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Adjusting to Major League Fishing with Brandon Palaniuk

Brandon Palaniuk

One of the things I really like about fishing Major League Fishing is that we’ve been able to compete on some non-traditional waters – lakes where tournaments rarely are held. Since we’ve had a smaller number of anglers competing, and due to the way the tournaments are set up, not so many competitors are on the water at the same time. Many of those smaller lakes are very productive lakes for catching bass. However, some of these lakes are too small to have 100-150 boat tournaments on them. So, this enables the MLF tournament fishermen to fish new water we’ve perhaps never fished before. 

Something I’ve had to adjust to is not having a cumulative weight to determine the winner of a tournament. For instance, on the Bassmaster Elite Series, if you fish for 3-4 days, each day you bring in the bass you’ve caught, and the weights of those bass are totaled at the end of the tournament. So, if you have a bad day of bass fishing one day but also a couple of good days, you still can be in contention for prize money. But there’s no way for the MLF to have a cumulative weight, since all the competitors fish on various days. The weather changes when each group of competitors is competing. In other words, several guys may be fishing for bass on the MLF circuit on bluebird days, while the next group of competitors may be fishing in a driving rain. 

In MLF tournaments, anglers fish for 4 days. On the first two days of fishing, the weights of the bass you’ve caught are cumulative. The anglers who make the cut and fish on the third day all have their weights zeroed. If you make the cut on the third day and get to fish the final day, all those weights are zeroed before you start fishing. With this system, I feel like I’m fishing three tournaments at one time. 

The money is very good on MLF. If you make the first cut – the top 40 after the first two days - you earn $6,000. If you win, you win $100,000, and also all the anglers pay no entry fees. So, we have $40,000 - $45,000 less expenses for a week of bassing than when we fish other tournament circuits. Also only 80 competitors are in each MLF tournament.

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