Major League Fishing, FLW Unify, Rebrand to Create 'MLF Big5'

Major League Fishing and Fishing League Worldwide have merged and rebranded to create "MLF Big5."

Major League Fishing, FLW Unify, Rebrand to Create 'MLF Big5'

Pro angler Tom Monsoor of Minnesota with a pair of smallmouth bass caught on the Mississippi River during an MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event. (Photo: MLF)

Major League Fishing has unified with Fishing League Worldwide as one brand, Major League Fishing Big5, and is transitioning all FLW brand assets to MLF.  

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League, Abu Garcia College Fishing and High School Fishing will carry the MLF logo and continue the traditional format of weighing the day's five biggest fish.

“Merging the FLW brand under the Major League Fishing umbrella is the next logical step in our company’s evolution, which now includes a broader reach than any of us thought possible in our formative years,” MLF Big5 Executive Vice President and General Manager Kathy Fennel said. “The key to our success lies not in a name, but in our unwavering focus on providing the best possible tournaments for anglers, fans, hosts and sponsors – our family. Uniting with MLF under a single brand makes the whole greater than the sum of the pieces. The letters may be different, but the people and the values will remain the same.”

A new website that builds on the existing sites, streamlines tournament entry, provides the latest gear and tactics advice, and better highlights participating anglers, is set to be unveiled in early 2021.

The FLW organization now known as “Major League Fishing Big5” began life as Operation Bass. It was founded in Kentucky in 1979 by Mike Whitaker, a teacher and football coach turned electronics salesman. Operation Bass became the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization with five circuits and more than 300 events in 11 countries offering $21 million in awards.

Operation Bass was purchased by Minneapolis businessman Irwin L. Jacobs in 1996. It was renamed FLW Outdoors in 2001 to honor Forrest L. Wood, founder of Ranger Boats and an early pioneer and supporter of tournament fishing. FLW became Fishing League Worldwide in 2014 to set the stage for international growth, which now includes bass tournaments in Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, Korea, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

Fishing League Worldwide was acquired by Major League Fishing in November 2019.

Source: Information provided by Major League Fishing.


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