Why 'Every Fish Counts,' Counts More Than You Think
If you've ever watched the introduction to an episode of Major League Fishing, you've heard the anglers comment on one of the basic rules of the format that's different from other — more conventional — tournaments.
"Every fish counts," they echo.
If the rule seems simple, it is. If it seems much ado about nothing, you're missing the boat about one of the things that makes MLF so different (and better) than other competition structures.
If you do a little checking, you'll find that the standard creel limit in most American bass tournaments is five fish. Yes, you'll occasionally find a circuit with a three-bass or six-bass limit, but five is pretty much the default number these days.
But it hasn't always been like that. When the modern era of bass tournaments began in the late 1960s, the state creel limit was typically the tournament creel limit, and that was often as many as 15 bass per day. Limits were sometimes taken by the top competitors, but they were hardly the rule. The fishing may have been "better" in those days, but the knowledge and equipment were far worse than what we have today, so it was common for competitors to bring in considerably less than half the limit.
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