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Bass Pro Shops partners in new MLF tournament aimed at growing participation

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MLF Pro, Kevin VanDam (left), Bass Pro Shops founder, Johnny Morris (centre), and MLF President and CEO, Jim Wilburn, are pictured at the launch of the new fishing competition
↑ MLF's 'catch, weigh and immediate-release' rules allow its events to take place on waters where other tournaments can't go.

Bass Pro Shops, North America’s iconic fishing tackle retail chain, is behind a significant expansion of Major League Fishing (MLF) that is being planned in 2019 to grow participation in the sport and dramatically raise its visibility.

The expanded programme includes the addition of the Bass Pro Tour, a premier 80-angler, eight event series with a championship and heightened pay-outs, made possible by Bass Pro Shops and the Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG). Both parties are supporting MLF as part of their commitments to the future of the sport through participation and conservation efforts.

Under the leadership of conservationist and founder, Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops has been intent on connecting new audiences to the outdoors and conservation for more than 40 years.

“Bass Pro Shops has proudly supported MLF from its inception because we believe in its mission to elevate the sport of fishing. We are very excited to take this next step and help showcase this great sport to every household in America,” said Morris.

“We truly believe this partnership will create many positive and significant new opportunities for kids and families, professional anglers and the sport itself. Equally important to us is leveraging this popular platform to showcase the importance of conservation and promote responsible fishing practices.”

“MLF has delivered on its promised vision every step of the way since day one,” said OSG Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Matt Hutchings. “It has made fishing an even more popular spectator sport through televised events on the Outdoor Channel and other networks as well as OSG’s diverse media platforms in publishing and online, The MLF model is a proven success and we are excited to continue the journey with all our partners towards future prosperity.”

Today, MLF tournaments reach a bigger audience than any other competition of its kind and television ratings and independent surveys consistently indicate the fast-paced, action-packed format resonates with anglers of all ages and is especially effective at reaching the youth audience – essential for achieving long-term interest and growth.

MLF’s conservation-minded ‘catch, weigh and immediate release’ rules allow participation on waters where typical tournament formats cannot go. The model has earned respect and accolades from many state fish and game agencies.

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