“Some of you have already noticed that my name wasn’t on the MLF/Bass Pro Tour roster announced a while back. A lot of you have sent messages asking if I’m retiring or moving to another tour. I’ve been fortunate enough to do this now for going on 20 years and have so much to show for it. The friendships, the companies that I’ve worked with, the amazing bodies of water and the awesome fishing fans in those places around the country are all more than this country boy from South Alabama deserve. Blessed is an understatement! With that said, the last 6 or 7 years haven’t been nearly as enjoyable as the earlier years. The stripping down of one tour lead to a shakeup in the industry and that lead a lot of us to go and try to build something with MLF that the younger generation would benefit from. I was all in on that mission and ready to pull the rope in the same direction of the league. I spent countless hours on boards, was a liaison between the league and the anglers and headed up a credit line that allowed the anglers to utilize so they could hold their needed cash to operate throughout the year (with a ton of help from other MLFAA board members). We accomplished a lot of good things that most of you will never hear about. Although, I became frustrated because of constant changes and inconsistency. I’m not saying all of those decisions were right or wrong, it just took the fun out of what we do. I wish everyone at MLF and the remaining anglers all of the best in what they are trying to build. I just feel deep down that I need to take a different path. The worst part of it is how much I’ll miss rooming with Andy Morgan and Michael Neal! Despite everything we really did have some fun times off the water.
From now on for me it’s about enjoying what I do, working extra hard for the companies that began investing in me years ago and competing to win. That will all happen in the @bass_nation Opens in ‘24! I’m looking forward to the challenge of requalifying for the Elites and getting back on that Classic stage. Jill and I appreciate everyone of you for following along my journey over the years!” Russ Lane