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MLF admits pranking trade over Bass Pro Tour Berkley bait ban story


Major League Fishing (MLF) – the world’s largest tournament organiser – has admitted pranking the trade with an ‘April Fool’s’ story sent out to the media.

On March 31 the MLF sent out a press release claiming that it had banned Berkley’s PowerBait MaxScent from being used by anglers fishing its Bass Pro Tour.

The elaborate scam even quoted former Bassmaster Classic champion, Boyd Duckett, in his capacity as MLF co-founder and President of the Professional Bass Tour Anglers Association (PBTAA).

The full release read:

Major League Fishing (MLF) – the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization – announced today a rule change to Bass Pro Tour Rule No. 7 regarding Tackle and Equipment, which addresses the usage of Berkley PowerBait MaxScent baits on the MLF Bass Pro Tour. Effective immediately, anglers that compete on the Bass Pro Tour are prohibited from using any Berkley PowerBait MaxScent product, both in practice and competition.

“MLF has studied the use of the Berkley PowerBait MaxScent since its launch in 2018, and we’ve made the decision to no longer permit its usage on the Bass Pro Tour,” Aaron Beshears, MLF Bass Pro Tour Director said. “The ban applies only to Berkley PowerBait MaxScent baits. At this time, original Berkley PowerBait and Berkley Gulp! baits are not included in this restriction.

“The bait has simply evolved to a point that it provides an unfair competitive advantage to Bass Pro Tour anglers that cannot use the product – whether through limited availability or competing sponsorship restrictions,” Beshears continued. “That said, Berkley PowerBait MaxScent baits will still be permitted in our MLF BIG5 tournament circuits. This decision is consistent with the wishes of the majority of our Bass Pro Tour anglers.”

Berkley remains a sponsor of MLF and the Bass Pro Tour, and MLF is currently in discussions with the company and its stakeholders regarding this decision.

 “We are proud to be an angler-driven league and to continue to support our anglers and their livelihood with this decision,” said Boyd Duckett, MLF co-founder and President of the Professional Bass Tour Anglers’ Association (PBTAA). “The Alabama Rig was banned in 2013 for similar reasons and we believe this is the next crucial step to creating a level playing field and ensuring no one angler or group of anglers has an unfair advantage over the rest of the field.

“Since 2012, we have prided ourselves on listening to our anglers, providing them with excellent tournaments on premium fisheries and a game that can be played and won by any competitor. We believe the game must continue to evolve as well in order to preserve the integrity of the sport.”

Read the MLF’s admission here.


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