More public gatherings associated with professional fishing competitions are being suspended and postponed, including all Major League Fishing and FLW events.
Major League Fishing and FLW have suspended all public gatherings connected to their events through April 12, 2020 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, according to MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Anglers' health, and that of spectators and tournament workers, were at the forefront of the decision, and as Major League Fishing put it in their press release, "Public gatherings include all fan meet-n-greets associated with the Bass Pro Tour, and the attendance of fans and non-essential staff at all FLW tournaments, including weigh-ins."
Decisions regarding public gatherings at future MLF and FLW bass fishing events are still in limbo as the leagues monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the guidance of medical and public health professionals.
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BREAKING: MLF and FLW announce the suspension of all public gatherings associated with their events through April 12, 2020 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The decision was made to safeguard the health and well-being of all involved. Public gatherings include all fan meet and greets associated with the Bass Pro Tour, and the attendance of fans and non-essential staff at all FLW tournaments, including weigh-ins. For more information, hit the link in our bio.
"We're taking these proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of our anglers, volunteers, fans and staff," said Jim Wilburn, MLF President and CEO. "As a unique outdoor sport where competitors have limited interaction, we feel that we can continue to host tournaments under an abundance of caution. Should circumstances change around a particular event, we will alert those competitors and volunteers directly involved with as much notice as possible."
Professional anglers like Mike Iaconelli, Kevin VanDam, and Jordan Lee, who all joined Major League Fishing after the competition circuit shake up, will be kept out of harm's way
Essential staff and immediate family will be the only ones allowed at any MLF or FLW weigh-ins, and fans are being encouraged to stay home and tune in to the events on MLF NOW! rather than gathering in person.
Weigh-ins affected by this announcement include:
- Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin, March 19-22, 2020
- Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Cherokee Lake, April 2-5, 2020
- Toyota Series Southern Division at Lake Okeechobee, March 12-14, 2020
- Toyota Series Western Division at Lake Havasu, March 12-14, 2020
- Toyota Series Plains Division at Lake of the Ozarks, March 26-28, 2020
- Toyota Series Southeastern Division at Wheeler Lake, March 26-28, 2020
- Toyota Series Southwestern Division at Fort Gibson Lake, April 8-10, 2020
"We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our anglers, sponsors, and fans," commented Kathy Fennel, FLW Executive Vice President and General Manager. "We realize that fan attendance at these weigh-ins is a highlight of our events, however based on the current understanding of how the COVID-19 is progressing in the United States, we feel everyone's health and safety must outweigh the inevitable disappointment."
Further gatherings and events are now officially cancelled, and will presumably not be rescheduled. Cancelled events include the following:
- Friday, Mar. 13, 2020, MLF All Access - Angler Appearances at Neon Moon, Yantis, Texas
- Saturday, Mar. 14, 2020, MLF All Access - Student Angler Clinic at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens, Texas
- Sunday, Mar. 15, 2020, MLF All Access - Crawfish Boil, Neon Moon, Yantis, Texas
- Friday, Apr. 3 - Sunday, Apr. 5, 2020, MLF Midway, Garner, N.C.