Both the Bassmaster Elite Series and the FLW Tour are coming to a close. The Bassmaster Elites held their last bass tournament of the year on Lake Oneida with Boyd Duckett punching the last ticket to the Bassmaster Classic under the Win-Your-In program. The FLW Tour Majors are closed out as well with the Forrest Wood Cup already fished. This is all old news to anyone that watches the winner circles in these two organizations as closely as I do. However, what I have enjoyed this week in the Professional Bass Fishing News is that both Bassmaster and FLW have announced their schedules for the 2013 Professional circuits.
The first thing I do when this happens is line them out. I want to see how many I think I can make to cover as media or possibly be on the water with these amazing anglers and watch from a distance to learn something. I’m always very interested in the choice of lakes versus the time of the year, and I’ll sit back and try and guess, before the seasons start, which events will be blow outs, which will be tough. I also gather some preconceived thoughts on who might win each of these events and who might be major competitors.
Normally the FLW Tour Majors schedule will overlap with the Bassmaster Elite schedule. I don’t want to speculate that it’s done on purpose, to force the anglers to pick one organization to fish with, and I honestly doubt that to be true. What I was getting at is that it’s been a long time since the two schedules did not conflict. Currently, pending changes, there are no dates that overlap each other in the 2013 schedules. However, there would be some serious drive time between them. I thought it would be fun to see if it was really possible, for an angler, to pull off fishing every Bassmaster Elite and FLW Major event in the 2013 season. Here, is how it lays out.
FLW kicks it off, and Bassmaster will close it. Keep in mind that both Bassmaster and FLW have open circuits that many of the professional anglers will try and fish as well.
FLW 7-10 March on Smith Lake Alabama
Drive from Alabama to Texas, that’s not too bad. If you don’t make the cuts, you could even get a few days of practice in.
Bassmaster 14-17 March on the Sabine River in South East Texas
Bassmaster 21-24 March on Falcon Lake in South Central Texas
After Falcon, you have a whole month to gather your thoughts, build some strength back up and head off to Arkansas. It almost appears as if FLW and Bassmaster teamed up to get the most participation out of the month of April. You can fish Beaver Lake and then about a three hour drive and you’re at your next stop. Again, if you don’t make the cut you get plenty of prefishing in. If you do make the cut, well that’s the price you pay for being good; no sleep and limited prefishing. But hey you’re good, you don’t need either.
FLW 11-14 April on Beaver Lake Arkansas
Bassmaster 18-21 April on Bull Shoals Lake Arkansas
Alabama and Georgia are right next to each other, not sure how long of a drive it is between the lakes, but it’s possible to fish both of these pretty easily for a touring Professional Angler. Bassmaster puts anglers in this kind of time challenges all the time. Oh wait, these are both Bassmaster events, better eat your Wheaties.
Bassmaster 2-5 May on West Point Lake in Georgia
Bassmaster 9-12 May on the Alabama River Alabama
Hey you just went two weeks straight to fish the Elite Series what’s another week to also fish with FLW. After all, it’s in the same state.
FLW 16-19 May on Lake Eufaula Alabama
It’s June, and everyone can take a breather. You have an FLW tournament at the beginning of the month and a Bassmaster tournament at the end of the month. Good thing, Oklahoma to Wisconsin is not exactly a hop, skip and a jump apart.
FLW 6-9 Jun on Grand Lake Oklahoma
Bassmaster 20-23 June on the Mississippi River Wisconsin
This is where it’s going to get tough, and you might need an extra boat, someone to drive it where you need it, and a private jet to get you to the tournaments. If you’re going to fish both circuits you’ll need to make it from Wisconsin to Tennessee in four days. It should only take you two, but like before who needs sleep.
FLW 27-30 June on Lake Chickamauga Tennessee
From Tennessee back north to New York, that’s further than last week. Good thing you have a private jet, but you better tip the guy that’s going to make sure your spare boat is there and ready, because you’ll need to make sure he’s headed south to Louisiana because you qualified for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, and that’s a whole lot more than just a stone’s throw away.
Bassmaster 8-11 Aug on the St. Lawrence river New York (Ogdensburg)
FLW Cup 15-18 Aug on the Red River Louisiana
Win, lose, or draw in the Forrest Wood Cup, you now have three days to travel back to Michigan to fish the last Elite Series tournament of the season. If you’ve already qualified for the Bassmaster Classic, you won’t be worried about the prefishing you’re not going to get. If you own a jet, and have several boats stationed around the country, you can do that and get a day of prefishing in. If you’re like the rest, well you be lucky to make it to the pre tournament meeting!
Bassmaster 22-25 Aug Lake St. Clair Michigan
After fishing from New York to Louisiana and then back to Michigan in a three week period, I’m betting you’re going to be tired. Don’t count on a wife back home to enjoy a little vacation time with because she done left you back around Oklahoma somewhere.
The Life of a Professional Angler!
Good Luck Anglers, both the Bassmaster Elite Schedule and the FLW Tour schedule look challenging and fun. I’ve heard from several anglers about next year, and the young guns are out for blood and love the Elite Schedule because of the different water and river systems. Andrew Upshaw told me, “2013 is the year for a rookie angler in the Elites, I think the door is wide open for some new talent to rise to the top”.
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