, Brett Hite, Tim Horton, Randy Howell, Mike Iaconelli, Alton Jones, Alton Jones Jr., Kelly Jordon, JT Kenney, Gary Klein, Jeff Kriet, Jason Lambert, Bobby Lane, Chris Lane, Russ Lane, Jordan Lee, Matt Lee, Dave Lefebre, Jared Litner, Justin Lucas, Aaron Martens, Mike McClelland, Cody Meyer, Ish Monroe, Andy Montgomery, Andy Morgan, John Murray, Britt Myers, Michael Neal, Takahiro Omori, Cliff Pace, Brandon Palaniuk, Keith Poche, Jacob Powroznik, Skeet Reese, Marty Robinson, Dean Rojas, Mark Rose, Fred Roumbanis, Bradley Roy, Terry Scroggins, Fletcher Shryock, Gerald Spohrer, Wesley Strader, Scott Suggs, Gerald Swindle, Randall Tharp, Jonathan VanDam, Kevin VanDam, Greg Vinson, David Walker, James Watson, Jacob Wheeler and Jesse Wiggins.

“This is a new day in professional bass fishing, with MLF and its team of anglers and partners now on a fast track to elevate the sport to a level comparable to that of other major league sporting events,” MLF Commissioner Don Rucks said. “Our game is played on a ‘field,” and we have celebrities, fast action, rules, officials, penalties and a clock. Our participants like being role models and giving autographs, and we’re going to make it easier for anglers and fans to share the passion of fishing going forward.”

“I, we, are going into this new MLF venture with a different mentality,” said Kevin VanDam, holder of many bass fishing titles. “To me, looking at this list is a very powerful statement about the future of the league. This group of anglers accepted the opportunity because they all believe in the vision and that we have the chance to do something very special for the sport of fishing. With all the anglers working hard for the same end goal, the future is going to be very exciting.”

MLF will continue its popular Cup events and World Championship, airing on Outdoor Channel and CBS, respectively. New are the Bass Pro Tour competitions and championship, and eventually tour qualifiers, all of which will use the same entertaining and conservation-friendly catch, weigh and immediate-release format.

“It might seem like this expansion roll out happened in a hurry, but in reality it’s been six years in development. Ever since Gary Klein and Boyd first had the MLF concept, we’ve had a great team of people working diligently on the bigger picture,” MLF President and CEO Jim Wilburn said. “The extensive strategic planning will become much more obvious over the next few weeks as we reveal more and more of the elements. The new MLF is fulfilling the dream of so many to grow this great sport.”

About Major League Fishing

Developed through a joint effort between Outdoor Channel and the PBT anglers in 2011, Major League Fishing brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms in the form of riveting two-hour TV episodes. World-class anglers are filmed over the course of a six-day event. The show captures their efforts as they utilize a demanding format that allows them to weigh all the “scorable bass” they catch. Unlike other competitive fishing events, live leaderboards in the boats allow anglers to know their standings at all times. For more information about the game, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com and follow Major League Fishing on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. You can catch all current and past episodes of Major League Fishing on My Outdoor TV, the world’s leading outdoor television content platform.

About Outdoor Sportsman Group
Outdoor Sportsman Group is comprised of the world’s foremost media and entertainment brands for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. It includes three leading multichannel networks: Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network, as well as MOTV, the world’s leading outdoor television content platform. The Group also consists of a number of established integrated media assets: 15 outdoor magazines including Guns & Ammo, Petersen’s Bowhunting and Florida Sportsman, and 19 top websites, including BassFan.com. Additionally, Outdoor Sportsman Group includes television production operations, Winnercomm. For more information, visit www.outdoorsg.com

. #MyOutdoorTV

About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”

The expansions have been made possible through enthusiastic support from Bass Pro Shops, Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG) and several other fishing industry and non-endemic sponsors who have been involved since MLF’s first TV show in 2012.

 

Today MLF airs on Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network and Discovery Channel, and is available on-demand on My Outdoor TV (MOTV).

 

For current MLF schedules, rules and sponsors, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.