Who's NOT fishing the MLF in 2021

* Transcribed from the Orillia Fishing weekly podcast found here: https://youtu.be/32TyuuUQYSI

 

2021 is coming and 2020 looks like it's changed the way some anglers are thinking about making a living. You guys brought this up to me last week. You had mentioned that Mike Iaconelli wasn't going to be fishing, so I went to go see what was going on.

 

It looks like there's about four or five people that aren't going to be going. So we've got Justin Atkins, Jason Christie, Greg Hackney, Mike Iaconelli and Jacob Powroznik, there are a lot of decent names in there. 

 

A lot of them only have a little bit of any information about what's going on here. Justin Atkins - I found SOME documentation but he wasn't really fishing. Nobody knows what he's doing. There was a suggestion by the BassBlaster, Jay Kumar, that he might be qualifying for the eastern open. So if you guys watch tournament fishing he might be doing that.

 

Jason Christie and Greg Hackney, though - they're going to go fishing the elites, which is Bassmaster, if you're not familiar. That's going to be what they've done. They've switched over from MLF to BASS again. I believe that's where they originally came from... I could be wrong. Maybe some of them did FLW... I can't remember what Jason Christie did... I've been out of touch with this whole tournament thing. But Jason Christie, Greg Hackney going over to BASS from MLF, that's interesting.

 

The big name here though is Mike Iaconelli. Mike Iaconelli, he said basically, his quote was, "I want to compete. I'm competitive right now at age 48." By the way, he's 48! That man looks good for 48  and the energy is still there, that's amazing!

 

But anyway, he's as competitive right now, at 48, as he's ever been. He said last week, after MLF bass tour roster was announced.

 

He says, the truth is, that they needed a response - I wanted to say it was by the middle of October. They needed a yes or no and he couldn't give a yes. "I couldn't sign the document and I knew that the consequences would be that they'd have to move on. And that's okay. I totally get it." that's what he said.

 

It wasn't really, I'm not fishing it. He just kind of wasn't sure, and he couldn't sign the document. Interesting to note here was Iaconelli was one of the original anglers that founded this whole MLF kind of thing. If you guys remember years back, I think was two years ago, where there was this big "hoopla" about all these anglers leaving BASS and moving over to MLF. And they were going to change the industry. And they've done okay, but Iaconelli was one of those anglers.

 

What he said though was he's thinking about a TV show. Now Ike's done a few TV shows. He said on this one that he's worked really hard on this TV project. It hasn't been picked up yet, so some of it hinges on that. "If it takes off and gets picked up I might have to totally step away from the tournament fishing in 2021." And because of that it sounds like he's got a lot of time and effort put into this TV show and he didn't want tournament fishing to get in the way of him doing this fishing show, which is interesting, because that's a big decision.

 

But then he says later on, and this is kind of I think what gave him that foothold to say, "You know what, I think I'll be okay even if the TV show doesn't hit". Because he's got a big YouTube channel. He's got a big podcast. He's got all this stuff. But what he said was he's found that because of COVID, because he couldn’t really do a lot of tournament fishing, COVID produced ways to sell for his sponsors without fishing tournaments. 

 

And each company has come back to him saying that they've had a record year, getting tons of impressions from the advertisements that he's doing, whether it be the videos he's making or sales videos or whatever he happens to be doing, he's getting a ton of impressions, sponsors are happy, they're having record sales. We've already talked about this, right? Everybody's having record sales. So it could be because of what's happening with COVID, or it could be what Ike and those other guys are doing to try and sell during these hard, hard times. That was interesting. 

 

We might see Mike doing more video, whether it be on a TV show, his YouTube channel, whatever he's got going on, it should be very, very interesting to kind of see what Mike's doing. Everybody knows Mike. I don't know what else to say to that. He's a big influencer in this area and whatever he does I know he's going to be successful at it, right? I mean it's Mike.

 

And the last one, sorry, Jacob Powroznik, nobody knows what's happening there, so that's why I didn't touch on it. Nobody knows. Jacob just decided not to get on the roster.


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