New Fishing Tour
The National Professional Fishing League

There's a New Pro Fishing Tour Starting Soon

The National Professional Fishing League will start in March 2020.

The world of professional sportfishing just got a lot more interesting and more crowded. Right now, professional anglers have a choice of tours to compete on with Bassmaster, Major League Fishing and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW).

Now there's a fourth choice for anglers looking to participate in a real tour: The National Professional Fishing League.

Just announced on Facebook, here are all the details of the league that says they will "bring simplicity back to professional bass fishing."

The details of the National Professional Fishing League

The National Professional Fishing League will host a 125-angler field with six qualifying tournaments. The field includes a two-year contract with options for a third.

The tournaments will be spread out with two each for the spring, summer and fall seasons. These tournaments will have a $5,000 entry fee per event.

One interesting and unique detail of this tour is they plan to have no entry fee for their National Championship event, which will have a payout minimum of $250,000. The events will be live streamed with live weigh-ins and studio commentary on the events.

The pay brackets

When it comes to tournament payouts, the NPFL says they spoke with 65 professional anglers to determine the pay brackets. It sounds like an interesting tournament fishing experience for amateur anglers trying break into the pros.

"Our goal is to make this a lucrative endeavor for those professional who also hold down a full-time job," the announcement states. The NPFL is also not discouraging anglers from competing in other tournaments. "We encourage anglers to fish as many other circuits as they desire. To the max extent possible, our schedule will be deconflicted from Bass Opens."

For the qualifying angling events, here is how the pay bracket works out:

  • 1st: $50,000
  • 2nd: $30,000
  • 3rd: $20,000
  • 4th: $15,000
  • 5th: $14,000
  • 6-25: $10,000
  • 26-44: $9,000

For the championship (the top 25 anglers in points) the pay bracket is very similar:

  • 1st: $50,000
  • 2nd: $30,000
  • 3rd: $20,000
  • 4th: $18,000
  • 5th: $14,000
  • 6th: $12,000
  • 7th: $10,000
  • 8th: $8,000
  • 9th: $7,000
  • 10th: $6,000
  • 11-25: $5,000

The National Professional Fishing League says they plan to increase the best fishing prizes as the tour grows. They have set goals of awarding $500,000 to the National Championship winner, $100,000 to the "Angler of the Year," and $100,000 to qualifying event winners.

They also want to pay one out of every two anglers participating by the third year of the tour. Other details of interest include trailered weigh-ins that will allow pro anglers to showcase their sponsors, fishing gear and fishing boat. They also plan to have an "angler committee" that will work directly with the tour owners and tournament director. "This ensures the angler always has a seat at the table," the spokespeople said.

The ownership

The ownership group of this new tour includes Al McCulloch as the majority owner, Brad and Michele Fuller as the second majority and Paul Benson as a minority owner. Details on the tour dates, rules and more on the contract are still being finalized.

It will be interesting to see if they stick with just the United States or if game fish contests are held in other countries like Canada or Mexico.

"We want to emphasize that this is a starting point," the info said. "We are currently in negotiations with endemic and non-endemic sponsors. Our goal is to build an enduring tour with the anglers and their families at the forefront."

"Our sponsorship goals go deeper than dollars. We are striving for partners that share our values and our passion for the outdoors. This strategy gives us a certain amount of freedom to put the anglers first and build a trail that gets back to what the founders of bass fishing intended it to be," the statement reads.

The announcement for this new bass pro tour has already generated significant interest on Facebook. We will have to wait and see what happens next with this new league and find out if they can compete with the popular MLF format or the prestige of the Bassmaster Elite and other tours.

We're not sure if they'll draw big names like Kevin VanDam right off the bat, but every fishing tour has to start somewhere right?

One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of great fishing opportunities in the pro bass circuit these days! We will keep an eye on this developing story and bring you more as it comes in.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis Youtube channels