Local angler Buddy Gross to compete as pro on 2019 FLW Tour
Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced last Monday the complete professional angler roster for the upcoming 2019 FLW Tour season, the 24th season of the FLW Tour.
The field will be showcased along the 2019 FLW Tour, which features seven regular-season tournaments around the country with competition kicking off at Sam Rayburn Reservoir on Jan. 10-13 in Brookeland, Tex., and culminating with the world championship of bass fishing – the FLW Cup – at Lake Hamilton on Aug. 9-11 in Hot Springs, Ark.
Among the 170 professional anglers competing will be local angler Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, who will be competing in his fourth season on the Tour. Gross has career earnings of more than $258,000 with FLW and has three career victories in FLW competition, including a win at the FLW Tour at Pickwick Lake in 2016.
There was enormous demand to compete on the 2019 FLW Tour, with 210 anglers registering for a slot on the prestigious tournament circuit in its final year of priority registration before switching to a strict qualifying process and a 150-pro field in 2020.
The top award at each Tour event is $125,000 with $300,000 going to the winner of the FLW Cup. Since the final field exceeds the published payout basis of 150 pros, FLW will survey all 170 participating pros to finalize the 2019 payout structure.
“With the demand we saw this year to join the FLW Tour, we couldn’t be more eager to kick off another season at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in January,” said Bill Taylor, FLW’S Senior Director of Tournament Operations. “FLW has long been the home to some of the most decorated bass anglers in the sport, and with the expanded live coverage at all of our Tour events this year, we are more than ready to show off their skills at some of the best fisheries in the world.”
The 2019 FLW Tour roster is headlined by a stout contingent of bass-fishing heavyweights, including three-time Angler of the Year (AOY) and 2003 FLW Cup champion David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., 2015 AOY and 2011 FLW Cup champion Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., and two-time Angler of the Year Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C.
They’ll be joined by bass-fishing legends Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., and Larry Nixon of Quitman, Ark., as well as three former FLW Cup champions – John Cox (2016), Brad Knight (2015) and Darrel Robertson (2002). The 2019 Tour will also feature 34 rookies from around the country.