Kevin VanDam heads 80-man Bass Pro Tour line-up
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Four-times Bassmaster Champion, Kevin VanDam, is the jewel in the crown of the 80 professional anglers who have signed up for the breakaway Bass Pro Tour in the US.
He will join a star-studded list of household names on the bass fishing circuit, which includes other Bassmaster Classic winners alongside FLW Forrest Wood Cup holders and Anglers of the Year.
“We are going into this Major League Fishing (MLF) venture with a different mentality,” said VanDam. “To me, looking at this list is a very powerful statement about the future of the league. This group of anglers accepted the opportunity because they all believe in the vision and we have the chance to do something special for the sport of fishing.
“With anglers working hard for the same end goal, the future is going to be very exciting.”
The Bass Pro Tour kicks off in 2019 and is backed by Bass Pro Shops and the Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG). It will be aired on the Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, CBS, CBS Sports and the Discovery Channel.
Boyd Duckett, MLF Co-founder and Vice President of the Professional Bass Tour Anglers’ Association (PBTAA), said: “We understand how difficult this decision was for pro anglers – everyone who has faced a potential career-changing move can relate to it. We now have 80 individuals who have committed to a dream that goes beyond just a tournament pay day.
“Sure, the higher pay-outs are part of it, but for us, this is not a competition we are in against other trails. It does not matter what B.A.S.S. or FLW does. Our goal is different. These anglers know that and we are ecstatic to have them on board with the new MLF.’
The 2019 MLF anglers are: Casey Ashley, Justin Atkins, Adrian Avena, Josh Bertrand, Tommy Biffle, Zack Birge, Stephen Browning, Brent Chapman, Jason Christie, Luke Clausen, Gary Clouse, Dustin Connell, Brandon Coulter, Cliff Crochet, Mark Daniels Jr., Mark Davis, Ott DeFoe, Boyd Duckett, Brent Ehrler, James Elam, Paul Elias, Edwin Evers, Todd Faircloth, Shinichi Fukae, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney, Roy Hawk, Brett Hite, Tim Horton, Randy Howell, Mike Iaconelli, Alton Jones, Alton Jones Jr., Kelly Jordon, JT Kenney, Gary Klein, Jeff Kriet, Jason Lambert, Bobby Lane, Chris Lane, Russ Lane, Jordan Lee, Matt Lee, Dave Lefebre, Jared Litner, Justin Lucas, Aaron Martens, Mike McClelland, Cody Meyer, Ish Monroe, Andy Montgomery, Andy Morgan, John Murray, Britt Myers, Michael Neal, Takahiro Omori, Cliff Pace, Brandon Palaniuk, Keith Poche, Jacob Powroznik, Skeet Reese, Marty Robinson, Dean Rojas, Mark Rose, Fred Roumbanis, Bradley Roy, Terry Scroggins, Fletcher Shryock, Gerald Spohrer, Wesley Strader, Scott Suggs, Gerald Swindle, Randall Tharp, Jonathan VanDam, Kevin VanDam, Greg Vinson, David Walker, James Watson, Jacob Wheeler and Jesse Wiggins.