Major League Fishing adds a new tournament to their Bass Pro Tour with some major prizes.
Major League Fishing has just announced a new bass fishing tournament for their 2020 schedule bringing the total number of events to nine.
The "Heavy Hitters" competition will be a special event held from May 16-20, 2020 on Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Florida. Up for grabs will be approximately $745,000 in prize money. Qualification for the tournament will be based on weights of each angler's largest single bass in the first five stages of the tournament.
If that sounds confusing, they provided an example, which we'll quote in full: "For example, if an angler's heaviest fish in Stage One is 7 pounds; in Stage Two, 5 pounds; in Stage Three, 9 pounds; in Stage Four, 8 pounds; and in Stage Five, 6 pounds, that angler's qualifying weight will be 35 pounds." That's exactly as the press release from MLF reads.
This original tournament is going to be limited to a field of just 30. The 30 anglers with the highest weights in those five stages will be eligible to compete in Heavy Hitters.
If you're familiar with MLF's Redcrest Tournament, then you'll already know how the format plays out.
The first day is considered the "shotgun round" where the 30 professional anglers will fish for highest weight. Their day one weight carries over to day two, the elimination round where only the top 20 highest weights will advance. The next couple days are "knockout" rounds. Ten anglers compete each day and the top five with the heaviest weights from each day advance to day five. That's the championship round where most weight wins the Heavy Hitters title.
To make things more interesting, the minimum size for a scoreable bass will increase through each round. The first couple rounds will be bass at a minimum of one pound. But in the knockout round and championship round, that minimum weight for a scoreable fish will increase to two pounds and then three pounds respectively.
"We're always looking for opportunities to experiment with formats so we can discover new ways to present the sport of competitive bass fishing," MLF President and CEO Jim Wilburn said in the press release. "As a young, angler-centric league, MLF strives to take notice of what's happening in our industry and invent entertaining events that both teach trusted techniques from the best anglers in the world and invite new fans to the sport."
We should talk about the event payouts for this tournament, because they're nothing to sneeze at. As we've already mentioned, there's $745,000 total on the line here. The tournament's winner will earn a whopping $100,000 plus daily bonuses. MLF has decided to again make things more interesting as the tournament goes on. In this case, bonuses will emphasize catching big fish in later rounds on a graduating scale.
For instance, the angler who boats the biggest bass of the day can earn $25,000 on days one and two. On day three and four that number bumps up to $50,000 and on championship day, that number increases to $100,000. Not a bad payout for a single fish. Someone could buy a new house off a single largemouth bass catch!
Getting that payout won't be easy. MLF hosts some of the best bass fishermen in the world. Expect big names like former FLW Angler of the Year and four-time Bassmaster Classic Champion Kevin VanDam to make a showing.
As if that wasn't enough, this year's MLF pro angler field includes Skeet Reese, Jordan Lee, Mike Iaconelli, Aaron Martens and Edwin Evers among the pros who will likely be battling it out.
We'll definitely be keeping an eye on this new tournament and format to see how things shake out in May!