The PAA Board of Directors has decided to cancel the 2014 PAA Tournament Series. After postponing the 2014 PAA opener originally slated for September 25-27 on Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee, the Board has also cancelled its remaining 2 PAA events on October 9-11, 2014 at Kentucky Lake, Gilbertsville, KY and November 20-22, 2014 on Toledo Bend Reservoir, Hemphill, TX. The PAA Tournament Series will not take place this year.
About the PAA Tournament Series
Starting with a single event on Choke Canyon, TX in 2008, the PAA Tournament Series has been operated for 5 years from 2009 through 2013 as a 3- or 4-event series culminating in the Toyota Texas Bass Classic world championship each season. The PAA was responsible for helping to establish the Toyota Texas Bass Classic and over the last eight years, this conservation-focused catch and release charity event has generated over $2 million in donations for the benefit of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s youth fishing programs.
Comments from PAA President Matt Reed
PAA President Matt Reed of Texas has a 14 year long career fishing Bassmaster Elites and Opens since 2000. Reed has served one other 3-year term on the PAA Board. He has qualified for three Bassmaster Classics and six Toyota Texas Bass Classics with three top-ten Toyota Texas Bass Classic finishes and 16 Bassmaster top-tens.
Reed said, “Every year, the PAA must work hard to avoid schedule conflicts with the other professional tours including the Bassmaster Elites, FLW Tour, Bassmaster Opens, and Rayovac FLW Series as well as Major League Fishing, ICAST and other industry and sponsor events that PAA pros cannot miss throughout the year. Unfortunately, we were not able to work out 2014 PAA Tournament Series dates until late in the fall. In the final analysis, the PAA Board decided that the math just didn’t work out this year for the benefit of our gracious host municipalities, valued sponsors, busy pro anglers and loyal fans.”
Comments from PAA Vice President Brian Snowden
PAA Vice President Brian Snowden Brian Snowden of Missouri has been a Bassmaster Elite pro for 15 years. He has served on the PAA Board for 5 years, having served as Treasurer and now Vice President. He won the first PAA Tournament Series event he fished on Lake Toho, FL in 2009 and Snowden won the 2010 Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Conroe, TX. He is a five-time Bassmaster Classic contender and six-time Toyota Texas Bass Classic qualifier. Snowden finished 34th in the 2014 Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings thereby qualifying for his sixth Bassmaster Classic in 2015.
Snowden said, “The PAA Board has always aimed to give the pros another opportunity to fish a tournament circuit which has a great payback potential and a path to qualify for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic – while keeping it (whenever possible) within driving distance and the limited dates we have in between other touring pro events and commitments. Doing that has always been difficult and in the end, just wasn’t realistic this year.”
Comments from PAA Board Member Todd Auten
A newly-elected PAA Board member for 2014, Todd Auten of South Carolina has been a Bassmaster and FLW touring pro for 16 years. Auten won the PAA Tournament Series event on Neely Henry, AL in 2009 and is the 2011 PAA Angler of the Year. He is a three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, a four-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier and a four-time Toyota Texas Bass Classic qualifier.
“There are more tournament options for pros now than ever before between Bassmaster, FLW majors, regional Opens and Rayovac events. All the dates between January and September are just about taken and some pros are trying to do them all, practically going non-stop,” said Auten who exemplifies his remark. In 2014, Auten fished and finished 12th in the Bassmaster Northern Opens, and he got an invite to (go back to) the 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series via his third place finish on the Southern Opens. He fished and finished eighth on the Rayovac Southeastern Division which qualified him for the Rayovac national championship on Wheeler Lake, AL at the end of this month which would lead him to the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup.
Auten emphasized, “The PAA Tournament Series is designed to give pros like me great press. I get more publicity on television (the FishPAA TV show), on websites and on social sites from the PAA than from other tours I fish. For pros like me, fishing derbies to win prize money is good, but in addition I need to promote my sponsors and in that regard, the publicity I get from the PAA Tournament Series has been good for me and great for my sponsors.”
“The PAA membership has to look toward 2015 now, regroup and rethink our approach for next season. I know pros like me would like to see the PAA Tournament Series take off again, better than ever in 2015,” concluded Auten.
Lisa Bell, PAA Operations Manager
(270) 527-2030 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Logo courtesy Professional Anglers Association